How fishermen and scientists joined forces to bring back Kyoto’s snow crabs / Oceana, December 2017.
Perennial Grain Research/I talk with the Land Institute’s research director Timothy Crews about the future of farming. Permaculture Magazine, Spring 2016.
In Japan, a David vs Goliath Battle to Preserve Bluefin Tuna/Family fishermen fight to stop overfishing at spawning grounds. Yale Environment 360, January 2016. Republished at Greenbiz.com. An abridged version of this article was published in the Japanese magazine Courrier in March 2016.
Q is for Quail/Kyoto Journal #83: FOOD! Summer 2015.
Perennial Rice: In search of a greener, hardier staple crop/Yale Environment 360, March 2015.
Fighting World Hunger With Bugs/An interview with Harman Singh Johar. FutureFood 2050, February 2015.
In the Pink: Speeding Up Crop Growth/An interview with Shigeharu Shimamura, who owns the world’s largest all-LED indoor farm. FutureFood 2050, October 2014.
Visit Japan’s Ancient Past in Urban Kyushu/Exploring the sites of Japan’s first rice paddies. Japan Times, March 2014.
Writer-farmer seeks hope in country life’s future/Souichi Yamashita talks about farm policy, his long life in northern Kyushu, and the clash between a growth-based economy and sustainable farms. Japan Times, November 2013.
Countryside campaigner for us all/A visit with writer and farmer Yutaka Une, who’s working to get more recognition for biodiversity conservation into Japan’s agricultural policy and practices. Japan Times, October 2013.
In Japan, Captive Breeding May Help Save the Wild Eel/As eel populations plummet worldwide, Japanese scientists are racing to solve a major challenge for aquaculture – how to replicate the live cycle of eels in captivity and commercially produce a fish that is a prized delicacy on Asian dinner tables. Yale Environment 360, October 2013. A slightly expanded version is available from Japan Focus, published November 2013.
Seed bank sprouts support a-plenty/The Japan Times, September 2013.
After Fukushima: Japan’s new model for farms/Japan’s government hopes to promote farm-size expansion and corporate farm ownership in wake of tsunami’s destruction. Christian Science Monitor, March 2013.
Fukushima radiation threatens to wreak woodland havoc/A mushroom farmer, his forests, and the cascading effects radioactive fallout is having on ecosystems and the economy. Japan Times, February 2013. (Travel for this story was paid for by a grant from the Fund for Environmental Journalism.)
Will Fish-Loving Japan Embrace Sustainable Seafood? Yale Environment 360, July 2012.
Farmers Try to Fence Out Nasty Nature/Fences are going up all along the forest edge in Nagano Prefecutre. The story of what happened when a bear got stuck on the wrong side. Japan Times, July 2012.
Can big business save Japan’s fishing industry? Christian Science Monitor, November 2011.
Hachinohe’s markets serve up feasts in the streets/Travel article for the Japan Times, October 2011.
Made in Japan/Five companies producing some darn good cheese in Nagano, Japan. Featuring the goats of the Hakuba ski slopes, the intriguing creation known as “camembleu,” and what may very well be the only authentic alpage cheese in Japan. Culture, Summer 2011.
Has rice farming passed its expiry date in Japan?/I visited three very different rice farms in the Nagano area for this story, which focusses on the potential impacts of a proposed free trade deal. With two side boxes: Japan as a rice culture? Not so quick, says anthropologist, and Traditional rice paddies are great ecosystems. Sunday special for the Japan Times, March 2011.
Special Section: The Worlds of Satoyama/This 20-page collection of essays, interviews, articles, photographs, and paintings by various writers and artists is part of Kyoto Journal’s special issue on biodiversity. I co-edited the section and contributed the following articles: Nature Inhabited (short introduction), essay on fireflies, Satoumi: Wise Use of Coastal Zones (interview with writer Jack Greer), Paddy Ecosystems (interview with biologist Shori Yamamoto), Aflame and Alive: Managed Grasslands in Japan (interview with farmer Mitsuo Ueki), and the conclusion (with Jane Singer).
Pearl Farmers Look to Satoumi to Save Their Way of Life/Overproduction, pollution, and wetland reclamation destroyed the picturesque birthplace of the cultured pearl industry. Now farmers and local governments are trying to reverse the damage. Japan Times, May 2010. And here’s an article on the same community, Return to Sato-umi.pdf, published the May edition of the Japan Journal.
The Rice Field is a Stage.pdf /A visit to a rice-farming idyll in Beppu, Oita Prefecture. Japan Journal, March 2010.
Life in the Grasslands.pdf/The fate of Japan’s biodiversity-rich semi-natural grasslands is inextricably linked with the fate of its farmers. Japan Journal, February 2010.
Japan’s creeping natural disaster/Age-old farming methods helped to create and support this country’s wealth of plant and animal species. But now, as rural areas empty of people, that rich biodiversity is put at risk. Cover story for the Time Out section of the Japan Times, August 2009.
Japan embraces the big cheese/As the dairy product’s popularity rises, local farmers try their hand at artisanal varieties. With recommendations from a Japanese cheese expert. The Japan Times, May 2009.
Finding the good life in Japan/Eating locally takes on a new meaning when living abroad. Mother Earth News, Oct/Nov 2008.