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

Staff Members

ABE Ken-ichi
ABE Ken-ichiABE Ken-ich
The Japan Center for Area Studies (JCAS)・Associate Professor
Research Specialization
Individual Research Projects
Personal website

*Japan Center for Area Studies (JCAS) has been reorganized into Center for Integrated Area Studies (CIAS) in Kyoto University since April 1,2006.CIAS Home page is

Academic Qualifications:

  • B.A. Kyoto Univ. 1984
  • M.A. Kyoto Univ. 1987

Research Topics:

  • Political Ecology of Tropical Forests in Southeast Asia
  • Political Ecology of Mekong River Basin Development
  • Eco-history of Peat Swamp Forest in Sumatra

Recent Research Interests:

My main area of study has been peat swamp forests in Indonesia. Though my initial emphasis was ecological research on peat swamp forests in Sumatra, I later became more concerned with socio-economic aspects of the area. A compilation of ten years' studies in the area is planned, tentatively titled "Eco-history of peat swamp forests in Indonesia. " Based on ecological characteristics of the area, I have traced the ecological and socio-cultural changes influenced by national and global factors and, in this connection, organized the symposium "Political Ecology of Tropical Forests in South-East Asia: Historical Perspectives. "The proceedings of this symposium will be published in the near future.
Forest histories of Yunnan province in China were another focus of study. Various types of forests were found there and the relation of people to each forest were also found to vary both culturally and socio-economically. My study of the forest history of Yunnan was time-specific rather than chronological, focusing on changes before and after the introduction of marketing system in early 1980's.

Geographical areas of Interest:

Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) , Chia (Yunnan)


Area Study, Environmental Anthropology, Tropical Ecology


"A white Elephant on the dry island: Poltical Ecology of Sandalwood in Timor," in Flows and Movement in East Asia, 299-308 CSEAS, Kyoto University.
"Bridging Knowledge and Commitment: The Case of Coffee Project in East Timor," in Between Knowledge and Commitment Post-Conflict Peace-Building and Reconstruction in Regional Contexts, 259-268. Edited by Masako ISHII, Jacqueline A. SIAPNO, JCAS Symposium Series 21.
"Political Ecology of Tropical Forests in Southeast Asia: Historical Perspectives",Abe, K (co-edited with Lye Tuck-Po & Wil de Jong) Kyoto University Press & Trans Pacific Press
"Population Movement in Southeast Asia: Changing Identities and Strategies for Survival", JCAS Symposium Series, The Japan Center for Area Studies, National Museum of Ethnology (Co-edited with Ishii Masako) (2000.10.11)
"Cari Rezeki, Numpang, Siap: The Reclamation Process of Peat Swamp Forest in Riau" Southeast Asia Studies, 34 (4): pp.622-632


"Collaged Landscape: History and Political Ecology of Forests in Yunnan," The Eighth International symposium of the Joint Research Project of State, Nation and Ethnic Relations at the Japan Center for Area Studies, National Museum of Ethnology, "Impacts on The Good Earth," Jan 23-25 (2004)
"From Mega-project to Illegal Logging: Forest Resources and Decentralization in Central Kalimantan. " 21st Century COE Program International Workshop in Jakarta, The Micrology of Indonesian Local Societies, | Everyday Life and Policing in the Wallacean World, March 23(2004).
"Introduction, FMekong Spirit, The Cliche or New Concepts?" presented at International Workshop "Mekong Spirit: The Cliche in New Concepts", March 8-9, 2003, Bangkok, Thailand
"Bridging Knowledge and Commitment: Documenting Projects for Peace-Building and Reconstruction Assistance", presented at JCAS International Symposium "Between Knowledge and Commitment: Post-Conflict Peace-building and Reconstruction in Regional Contexts ", January 17-19, 2003, Tokyo
"We Come to grow Coconuts, but not to stay: Temporary Migrations into the Peatlands of Sumatra " presented at JCAS International Symposium, "In, Out, In. Out: Population, Migration, Cand the Social Ecology of Tropical Forests" , December 5-7, 2002, Kyoto
"Utilization of Peat Swamp Forests in Indonesia: Case Study in Riau" presented at International symposium "Environmental Conservations and Land Use Management of Wetland Ecosystem in Southeast Asia," September 18-19,2002, Bali, Indonesia,
"Shadow Agriculture: Non-Field Agricultural Activities in the Red River Delta" presented at IIAS Workshop, "Vietnamese Peasant Activity: An Interaction between Culture and Nature ", Leiden, Holland, 28-30 August, 2002
"Keynote: Mekong River Development Viewed from Yunnan, China" presented at JCAS International Symposium "Mekong River Development: Viewed from Yunnan, China", Osaka, 17 July, 2002
"Citizenship in the Global Context", "We the People" in the Global Age: A Re-examination of Nationalism and Citizenship. (2001.11.22)
"Political Ecology of Tropical Forests in Southeast Asia: Historical Perspective", (2000.11.28)
Requiem to Mega-Project: Reclamation of Pest Swamp Forest in Kalimantan, International Symposium, "Environmental Inpact Assessment of Development Projects in Vietnam - Southeast Asian Experiences,"Hanoi, Vietnam
"Eco-history of Kalimantan Forest", The 15th Conference of the Intenational Association of Historians of Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia