WORKSHOP: Living Landscapes: Time, Knowledge, Ecology

November 9-10, 2018

Time and Location:

Friday, 1-5PM: Rm 101, 2251 College Building (Archaeological Research Facility), UC Berkeley

Saturday, 9AM-12 noon:  Rm 221, Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley (closed session; please RSVP:

How can knowledge of the past be developed and transformed so that it informs understandings of the present and future? The Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley presents the workshop Living Landscapes: Time, Knowledge and Ecology. This workshop invites researchers in archaeology, agroecology, anthropology, sociology and geography to explore the ways in which different forms of environmental knowledge persist through time, are manifest in landscapes, and remain relevant to contemporary sustainability challenges.

Japan, a diverse archipelago with long history of human habitation and environmental modification, rich material cultural traditions and extensive archaeological record, is a special focus area for discussion. Case studies and comparative perspectives from other field areas are also welcome, and the workshop is open to anyone with interest in material culture studies, agroecology and the cultural-ecological dimensions of contemporary sustainability challenges.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Anthropology Department and the Archaeological Research Facility (ARF), with additional support from the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Art and Cultures (SISJAC), UK, and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Japan.

Tentative Program: November 9, 2018 (Rm 101, 2251 College Building [ARF])

1:00-1:20 Introduction and Welcoming Remarks (Junko Habu and Jun Sunseri, Anthropology, UC Berkeley)

1:20-1:45 Simon Kaner (SISJAC): Re-imagining the Shinano: Discourses of Inhabitation along Japan’s Longest River

1:45-2:05 Junko Habu: Continuity and Change in Landscape Practices from the Past to the Present: Archaeological and Ethnographic Examples from northeastern Japan

2:05-2:25 Kevin Gibbs (Hearst Museum, UC Berkeley): title TBA

2:25-2:45 Kent Lightfoot (Anthropology, UC Berkeley): Rethinking the Stewardship of Public Lands in California: New Perspectives from Ancient Landscape Management Practices

2:45-3:00 Tea Break

3:00-3:20 Miguel Altieri (ESPM, UC Berkeley): Agroecology, Landscape and Traditional Ecological Knowkedge (tentative title)

3:20-3:40 Mayumi Fukunaga (Sociology, Univ. of Tokyo): Re-wilding Aquaculture: Negotiating and Contesting Seascape in Collaborative Local Knowledge Production

3:40-4:00 Daniel Niles (RIHN): Linking the Mental and the Material: Patterns of Environmental Knowledge

4:00-5:00 Discussion (Discussant: Lisa Maher, Anthropology, UC Berkeley)

November 10, 2018 (Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall): Closed Session (RSVP:

9:00-9:30 Introduction (Daniel Niles, RIHN)

9:30-12:00 Discussion


Shrine at Farmer's house



RIHN/UCB International Workshop


Food, Agriculture and Human Impacts on the Environment: Japan, Asia and Beyond

The goal of this workshop is to link local and regional case studies of food, agriculture, and human-environmental interaction with the broader discussion of global environmental issues and long-term sustainability. Special emphasis is on case studies from Japan, East Asia and the North Pacific Rim. Topics that will be discussed in this workshop include issues on food production, circulation and consumption, changes through time in human-environmental interaction in relation to societal and economic developments, and water-food-energy nexus. This event is organized in collaboration with the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan, with which UC Berkeley has an MOU.

See abstracts and schedule here.

The Small-scale Economies Project Gives Final Seminar at RIHN

Final Seminar at RIHN, March 23, 2017

The Full Research phase of my Small-Scale Economies Project at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) in Kyoto officially ended on March 31, 2017. Thank you for those who helped me run this project for the past three years. Special thanks to local residents and members of the indigenous communities who were willing to share their knowledge and wisdom. My collaboration with RIHN will continue through the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between RIHN and UC Berkeley!


Personal Mission Statement

This website presents a range of my anthropological work, with an emphasis on archaeology and historical ecology of Japan and the North Pacific Rim.  My specialty in the study of prehistoric hunter-gatherer cultures in Japan, the Jomon, has led me to incorporate various aspects of anthropological studies and other related fields into my research at the University of California, Berkeley.

Since I was born and originally trained in Japan, and subsequently studied in Canada to obtain my PhD degree, I am committed to promoting active interactions between different academic traditions, particularly those of East Asia and North America. Coming from East Asia to North America, and having worked in Japanese archaeology, where less than 5% of professional archaeologists are women, I am a strong supporter of the inclusion of people from marginalized groups, including women and members of indigenous communities, in academia.

Key developments in my research (based at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) in Kyoto, Japan) for the past three years are listed in the RIHN project website. Updates of my research and related activities will be posted on this “News” page.