The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Seminars, Symposia, and Academic Conferences

March 26, 2017(Sunday)
《Symposium by the Special Research Project of Minpaku》 Human Relationships with Animals and Plants: Perspectives of Historical Ecology

  • Date: March 26, 2017 (Sunday)
  • Venue: Conference Room 4, National Museum of Ethnology (NME)
    (Capacity: 60 people (entrance free))
  • Languages: Japanese & English (Simultaneous interpreters provided)

Introductory Remarks

The conservation of rare species and sustainability of biodiversity is the central theme for global environmental issues in considering the relationship between modern civilization and environment. This symposium shows the history of utilization, extinction and preservation of life from the prehistoric to modern age using a historical ecological approach to the relationship between humans and environment and addresses the issue arising from them to consider the relationship between modern civilization and environment. Each presentation in the symposium focuses on the history of human impact on the environment with various regional characteristics in the world by introducing various cases in a cold area (arctic area), archipelagoes and ocean (Oceania), desert (Africa), forests (Amazon, Asian tropical region and Japan) and inland waters (China). The interaction between human society and animals/plants is considered from the global, continental, and regional perspective.


Program (tentative)

10:00 - Registration
10:30 - 10:40 Introduction
IKEYA Kazunobu (Professor, National Museum of Ethnology-NME)

10:40-16:20 Presentations (Each speaker has 20min. for presentation, 5 min. for Q & A)

Part 1. Human Relationships with Plants
10:40 - 11:10 "Biodiversity, and Potato Cultivation in the Andes of South America"
YAMAMOTO Norio (Professor Emeritus, NME)
11:10 - 11:40 "Perception gaps that may explain the status of taro as an 'orphan crop',despite its global distribution and utilisation"
Peter J. MATTHEWS (Professor, NME)
11:40 - 12:10 "Bananas and Humans: Natural resource use of hillside farmers in continental Southeast Asia"
NAKAI Shinsuke (Associate Professor, Saga University)
12:10 - 13:00 Lunch Break
Part 2. Human Relationships with Animals-1
13:00 - 13:30 "Of Inuit and Whales in Canadian Arctic Prehistory; Ritual, Symbolism, and Ideology"
James Michael SAVELLE (Overseas Visiting Fellow, NME/ Associate Professor, McGill University)
13:30 - 14:00 "Modern Aboriginal Whaling and Climate Change in Alaska"
KISHIGAMI Nobuhiro (Professor, NME)
14:00 - 14:30 "Sea Otters and Humans – History of Sea Otter Use in the Kuril Islands"
TEZUKA Kaoru (Professor, Hokkai-Gakuen University)
14:30 - 15:00 "Human Impact on Inland Water Fisheries and the Survival Strategy by Cormorant Fishers"
UDA Shuhei (Associate Professor, NME)
15:00 - 15:20 Break
Part 3. Human Relationships with Animals-2
15:20 - 15:50 "Chronological Distribution of Remains during the Indus Valley Civilization Period and its Environmental Change"
TERAMURA Hirofumi (Assistant Professor, NME)
15:50 - 16:20 "Environmental History in Africa – Ivory, Ostrich Feathers, and Fox Fur –"
IKEYA Kazunobu (Professor, NME)
16:20 - 17:00 Discussion
17:00 Closing