Report on the 15th International Conference of the East-Asian Agricultural History in South Korea (Fumi Iwashima, Project Research Associate)

FEAST HQ Report, WG2

The 15th of International Conference of the East-Asian Agricultural History (hereinafter ICEAAH) was held at Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea from September 12th to 14th, 2018, of which I had a privilege to be part and present my research. ICEAAH is organized in order to comparatively look at agricultural production, rural communities, and agricultural/rural policies in East Asia and catalyze a broader and deeper understanding. Three East Asian countries of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and People’s Republic of China take turns to host conferences every one to two years. This round of ICEAAH happened to be comparatively small-scale with approximately twenty participants due to some circumstances. …

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 …

Kyoto Kodawari Marché 29: Mapping the Future of Food in Kyoto (Norie Tamura, Senior Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, WG2

At Kyoto Kodawari Marché 29 held at the Kyoto Prefectural Hall on June 10th, FEAST Project collaborated with NPO Tsukaisutejidai wo Kangaeru Kai (The Association for Ethical Waste Disposal Awareness) and its affiliated company limited, Anzennousan Kyokyu Center (Safe Produce Supply Center Ltd.) to organize an event “Painting delicious Kyoto: Let’s map out the future of food in Kyoto!”. What kind of “future of food in Kyoto” do the participants of such a marché event envision as ideal? The particular objective of this event was to visualize and understand these ideal visions. Four posters with different background sketches were prepared for the participants to add “their ideal future of food in …

Food as Ingredient for Memory: The exhibition “Food-scape in Mindscape” (Masahiro Terada, RIHN Visiting Associate Professor)

FEAST HQ Events, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

How is the experience of eating narrated and memorized? When observing ‘eating’ as habitus in the lifeworld, we encounter problems of memory and subjectivity of eating. How the experience of eating remains in her/his memory is one of the fundamental elements that determine how she/he eats in the present. A centenarian remembers what he ate in his childhood vividly in detail. Since the beginning of FEAST Project, I have been making short films under the sub-project entitled “Narrative of Hundred Years of Food”. From 11th to 18th May, 2018, I had a chance to exhibit the research results of the field work that I conducted last year as a visual …

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 …

Workshop “The future of local food and agriculture in Kameoka City” (Hiraku Kumagai, Kyoto University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG2, WG4

FEAST-WG 2 has organized a series of three workshops “The future of local food and agriculture in Kameoka City” in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture on Sep 27th, Oct 16th and Nov 20th, 2017. Seven of us were part of the organizing committee: WG2 chair and members, Prof. Motoki Akitsu from Kyoto University, Prof. Mari Nakamura from Nagoya Bunri University, Norie Tamura, FEAST Sub-leader and RIHN Senior Researcher, as well as Steven McGreevy, FEAST Project leader, Yuko Matsuoka, FEAST Research Associate, Ryo Iwahashi and myself from Kyoto University. The 13 participants were those engaged in various agrifood-related issues ranging from agriculture, nutrition education to food processing etc in Kameoka City. The …

Reporting of my participation at the XXII International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology (Ayako Kawai, The Australian National University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG1

I joined the XXII International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology held from 28 Nov 2017 to 1 Dec at the University in the Philippines, Baños. I am currently a PhD student at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, focusing on seed saving practices in Japan. I am also a project member of FEAST. This conference has been held since 1985, and promotes ecological perspectives for research, education and practices. The conference title this year was ‘Envisioning Pathways to Just and Sustainable Futures: Celebrating diversity, pursuing integration, and developing livable communities’. Presentation and paper sessions were organized based on the following four themes. (1) Health, …

The 1st RIHN/UCB International Workshop (Steven McGreevy)

FEAST HQ WG2_Publications

On November 6-7th,  the first RIH/UCB International Workshop “Food, Agriculture, and Human Impacts on the Environment: Japan, Asia and Beyond” to commemorate the signing of a memorandum of understanding was held on the Berkeley campus. Steven McGreevy, Project Leader, gave a talk on the WG2 research outputs as follows: Part I. Food and Agriculture Session 1. Urban biocultural food production & Food security Steven McGreevy | Scaling to holistic local food security: directions in agrifood system sustainability assessment How do we measure the transition from an unsustainable agrifood system to a sustainable one? Various scholars, institutions, and citizen groups have created a diverse set of tools for evaluating agrifood systems to aid …

The 1st RIHN/UCB International Workshop (Christoph Rupprecht)

FEAST HQ WG1_Publications

On November 6-7th,  the first RIH/UCB International Workshop “Food, Agriculture, and Human Impacts on the Environment: Japan, Asia and Beyond” to commemorate the signing of a memorandum of understanding was held on the Berkeley campus. Christoph Rupprecht, Project Researcher, gave a talk on the WG1 research outputs as follows: Part I. Food and Agriculture Session 1. Urban biocultural food production & Food security Christoph Rupprecht | Biocultural cityscapes: towards urban landscape stewardship Industrialized food systems leave cities vulnerable to food supply disruptions, disruptions likely to increase due to climate change. Urban residents also lack opportunities to self-produce food. Urban agriculture, community and home gardens, edible infrastructure, public fruit trees and informal gardening …

