Resilience of Agroecosystems and Continuity in Landscape Practice: A Perspective from Historical Ecology
- Thursday, 2 February 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
- Zoom Webinar
- Junko Habu Professor, Department of Anthropology, Chair, Center for Japanese Studies, and Tomoye Takahashi Endowed Chair in Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley & Affiliate Professor, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (総合地球環境学研究所)
- Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
This presentation examines continuity and change in landscape practice and the resilience of agroecosystems in rural Japan. Examination of the vegetation and topography of the Japanese archipelago makes us realize that approximately four-fifths of the country is covered by forest and two-thirds of the terrain is mountainous. Rapid economic growth and large-scale land developments during and after the 1960s, combined with the government’s policy to westernize the agricultural practice, resulted in the destruction of the habitats of many animal and plant species, the reduction of crop diversity, and the overall decrease in farmland. Despite these changes, the rural Japanese landscape still retains the signature of long-term environmental management and associated biodiversity supported by local and traditional ecological knowledge. Examining continuity and change in landscape practice from the Jomon period to the present will help us understand the mechanisms of the resilience and vulnerability of human-environmental interactions.
Junko Habu is a Professor of the Department of Anthropology and Chair of the Center for Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and Affiliate Professor of the Research Institute for Humanity andNature (RIHN). Born in Kanagawa Prefecture, she received her BA (1982) and MA (1984) from Keio University and her Ph.D. (1996) from McGill University. From 2014 to 2016, she was the project leader of the Small-Scale Economies Project at RIHN. As an environmental archaeologist and historical ecologist, she has conducted many archaeological and ethnohistoric projects, including the excavation of the historic Edo period site at the Todai Hongo Campus.