Food Studies Program at Osaka Shoin

Monday April 30, 2018

Shingo Hamada (GESA 2011) started working for the Osaka Shoin Women’s University, Osaka, Japan, to run an inaugural food studies programme in 2015. Over the past three years he has been establishing the pedagogical foundation for building the inter and trans-disciplinary academic programme for learning and engaging with global industrial food systems and environmental issues. The Food Studies Program at Osaka Shoin runs with an on-campus garden, kitchen, and fieldwork station.

Last year, a group of Shingo’s students successfully organised and held a farm-to-table food educational event using an on-campus garden, in collaboration with a local urban farmer. He and his students also collaborated with local coastal residents to discuss rural revitalisation with fermented mackerel sushi, which is their heritage food and the original form of sushi in Japanese history. It is also listed on the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. (The fermented mackerel sushi can be found here). Shingo and his colleague also plan to host an international Japanese food studies summer school this summer, which is a study abroad program focusing on food and sustainability co-designed with GustoLab International. This program will take international students to Satoyama tea farm and soy sauce brewery as well as to regional wholesale and farmer’s markets where they can learn Japanese food and cultural diversities in the classroom as well as basic Japanese cooking skills in the on-campus kitchen.

As a scholar, he continues working on the issue of seafood cultures and politics. With the support from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), he started conducting research on taste, place, and environment. His research specifically explores how environmental changes influence people’s recognition of the taste of place, with special attention to merroir (an oceanic version of terroir). Most of his academic publications are in Japanese since he has come back to Japan, but he is finishing a manuscript for “Seafood: Oceans to the Plate,” co-authored with Richard Wilk and to be published by Rutledge in the end of this year.

Finally, ending on a very happy personal note, Shingo and his partner Natsuyo welcomed Hatsutaro, their first son to their family. He and his family hope GESA folks come to their home when they have a chance to visit Nara, Japan.

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