Record of activities in 2015 at KURCPI

  • Research Seminar No.164, 14 December 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「The Island Edge of Empire: Islands and Geopolitics in East Asia in the late-19th Century」
     ROYLE, Stephen A.
    (Research Center for the Pacific Islands, Kagoshima University)

      East Asia was opened to western trade through designated ‘treaty ports’. These treaties were ‘unequal’, favouring the west. There were quarrels, notably the 1862 Namamugi Incident when a British man was killed by the party of Shimadsu Hisamitsu on the public road near Yokohama. This led to the 1863 Anglo-Satsuma War when British ships bombarded Kagoshima. As a plaque in Kagoshima’s Museum of the Meiji Restoration says, this war: ‘made clear the limitations of excluding foreigners and the need to open Japan to the rest of the world’. The 19 Kagoshima students were sent to Britain in 1865 and the Meiji Restoration took place in 1868.
      Opening up East Asia saw much ‘gunboat diplomacy’, not least when Russia threatened Afghanistan and British India. War seemed likely and Britain seized the strategic islands of Port Hamilton (Komundo) off Korea in April 1885. Britain considered leasing or buying the islands to legitimise possession as seizing Port Hamilton was a precedent for others, especially Russia, also to take territory in Korea, or Tsushima or other Japanese islands. However, Britain taking Port Hamilton stopped Russia having it, which was beneficial. China and Japan made public statements of protest, sometimes countered by private assurances of tacit support.
      Britain wanted to abandon Port Hamilton once the dispute with Russia over Afghanistan was solved, especially as the islands would need extensive fortifications to be defended. However, Britain feared Russia moving in. This problem was solved when China negotiated an agreement that Russia and China would respect Korean integrity, thus Russia would not occupy Port Hamilton. Britain left in February 1887, without ceremony.
      This story on the island edge of empire exemplifies general island themes of powerlessness, peripherality and strategic locations.

  • Research Seminar No.163, 19 October 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「The Parasite Hunter in Parasite Paradise of Tropical Islands」
     UYENO Daisuke
    (Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Kagoshima University)

      How many people can concretely imagine appearance and shape of any parasites? I think that many people do not have experiences observing carefully any parasites. On the contrary, persons who can correctly recognize the parasite would be extremely minority. Further, almost people would feel a negative impression when they heard a word, parasite. For example, it is danger, grotesque, and harmful. Parasites are present fairly common and have very deep relationship with human and any other living things. Surprisingly, there is a theory that all organisms rear at least four species of some kind of parasites on/in bodies. In fact, countless numbers of parasites are known in various hosts living in diversified environment in the world. They are utilizing many kind of animals and plants as their hosts, and their infection sites, lifestyle, and food are specialized depending on each species. There is no doubt that the majority of parasites especially in subtropical to tropical region are still undiscovered because of the lack of researchers to the abundance of the species number. I have tried to reveal marine parasite fauna and their ecology in tropical and subtropical islands in the Pacific Ocean. In my lecture, I will have a brief introduction of charming parasites which I found during my field work and also explain the importance and the fun of the research on marine parasites.

  • Research Seminar No.162, 28 September 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「Research on the Tanegashima Documents」
     YARA Kenichiro
    (Faculty of International Studies, Meio University)

      The Tanegashima Clan was allowed to have control of the island of Tanegashima by the Shimazu Clan during the Edo Period. It has been discovered that the Tanegashima Clan edited three Kahus, documents which recorded the history of Tanegashima. Of these three Kahus, Tanegashima Kahu is the most famous and often studied. But it is important for the research on Tanegashiman history to study not only Tanegashima Kahu, but also the other two Kahus and documents similar to Kahus edited by the vassals of the Tanegashimas. I would like to present differences in descriptions of the Kahus and consider the features of each.

