Our People

26 Nov. 2021

Professors

Graduate School of Sustainable System Sciences

Wataru FUJITA

Associate Professor

Research Activities

As a cultural anthropologist, I am interested in the lifestyles of people in agricultural communities predominantly in Thailand’s northeast region of Isan.

About 20 years ago, I researched how the villagers, who were suddenly told that it was part of a national park, lived and were constrained by the national park.

Thailand is seeing a rapid decrease in its forests. Looking at the big picture, it’s necessary to think about how to return the forests to their original state by helping communities strike a balance between the environment and their financial wellbeing.

In Southeast Asia, there has not been a major Satoyama problem (rural production landscape ecosystem change caused by modernization of production modes), yet in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and other countries that are connected to the continent, there are probably Satoyama-like environments, where creatures are being affected by chemicals people use to cultivate rice.

Satoyama is a good field for deepening one’s understanding of what is happening in the world. It allows collaboration with many professors who specialize in Satoyama issues in Japan. In that sense, I think OMU is a good environment for broad learning.