My research interests are agriculture, rural development, and related environmental issues in China, with a particular focus on the role of organizations and institutions in economic development as well as communal resource management systems such as land and agricultural water use. In recent years, I have investigated the role of the village, which has traditionally been the basic unit of rural development in China, and in 2020, I published a book entitled Resource-driven Rural Development in Contemporary China: Collective Ownership and Management by Villages (University of Tokyo Press). I am also researching the development of eco-friendly agriculture and environmental problems caused by agriculture in China.
Current research projects
My research focuses on two main themes. One attempts to clarify the mechanism of rural development in remote areas, extending the scope of my research on rural areas thus far. Based on field research in ethnic minority areas in Guizhou Province, this research focuses on the significance of intangible resources such as ethnic culture and indigenous wisdoms related to ecologically dependent livelihoods, as well as the role of intermediaries between local communities and markets (cities) in the development of less-favored areas. The other theme is the economic activities of migrants workers, especially those from China, who support Japan’s food system. I aim to elucidate the challenges that foreign migrants in Japan encounter in terms of working and living, and their impact on the food system and food culture.