Junko conducts research on human-environmental interaction, human rights, and the long-term sustainability of human cultures and societies in the past and present. The geographic focus of her research is on Japan and East Asia. Using the theoretical framework of historical ecology, her research focuses on the importance of food and subsistence diversity, social networks and local autonomy for understanding the resilience of socioeconomic systems. Her archaeological projects in Japan, including the Berkeley Sannnai Maruyama Project and the Goshizawa Matsumori Project, examine the mechanisms of long-term culture change among prehistoric Jomonhunter-gatherers (ca. 14,000-500 BC). From 2014 to 2017, Junko was the leaderof the Small-scale Economies Project, a three-year collaborative project that involved in transdisciplinary studies of archaeological sites as well as modern-day rural communities and small-scale food production units, with an emphasis on the importance of traditional ecological knowledge reflected in material culture. As an environmental anthropologist working on Japan, she has also been working on the study of the impacts of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the Fukushima Nuclear Accident. In collaboration with local scholars and stakeholders, Junko uses insights obtained from these projects to develop outreach and implementation programs to promote place-based, small-scale and diversified food production.
Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley 232 Kroeber Hall, Berkeley CA 94720-3710 USA