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Academic Articles Based on Nishiogiology 

James Farrer (2023) Urban foodways and social sustainability: neighborhood restaurants as social infrastructure, Food, Culture & Society, DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2023.2262191


Based on an ethnographic study of restaurants in a single Tokyo neighborhood, this research focuses on how commercial restaurant scenes in a busy area of Tokyo serve as social infrastructure, supporting community life. 

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James Farrer. 2022. “Sustainable Neighborhood Gastronomy: Tokyo Urban Foodways Facing Crises,” Asia Pacific Viewpoint.


Independent restaurants in Tokyo contribute to community life by supporting grassroots creative industries, small business opportunities, meaningful artisanal work, convivial social spaces, local cultural heritage, and a human-scale built environment. 

Outsider drinkers with Dave.HEIC

Commonplace and out-of-place diversities in London and Tokyo: migrant-run eateries as intercultural third places

Wessendorf, Susanne., Farrer, James. Commonplace and out-of-place diversities in London and Tokyo: migrant-run eateries as intercultural third places. Comparative Migration Studies 9, 28 (2021).

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The space-time compression of Tokyo street drinking

James Farrer (2021) The space-time compression of Tokyo street drinking, Food, Culture & Society, DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2020.1859902

Recently there has been a widespread revival of Tokyo's vintage yokochō. As spaces for drinking and eating, the forced intimacy in these cramped interstitial spaces fosters sociability and association among strangers. 


A Tokyo Restaurant Community Faces COVID-19

James Farrer. 2020. “A Tokyo Restaurant Community Faces COVID-19” Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa 2020 (2); 245-54. 

Independent restaurants are threatened both by COVID-19 and the social distancing measures necessary to contain the pandemic. In one Tokyo community, restaurant patrons have organized to support local eateries.

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James Farrer. 2020. “How are Tokyo’s Independent Restauranteurs Surviving the Pandemic?Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 2020 (18) 18:13. 

With fewer resources than corporate chains, small independent restaurants are particularly vulnerable to an extended economic downturn. This paper looks at how independent restaurant owners in Tokyo have coped with the pandemic both individually and as members of larger communities. 


Grimy Heritage: Organic Bar Streets in Shanghai and Tokyo

James Farrer. 2019. “Grimy Heritage: Organic Bar Streets in Shanghai and Tokyo”  Built Heritage Vol. 3, Issue 3, pp. pp. 73-85.

A comparative study of Shanghai and Tokyo emphasizing the importance of preserving vernacular drinking streets and the challenges of doing so. 


The Decline of the Neighborhood Chinese Restaurant in Urban Japan


Global Japanese Cuisine Research Webpage

"Global Japanese Cuisine" is Nishiogiology's sister project. It researches Japanese food around the world based on fieldwork and interviews on five continents. The project webpage includes photos from fieldwork as well as links to the numerous publications from the project. 

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