Southeast Asian Area Studies

Division of Southeast Asian Area Studies

Like Africa, Southeast Asia has spontaneously given rise to its own history, which has been developed and influenced by the characteristic ecology of the tropical zones around the equator. Over the last few decades, this region has seen a rapid transformation in its economy and societies at the level of the nation-state. At the same time, we have also witnessed several movements toward regional integration that transcend the boundaries of the nation-state. Along with the dramatic economic developments that are taking place, Southeast Asia is in fact in the process of achieving a multi-faceted transformation, one in which its ecology, society and cultures are all working together to produce something entirely new.

The Division of Southeast Asian Area Studies offers a program comprising three areas of research guidance that are designed to reflect the three points outlined above, and to allow investigation of the particular issues involved in each. These are: “Ecology and Environment”; “Society and Development”and “Environment, Society and Culture”

Division of Southeast Asian Area Studies

 

1: Ecology and Environment:

A program of education and research in ecological history and environmental ecology, designed to introduce the distinct features of the ecology and environment of Southeast Asia, so shaped by interaction with human beings.

Akihisa IWATA

E-mail: aiwata@asafas [add “[add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]”]

My research interests cover aquatic resources, mainly to do with fisheries, in India, the Pacific region, Southeast Asia and East Asia (the Mekong river system in Laos, in particular), and Japan; and the transformations that the societies that are dependent on them have undergone, looking in particular at resource management, sustainable use, and conservation.

[Environmental Ecology I, Seminar on Asian and African Area Studies, Research Seminar on Ecology and Environment I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Mitsuaki NISHIBUCHI

E-mail: nisibuti@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research interests have centered on diarrhea, one of the most serious diseases in the Southeast Asian region. At present I am carrying out a comprehensive comparative investigation of the dynamics of the bacteria that cause diarrhea in the natural and human environment in the region, and other factors, with the aim of clarifying the particular epidemiological characteristics in this region.

[Environment and Infection, Research Seminar on Ecology and Environment I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Shinya TAKEDA

E-mail: takeda@asafas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My primary interest is in the forestry in the monsoon forests of Southeast Asia, and my research has been on agroforestry and non-timber forest products. Looking in particular at rainforest fragments and regenerated forests, I am conducting research with a focus on the relationship between tropical forests and human beings.

[Environmental Ecology II, Introduction to Area Studies, Research Seminar on Ecology and Environment I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Takuro FURUSAWA

E-mail: furusawa@asafas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

As living organisms, humans have always had to adapt themselves biologically, in their physical traits and so on, so that they can survive and thrive in a given environment. At the same time, they have had to develop technologies and to acquire knowledge to help them obtain sustenance. My research covers a variety of aspects to do with this issue, the relationship between human beings and the ecosystems in which they find themselves, and its transformations, in the Asian and Pacific areas.

[Ecological History II, Area Informatics A, Research Seminar on Ecology and Environment I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Yasuyuki KOSAKA

E-mail: kosaka@asafas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

I study changes in the natural environment in Asia, modernization of agriculture, and depopulation of rural villages, using relations between humans and plants as indices. In specific terms, my research focuses on the flora in agricultural ecological systems, expanded distribution of exotic plants, and wild plants that are sold in the marketplace.

[Ecological History I, Research Seminar on Ecology and Environment I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Kazuo ANDO

E-mail: ando@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

In the course of fieldwork conducted in rural villages in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Yunnan, Laos, and Kazakhstan, I became aware of the importance of taking account of locally existing agricultural and rural development technologies, and of foregrounding the consciousness of local village communities. I am currently researching the links between Bengal and Southeast Asia based on the historical transformation of agricultural tools. Having participated in the rural development of small-scale farming villages in Bangladesh, I turned my attention to practice-oriented fieldwork, in which the researcher actively learns from the people in the community, and takes account of their values, instead of merely observing them as objects of study, and I am now trying to implement this approach in Laos. I am participating in projects with the Laos Traditional Tools Farmers Museum at the Faculty of Agriculture at National University of Laos, and also in Bangladesh, where I am working with NGOs in a village, in an attempt to develop alternative research methods that fuse research with actual practice.