  • Research Seminar No.161, 13 July 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「The Changing Image of Family in Indonesia; Some Thoughts on the Role of the Movie Industry and the Judgments of the Indonesian Constitutional Court」
     HIKITA Kyoko
    (The Society of Economics and Business Administration, Kagoshima Prefectural College)

      In recent years Asian countries are extending and enforcing the right of judicial review and the judiciary has come to play a very influential role in the political process and policy making. The same phenomenon can be seen in Indonesia. The Constitutional Court that was established by a constitutional amendment in 2002 has gone a long way in addressing the problem of constitutionality of laws and ordinances as well as electoral issues, thus putting an end to the political turmoil in that country.
      At the same time, however, the politicalization of an unelected judiciary that lacks democratic legitimacy has been called into question. On the other hand, this development has the potential of addressing gender issues that have been neglected in the democratic process. Indeed, the Constitutional Court, through its judgments, appears to promote a change of the family image in Indonesia. The attention of a media interested in Islam tends to focus mainly on terrorism and the oppression of women. I will try to shed some light on the movement in Indonesian society towards the creation of a new form of Islamic state.
      The movies are said to portray an image of society. In my research I seek to analyze not only the family image in the movies that has been particularly prominent in recent years but also the family image as reflected in the judgments of the Constitutional Court.

  • Research Seminar No.160, 15 June 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「Island Civilization? The Pre-and Proto-history of Amami and Okinawa Archipelagos」
     TAKAMIYA Hiroto
    (Research Center for the Pacific Islands, Kagoshima University)

      There is no prominent archaeological feature such as Nazca lines which symbolizes “Civilization” in Amami and Okinawa, located in the Ryukyu Archipelago of Japan. However, in the context of island prehistory, the region shows some unusual and interesting cultural phenomena. While only a handful islands in the world were settled by Homo sapiens during the late Pleistocene, Homo sapiens reached several islands in this region at about the same time. One of the reasons why they could not colonize islands during the Pleistocene is only limited amount of natural resources were available on islands. Indeed many islands were colonized by farmers during the Holocene. However, archaeological data demonstrate that hunter-gatherers lived there for several thousand years in Amami and Okinawa. This phenomenon is extremely unusual and probably not known on other islands in the world.
      In addition, the islands witnessed change in subsistence economy from hunting and gathering to agriculture. As stated above, since most islands were settled by farmers, there were no period of hunter-gatherers. On the other hand, on some islands, which were colonized by hunter-gatherers, people there remained as hunter-gatherers. Furthermore, the social organization evolved from simple hunter-gatherer bands to the state level organization, referred to historically as the Ryukyu Kingdom. Finally, it has been stated that island environment is extremely fragile, and that once human population successfully colonized island environment, environmental deterioration is the rule. Archaeological studies conducted recently demonstrate this rule is not applicable to Amami and Okinawa.
      Each one of these phenomena is extremely unusual in the context of island prehistory. It might be suggested that the pre-and proto-history of this region can be comparable to the ancient “Civilizations” in the world.

  • Research Seminar No.159, 18 May 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「Sustainable Food Security Based on Sago Starch Industry Development in Small Islands: A Case of Maluku Province, Indonesia」
     GIRSANG Wardis
    (Research Center for the Pacific Islands, Kagoshima University)

      The main problem of food security in Indonesia is high dependency on rice consumption whilst at the same time rice production is relatively uncertain due to climate change impacts, water shortage and expensive external input costs. To anticipate rice consumption demand, government expands paddy crop land, builds intensive irrigation infrastructure, subsidizes fertilizers, promotes to reduce rice consumption as well as to accelerate local food consumption diversification. In fact, it is of little consideration about the potential of local food, therefore this paper aimed to explore the potential of local food products, preference to local food, and the performance of small scale sago industries. Data was collected from households and sago producers through interview by using questionnaire instrument and field observation. Research showed that the potential of sago forest in Maluku was estimated around 63,900 hectares with economic value of dry sago starch around IDR 3,990 billion per year. This implies that the potential of sago starch can be made as the basis for food security in Maluku. In fact, existing sago production exploitation is less than 2% of its potential and sago consumption has adverse correlation with rice consumption and household income level. Even though small scale sago processing industries were feasible, created sago starch added value, absorbed rural laborers and achieved net profit up to IDR 346.5 million per year, however, sustainability of these industries was vulnerable because of higher price of sago trees, lower price of sago starch, low wage of labor, high cost of transportation and limited access to sustainable market and weak farmer institutional capacity. Therefore, an integrated approach is needed for sago development including to enlarge the size of market, develop products of local food industry clusters, intensify existing paddy land area, improve farmer group institution capacity, and infrastructure incentives to develop local food industry.

