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.