FEAST Project Research Retreat: Deep reflections on the shores of the Mother Lake (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)


On August 28~29th, we held the 4th FEAST Project research retreat, this time in Shiga Prefecture, overlooking the Mother Lake, Biwako. The retreat is a precious opportunity to gather working group chairs, executive committee members, and those working at FEAST HQ in RIHN to discuss our progress, plans, and goals.  For a project leader, the retreat is essential for seeing how the various pieces of the project are developing, how they come together to create a “story,” and whether they adhere to (or evolve away from) the original research framework. Interdisciplinary projects can be difficult because of the intermixing of backgrounds and expectations for research, especially in the early stages—it …

Road to LCA App (1) – FY2017-2nd WG5 Meeting (Yuko Matsuoka, Project Research Associate)

FEAST HQ Report, WG5

Climate change, pollutions, loss of diversity, lack of successors, unfair trade, obesity… though we have heard various issues surrounding sustainability, we barely get to know how these issues are linked to our daily lives. We might be aware that these problems are caused by our modern, convenient and comfortable lifestyles, but how and to what extent are they linked? Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a technique developed for assessing the potential environmental impacts associated with a product/service throughout its life cycle (from extraction of raw material to final disposal). Through this analytical technique, now we can know what impact a product/service may have on the environment in its life cycle …

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  (; …

RIHN Open House 2017 “Share ? and ! this summer” (Yuko Kobayashi and Yuko Matsuoka, Project Research Associates)

FEAST HQ HQ News, Report

For this annual event, the institution-wide efforts are made to organize a wide variety of events so that the local communities can feel more familiarity with RIHN. The activities of FEAST Project included card game and video game to explore the ideal future of Kyoto food, voting for “what is important for the future of food in Kyoto?” and word cloud for “what is bad food to you?.” Two games were originally developed for FEAST gaming workshops “Future visions of food in Kyoto” (Please see the details of workshops from here!). Two rounds of card game were carried out for 4th grade elementary school students and over. Each participant chose …

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 …

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, …

JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2017 (Christoph Rupprecht and Kazuhiko Ota, Project Researchers)

FEAST HQ Report, WG1, WG2

This year, JpGU-AGU (Japan Geoscience Union – American Geophysical Union) Joint Meeting was held again at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture from May 20th to 25th, in which Christoph Rupprecht and Kazuhiko Ota from FEAST HQ participated. The members of JpGU mainly come from the field of geoscience including astronomy, geology, climate change study as such, but JpGU also provides a platform for dialogue, information dissemination, review and input on a variety of social challenges related to the environment. On 22nd, Kazuhiko gave a presentation titled “Integrating a participatory back-casting methodology into research on sustainable social transition: Case study from the workshops on the ideal future of food” at the …

Exploring better food futures for Kyoto prefecture through visioning and back-casting (Astrid Mangnus, Utrecht University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG2

At the center of FEAST’s research are the complex sustainability issues faced by modern-day agrifood systems. One of the ways in which the project aims to address these challenges is by envisioning plausible futures and initiating democracy-oriented food experiments and actions. Visioning is a method that can be used to paint a clear picture of such a plausible future. Back-casting is a method in which a pathway to the envisioned future is made, working back from the future to the present. On the 25th and the 26th of April, FEAST put these methods to work for Kyoto prefecture. In collaboration with visiting researchers from Utrecht University, three visioning and back-casting …

FEAST at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2017 in Boston (Christoph Rupprecht, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ HQ News, Report

In early April, almost everyone from the FEAST HQ went on a long trip all the way from Kyoto to Boston. There we attended the AAG Annual Meeting 2017, the biggest geography conference in the world where over 9,000 researchers meet to present and discuss their latest work. It was an exciting and intense week, where we all learned a lot, made new friends and had a chance to explore Boston’s bustling food scene. Food system transitions, degrowth and the growing world of food and agriculture geography For most of the conference, one thing was in the back of our minds: the session on food system transitions Christoph and Steven …

Enough is as good as a feast: here’s how we can imagine a brighter food future

FEAST HQ WG1_Publications

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 report on the future of food examines what the world’s food systems might look like in 2030. But none of the four future scenarios it presents is particularly attractive. To create a world where everyone can eat well without wrecking the planet, we need better ideas, a rich imagination and the right tools. Read the full article at The Conversation! Author: Rupprecht, CDD

FEAST Project Retreat 2016 with WG chairs in Nagano

FEAST HQ HQ News, Report

Members of Executive Commitee were gathered in Nagano from September 5th to 7th to 1) report the project’s and Working Groups’ research progress, 2) report the budget use and 3) to discuss the future plans. Great job to everyone who attended the meeting!