Small-Scale Economies Project at RIHN



I. Archaeology of the Early-Middle Jomon period (ca. 4000-2300 BC) in Northeastern Japan: Using archaeological indicators of food/subsistence diversity, demography, rituals, social inequality, climate change and other socioeconomic/environmental factors, this sub-project tested our main hypothesis with data primarily from the Tohoku region (northern Honshu) and Hokkaido.  Newly obtained AMS 14C dates confirmed that changes in food/subsistence diversity and settlement patterns occurred at around 3000 BC, 700 years before a major cooling climate hit the area at around 2300 BC (the Bond 3 event).  Thus, contrary to previous interpretations suggested by several scholars, our results indicate that the Bond 3 event was not the cause of the population decrease at the end of the Middle Jomon.

II. Ethnographic works of rural communities and small-scale farmers in northern Japan: Ethnographic, sociological and agroecological studies of small-scale food production systems and their associated communities were conducted to understand the complex inter-relationships among cultural and natural contributors in contemporary urban and natural settings. The core component of this group is the ethnographic study  of small-scale communities and food producers, with a focus on the importance of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), material culture and social networks. Key sub-projects of this research group includes the following:

a) Ethnographic Work along the Hei River, Iwate Prefecture

b) Ethnographic Work at Joboji, Iwate Prefecture

c) Ethnographic Work in Fukushima Prefecture

III. Outreach and Collaborative Research: Outcomes of Junko’s outreach efforts and collaborative research with local and indigenous stakeholders include Kyoto 2016 Agroecology Declaration, a WAC (World Archaeological Congress) Resolution about resource overexploitation, and workshops to revive traditional ecological knowledge with Native American tribes in California as well as with local museums in northern Japan.

Additional Links:

RIHN’s Project Page

Small Scale Economies Page