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

Staff Members

Department of Modern Society and Civilization・Professor
Research Specialization
  • Ecological anthropology, fisher studies; Madagascar, Japan
Individual Research Projects
  • Theoretical study of concepts concerning knowledge, information, and communication
Personal website

Academic Qualifications:

  • B.A. Hokkaido Univ. 1992
  • M.A. Kyoto Univ. 1994
  • Ph.D. Kyoto Univ. 2000

Research Topics:

  1. Ethnography of coastal fishermen in Japan and southwestern Madagascar
  2. Ecological Anthropology
  3. Representation of Others in Japanese mass media

Recent Research Interests:

Fishing activities, originated at the dawn of human beings, are in some places highly industrialized today and comprise an important sector in the modern economy. This has caused a great variety of fishing methods from place to place throughout the world, but every fishing method still share an essential characteristic: dependence on natural environment and on other economic sectors.

For this reason, many fishing societies are always suffering from potential resource depletion and economic uncertainty. However, these two problems seem to be more severe today, when communication among societies on earth is accelerating. Introduction of many commodities, such as outboard engines and nylon nets, has stimulated technological innovation, making the fishing production higher than ever. Population growth, caused by medical and nutritional improvement, also has the same effect, accelerating resource depletion. Moreover, improvement of sea-product circulation has inevitably increased the economic risk influenced by the global market climate.

Solution of these problems has to be based both on global movement and on local history and environment. However, information on the latter has often been omitted or simply has lacked in many cases, making the situation worse. My research aims to accumulate information on environmental and socio-economic changes in local cases, as well as fishermen’s cognition of and reaction to them. Intensive case studies, I believe, will provide some general lessons for fishermen’s well-being and development of fishery.

Geographical areas of Interest:

Madagascar, Indian Ocean, Japan

Ethnic groups:

Vezo, Hokkaido Fishermen, Okinawan Fishermen


Ecological anthropology


The Past and Present of Coral Reef Fishing Economy in Madagascar: Implications for the Self-Determination of Resource Use. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 22: 63–64.
The Past and Present of Coral Reef Fishing Economy in Madagascar: Implications for the Self-Determination of Resource Use. In N. Kishigami and J. Savelle (eds.) Indigenous Use and Management of Maritime Resources (Senri Ethnological Studies 67), pp. 237–258. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.
Message Board from Minpaku Staff. Co-Operation Newsletter for the Minpaku Seminar on Museology, 2004: 13–14.
Packaging Other Cultures: Japanese TV Production and Ethnography. Minpaku Anthropology Newsletter 17: 3–5.
Competition and Communal Regulations in the Kombu Kelp (Laminaria angustata) Harvest. Human Ecology 26 (3): 405–423.
Decision-Making on Harvesting Kombu Kelp (Laminaria angustata) in Hidaka District, Hokkaido, Japan. Anthropological Science 104 (1): 65–82.


“The Past and Present of the Peasant-Fishermen’s Resource Use in Malagasy Coral Reefs: Implications for the Management.” Monbukagakusho International Symposium 2002: New Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Indigenous Use and Management of Migratory Marine Resources, 4 December, Senri, Japan.
“Small-Scale Fishery in the Age of Global Market.” Eighth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies, 29 October, Osaka, Japan.
“Regulations for Kombu Kelp Collecting in Hokkaido, Japan.” Fourth Annual Common Property Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property, 16 June, Manilla, Philippines.