[How to learn of “existing locally”, Research Seminar on Ecology and Environment I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Ryota SAKAMOTO

E-mail: sakamoto65@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

The topics of my previous researches were infectious sources of sporadic legionellosis, relationship between aging and adaptation to high altitude environment, health and happiness among the elderly living in Domkhar valley, Ladakh, health care system for the elderly in Bhutan, and so on. I would like to study focused on relationships among human health, natural environments, and cultural backgrounds.

[Research Seminar on Ecology and Environment I-IV, Field Medicine]

 

2: Society and Development:

A program of education and research on regional development and transformation, with a focus on the spontaneously generated energy and dynamism that lie behind development and transformation in Southeast Asia.

Takashi SUGISHIMA

E-mail: takasugi@asafas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

I have conducted research, using long-term fieldwork and historical investigation of written sources, on society, culture, history, politics, religion and economy in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the Ryukyu Islands. I am also interested in the philosophies and theories of the humanities and social sciences. As an educator, I make it my mission to attend to the interests and concerns of each and every student, and do as much as I can to encourage and nurture them.

[Culture and Society, Research Seminar on Society and Development I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Yoshifumi TAMADA

E-mail: tamada@asafas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research is on contemporary politics and political history in Thailand. My major topics include democratization, civil-military relations, the political role of the judiciary, immigrant laborers, nationalism, and so on. I have tried to put these topics in comparative perspective with other countries in Asia and Europe.

[Politics and Society I-III, Introduction to Area Studies, Research Seminar on Society and Development I-IV, Reading in Thai Studies I-II, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Yoko HAYAMI

E-mail: yhayami@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research involves anthropological study of the relationship between upland and lowland communities in continental Southeast Asia. My main topics, based on surveys of upland areas, have been the changing roles of religion and ceremony, gender, and inter-ethnic relations, highlighted against state power and communities living in low-lying areas. I am currently beginning a comparative investigation of Myanmar.

[State and Society II (Gender and Society), Research Seminar on Society and Development I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Masako ITO

E-mail: itomasak@asafas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research is on the contemporary history of Vietnam, which I have studied looking at national government policy towards ethnic minorities, and their response, and conducting field research in mountain areas. At present, I am doing comparative study in Vietnam and South Korea about how the people describe their memories about the Vietnam War, , with the idea of discussing these things in the context of aspects of nationalism.

[History and Society, Vietnamese III, Seminar on Asian and African Area Studies, Research Seminar on Society and Development I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Tatsuki KATAOKA

E-mail: kataoka@asafas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My interest is in the dynamics of cross-border cultural and religious movements of the uplanders in Southeast Asia. I previously focussed attention on ethnic minorities in mountain areas of northern Thailand. Right now, I am trying to expand this to encompass Burma (Myanmar), and the southwest regions of China. I have also started to conduct investigations of religious practice among ethnic Chinese in areas of southern Thailand and the Malay Peninsula.

[Religion and Society, Research Seminar on Society and Development I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Masaaki OKAMOTO

E-mail: okamoto@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My principal current research interest is in formulating a framework to analyze the kinds of transformations in regional politics brought about by the radical decentralization of power (in a form often referred to as a “big bang” approach) that occurred in Indonesia after the collapse of the dictatorship of the Suharto regime. In tandem with this project, I am also reviewing research literature on regional politics in other areas of Southeast Asia, and one of the aims of this is to draw comparisons with Indonesia.

[State and Society I (Comparative State Formation), Research Seminar on Society and Development I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

 

3: Environment, Society and Culture:

A program of education and research on the interactions between environment, society and region, with a focus on actual case histories that show the diverse ways in which such interactions take place.

Kosuke MIZUNO

E-mail: mizuno@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research has concerned a variety of social and economic organizations and institutions in Southeast Asia looking at economic development, and analyzing sets of specific problems in the context of natural resources, technology, history, or government policy as they apply to the problem, and elucidating particular features in regions and enabling inter-regional comparison by paying particular attention to land, labor and capital. This was my approach in my study of the history of the development of the local industries and production area organizations in rural villages in West Java, Indonesia. I look at manufacturing organizations, trade organizations, community organizations, and labor unions; and specifically how these organizations effect change in the political and economic systems, and their role in economic development.

[Socio-Economics and Area Study I-III, Research Seminar on Environment, Society and Culture I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Junko KOIZUMI

E-mail: jkoizumi@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research has involved a re-examination of the history of Siam (presentday Thailand) from the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, which has included raising questions about contemporary history writing and representation. I will continue to scrutinize the materials and methods of modern Thai history, looking at issues from an even wider geographical and an even longer historical perspective, with the aim of exploring possibilities for more diverse concerns and a more enriched view of history.

[History of Southeast Asia, Research Seminar on Environment, Society and Culture I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Seminar on Asian and African Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Noboru ISHIKAWA

E-mail: ishikawa@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research consists of social anthropological studies into the societies of Malaysia and Indonesia, which I conduct using the twin pillars of historical investigation and synchronous understanding based on field research. My recent work has involved looking at the interfaces between social dynamics from the macro and micro perspectives focusing on nation-state formation, ethnogenesis, mobilization of labor, culture and power, commodity chains, and transnationalism. My latest projects have involved research into the idea of humanosphere in communities where tropical biomass has been subsumed by monocultural plantations (oil palm and acacia); as well as historical anthropological studies looking from a multiplicity of angles at the construct of “forest” as it exists in Japan and Borneo (including secondary forests and cash crop plantations).

[Area Studies Project Designing, Research Seminar on Environment, Society and Culture I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Osamu KOZAN

E-mail: kozan@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

My research involves the analysis of the impact of human activities on the natural environment over an area that ranges from Japan, East Asian and Central Asia to Southeast Asia, which I measure using calculations obtained by hydrological cycle modeling. In my research I look not only at sustainability in the natural environment, but also at the mutual impact of human activities and the natural environment, to clarify the particular features and issues of the region. So far my research has concerned evaluation of the impact of continental-scale irrigation projects being carried out in China on water inflow and outflow in the rainy season, the impact on the regional climate of changes in water use in the Aral Sea inland lake region, and the impact of the largescale forest plantations on the natural environment in Indonesia.

[Hydrology and Climatology, Research Seminar on Environment, Society and Culture I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Fumiharu MIENO

E-mail: mieno@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

I conduct empirical research into the economies of countries in Southeast Asia, looking in particular at their financial systems. Recent projects I have carried out include a comparison of the features of the financial systems of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines with those of Thailand; an examination of rural finance organizations in villages in northeastern Thailand and Laos; an examination of economic structures in Myanmar; and commodity and capital trading structures in small- and medium-scale enterprises in Thailand and Myanmar. For future topics of research, I am interested in the history of the development of business and finance sectors in response to structures of ethnicity in Southeast Asia, the structural characteristics of ownership rights and commercial trade, the possibilities for a different kind of economic growth that transcends the old model of industrialization based on direct capital investment and relocation of manufacturing process, and the possible forms of new kinds of labor and financial systems that would support this.

[Economic Approach to Southeast Asia, Research Seminar on Environment, Society and Culture I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Satoru KOBAYASHI

E-mail: kobasa@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

I started research aiming to write ethnographical accounts of the changes that have taken place over time in Cambodian society, based on field research of rural villages. Nearly 20 years have passed since the rebirth of Cambodia, after years of civil war and totalitarian state rule, and isolation from other countries. What are the ways in which rule by a new government that was created by members of the international community on behalf of Cambodia has impinged on local communities during those 20 years? Evidence-based clarification of this question is what concerns me most at the present time. I am also interested in the commonalities as well as the diversity of the communities of believers in Theravada Buddhism who populate mainland Southeast Asia, and I am conducting field research into this subject.

[Comparative Studies of Rural Societies, Research Seminar on Environment, Society and Culture I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

Yoshihiro NAKANISHI

E-mail: nakanishi@cseas [add “.kyoto-u.ac.jp”]

IMy research focuses on civil-military relations and political regime in Southeast Asia, especially in Burma/Myanmar, from the perspective of comparative politics and security studies. The recent political and economic reform in the country has broadened my perspective to embrace following issues such as president-parliament relationship, political movement, and foreign policy-making. He is also interested in comparative study of violent conflict and peace-building in Southeast Asia.

[Conflict and Peace in Southeast Asia, Research Seminar on Environment, Society and Culture I-IV, Guided Research on Southeast Asian Area Studies I-III, Open Seminar on Asian Area Studies, Asian Area Studies On-site Seminar I-III]

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