FEAST Project at the World Social Science Forum 2018! (Steven R. McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, HQ News, WG1, WG2, WG3

From September 25th to 28th, many of us from FEAST HQ attended the World Social Science Forum 2018 in Fukuoka, held at the Fukuoka International Congress Center. Since RIHN was one of the consortium partners for the Forum, it was important for the institute to have a significant presence at the event. It was also a time to show the potential of the new research programs for integrated, cross-cutting discussions of relevant themes and concepts. We were surprised to learn that all three FEAST session proposals and the Program 3 session proposal were accepted. Indeed, RIHN’s fingerprints were all over the Forum program, with nearly 10 sessions in total. When …

A short film "First Harvest" documenting Kyoto University of Arts and Design Beekeeping Club is now released!

FEAST HQ From the Field, WG3

A short firm “First Harvest” is now ready for viewing, which Rika Shinkai of the FEAST Mitsubachi Team interviewed a beekeeping club at Kyoto University of Art & Design with Dr. Martin Gruber, a visual anthropologist at the University of Bremen. <First Harvest> The film ‘First Harvest’ introduces some of the Kyoto University of Arts and Design Beekeeping Club’s activities. Under the guidance of their teacher a number of students come together regularly to keep a colony of Japanese Honeybees on the premises of their University. The film juxtaposes interview material and observational footage of the students’ first honey harvest. ‘First Harvest’ deals with beekeeping practice and the acquisition of …

FEAST at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2018 in New Orleans (Christoph Rupprecht, Project Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG1, WG2, WG3

After our five sessions on food system transitions at the AAG 2017, another team of FEAST and friends of the project made their way to the AAG Annual Meeting 2018 in New Orleans. The chance to meet, listen to and present to 9,000 researchers from a variety of fields is an experience that we didn’t want to miss! Mapping urban food production Localizing food systems is one way to bring sites of production and consumption back together again. From urban agriculture and gardening to local food systems of bread, the two sessions (Mapping Urban Production I, II) provided a chance to hear about stories from Kyoto, Manila, Detroit, Calgary, the …

Kyoto Organic Action: impressions of the project after the "Peasants’ revolution" gathering (Guilherme Raj, Wageningen University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

“Kyoto Organic Action” (KOA) was created in the beginning of 2017 during a gathering of organic producers in the Nantan area, northwest of Kyoto City. Kentaro Suzuki, owner of the “369 local & organic yaoya” veggie delivery company, organized the event aiming to boost the dynamics and interactions between farmers, distributors and vendors – something that he didn’t see happening when he moved in to Nantan. During the event, the idea of sharing the transportation costs and logistic system of organic products with buyers in Kyoto City led to what is, today, called “Kyoto Organic Action” (KOA): an organization aimed to decrease the distribution costs of agriculture goods produced by …

Kyoto Kodawari Marché 29: “Kodomo-Shokudo x Organic: Creating ‘Good’ Food Together” (Fumi Iwashima, Project Research Associate)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, WG2, WG3

The 29th of Kyoto Kodawari Marché was held at Kyoto Prefectural Office on the 10th of June and FEAST Project organized an event there entitled “Kodomo-Shokudo x Organic: Creating ‘Good’ Food Together” together with the Working Committee for Council for Future of Food and Agriculture, Kyoto. As one out of six children in Japan now lives in poverty and more and more children are eating alone, citizen and volunteer groups are reacting by creating kodomo-shokudo (children’s cafeteria or canteens), places where children are able to eat for free or a very reduced price together with someone within their own community. In Kyoto, there are several kodomo-shokudos including our collaborators for …

Witnessing the birth of a new concept “Community Supported Trade” (Mai Kobayashi and Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researchers)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

We spent the weekend of March 3rd and 4th at the 『百姓一喜』(Hyakusho-ikki). The title for this event can be translated as the peasant revolution, but they used the character for “happiness(喜)”, rather than “riot(揆),” which had the same pronunciation. It was a second gathering of its kind that took place in Nantan, Kyoto. The event by the same name that took place one year ago was what created the group that calls itself Kyoto Organic Action (KOA), the core members of this group was the organizers for this event. Having decided relatively late to join the event, we are grateful for the organizer for taking us in, despite there being …

