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As Featured on NHK World

ABOUT Nishiogiology :
Livelihoods, Liveliness, Livability 

Nishiogiology is a web-based research project on commercial foodways in the Tokyo neighborhood of Nishi-Ogikubo. Three keywords in this project are livelihoods, livability, and liveliness. They represent a set of broad questions about what makes a neighborhood a “good place” to work, to live, and to play in times of economic stagnation, aging, and many other challenges to life in Tokyo. As an approach to these open-ended questions, we are documenting the foodways of this Tokyo neighborhood, which is known for its owner-operated shops and a built environment on a human scale. The ongoing research documents restaurateurs, culinary artisans, shop owners, community activists, and other residents, and their challenges in providing for themselves, while also contributing to a lively and livable urban community through food. 


*This research is supported by the Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Robert J. Myers Fund of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. The contents are the sole responsibility of the researchers and do not represent the ideas of the supporting agencies. The project leader is James Farrer, an urban sociologist teaching at Sophia University. 

Nishiogiology publishes our ethnographic stories. Academic articles can be downloaded here.

In March 2023 the Nishiogiology project was been recognized by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs as an "exemplar of utilizing knowledge of Japanese food culture" (食文化「知の活用」振興事例).

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Core Members

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