Model, Prizes, and Leaf litter: Challenges of personality rights (Mai Kobayashi, FEAST Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

I’d helped him with a reference letter for a scholarship for his studies at the College of Natural Resources (CNR). Sonam Phuntsho was a student of one of our research collaborators at the college. We soon found out that he had received the scholarship and since then, we had kept in touch over facebook messenger. It was one regular work day when Sonam sent me a photograph. It was a lady carrying a pile of leaves to use as bedding for her cattle. I had written a paper on the practice of using a plot of forest for this practice called Sokshing, and he thought I would be interested. It …

Forum “Towards the future of organic farming: Thinking about good life and society with young farmers” (Yuko Kobayashi, Project Research Associate)

FEAST HQ Report, WG2, WG3

Forum “Towards the future of organic farming: Thinking about good life and society with young farmers” was organized by NPO Tsukaisutejidai wo Kangaerukai (The Association for Ethical Waste & Disposal Awareness) and its associated organization, Anzen Nousan Kyokyu Center (Center for safe agricultural products) at Coop-in Kyoto on February 18th, and FEAST Project was invited to conduct visioning and gaming workshops as a part of the forum. A total of 70 people joined this event, which made the event very lively with enthusiastic discussions and kids’ chuckles and laughs. FEAST Project has been organizing a number of workshops to explore better futures of agriculture and food, employing various methods such as …

New research takes off with bees (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

In summer the whir of the cicada dominates the Japanese soundscape. To me and my colleagues Christoph Rupprecht (FEAST Project Researcher), Rika Shinkai and Kan Seicyou (RIHN Visiting Researchers) came this summer additionally also the buzz of the bees. With the globally recognized importance of bees as pollinators in the agricultural production (IPBES 2017)bees play their part when talking about transitioning to agroecology, and regional food systems. However, the number of managed bees and professional beekeepers has decreased also in Japan over the past years due to pests, landscape and agricultural changes, insecticide and pesticide use, as well as some damages to the bee colonies by wild-life and predators  (bee-happy.jp; …

Joining a nest of Activist Scholars (Mai Kobayashi, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

A belated update on my trip to participate in Elikadura21 — The Future of Food and Challenges for Agriculture in the 21st century. The gathering took place in Vitoria Gasteiz in the Basque Country from April 24th to 26th 2017, and it was the seventh of its kind. The main organizers were the   the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS), the Transnational Institute (TNI), and the Journal of Peasant Studies, as well as local peasant organizations from the Basque Country (EHNE Bizkaia and Etxalde among others) and members of La Via Campesina, the largest international association of small farmers and farm workers.Various local and …

Invited Lecture in Obihiro City, Hokkaido (Norie Tamura, Senior Project Researcher/WG3 Chair)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

I was invited to the General Meeting of Higashi Hokkaido Mokuzai Kyokai (East Hokkaido Logging Association)  in Obihiro City, Hokkaido on June 2nd, 2017, at which I gave a lecture entitled “Thinking about the Future of Forestry: Policy, Resources, Distribution and Society.” The invitation was made as a continuation of my work prior to joining FEAST involving forest and forestry. And, you might be wondering how forestry and logging industry are relevant to FEAST project focusing on food and agriculture. They might appear out of context of FEAST project, but it is not the case. Food production, the main focus of WG3, is linked in many ways to sustainable rural …

Visiting Kushiro City, Hokkaido (Norie Tamura, Senior Project Researcher/WG3 Chair)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

I visited Kushiro City, Hokkaido from May 31st to June 2nd, 2017 with a specific objective to learn about how local people try to make the best use of Yezo shika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis). Working Group 3 of FEAST Project works around the theme of sustainable food production that is also in harmony with nature. When we think about the correlation between humanity and nature, one of the challenges that Japan face today is the increasing human-wildlife conflicts. Wild animals such as deer (including Yezo shika beer), boars, bears, Japanese raccoons, crows, Japanese minks and Japanese cormorants are growing in number excessively, resulting in damage in the agricultural sector, …