  • Research Seminar No.158, 20 April 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「Fruit Production in Kagoshima on the Frontline of Global Warming: Taking Advantage of the Unique Natural Environment in the 600km North-South Stretch」
     TOMINAGA Shigeto
    (Faculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima University)

      The distance between the prefectural border with Kumamoto Prefecture and Yoronjima Island is about 600km, and there are more than 200 islands in the southern part of Kagoshima Prefecture (which is around 500km long). Therefore, the climate, especially the average temperature, varies in Kagoshima Prefecture. The average temperature in the summer remains relatively stable, but in the autumn and winter (October to March) it varies considerably from place to place. In the islands of Kagoshima the average temperature during the autumn and winter months, from October to March, remains relatively warm.
      Various fruit trees, such as deciduous fruit trees (Japanese pear and grape) and tropical and subtropical fruit trees (mango and passionfruit), are cultivated in Kagoshima Prefecture because of the diverse weather conditions. Deciduous fruit trees, such as Japanese pear, grape and mume (Japanese apricot), are cultivated in the northern part and inland area of Kagoshima Prefecture (Isa, Aira and Sensatsu Region). Evergreen plants, such as citrus (e.g., Satsuma mandarin) and loquat, are cultivated in the coastal area (Izumi, Hioki, Nansatsu Region and Osumi Region). Ponkan, which needs higher temperature as compared to Satsuma mandarin, is cultivated in Nansatu and Kumage regions, and Tankan is cultivated in much warmer areas, such as the Kumage and Oshima regions. It is very difficult to cultivate deciduous fruit trees south of Ibusuki, Makurazaki and Sata because of the insufficient chilling. In addition to Ponkan and Tankan, Karari (tropical plum) and mango are often cultivated in the Kumage Region (Yakushima and Tanegashima islands) and the Oshima Region (e.g., Amami-Oshima Island).

  • Research Seminar No.157, 16 March 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「Island Studies (Nissology): My Research Philosophy and Memories Since 1968」
     NAGASHIMA Shunsuke
    (Research Center for the Pacific Islands, Kagoshima University)

      There is an old proverb that says: "He who runs after two hares will catch neither”. However, if we want to meet the real needs of islanders for sustainable island development, then we may be required to observe and assess their substantive reality from a variety of angles, and not only from an academic or a fragmented, analytical, point of view. There are many approaches to understanding and engaging in fruitful discussion of the relevant issues. Our Center for the Study of the Pacific Islands has supported many interdisciplinary research projects involving experts from diverse fields. Each researcher has also been utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to the project undertaken. One example is my approach through human life and environmental management using holistic thinking to examine the factors that affect island life and its resources. I believe that our method of researching small island social and natural environments is worth pursuing.

      My journey in the study of islands (nissology) has been guided by many excellent scholars and outstanding islanders. I would like to express my deepest thanks to all of them for the valuable academic resources and inspirations on island studies that I have been offered, and also for the opportunities to visit a very large number of islands around the world, including nearly all island nations and territories. We need more studies on islands, which, with the support of islanders, will promote a wide interdisciplinary understanding of the islands’ natural environments, cultures and needs as required for building a better future, with a focus on islanderempowerment. The Kagoshima area is one of the best locations for island studies, whether internal, external or international. I hope that our Research Center will continue to be at the forefront of interdisciplinary research into island issues. This is my final message to the academic community.

  • Research Seminar No.156, 9 February 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「Worth Nothing but Worth Everything - Small Islands and War, Small Islands and Peace」
     BALDACCHINO Godfrey
    (University of Malta)

      This seminar reviews the historical paradox of small islands as negligible and insignificant spoils of war, but seen to be significant and critical for geostrategic, symbolic and morale reasons. In recent decades, an added interest in small islands is whether they can help extend a country's exclusive economic one.

      This presentation departs from an overview of the dispute between China (PRC & ROC) and Japan on the Diaoyu / Senkaku island group.
      It next examines cases in history where regional powers have devastated small islands as part of a larger conflict (and not so much because they were interested in the islands themselves).
      Finally, it proposes lessons involving islands from the past that help to suggest 'solutions' to what appears to be a zero-sum game. (These lessons include Antarctica, Svalbard, Aland, St Martin/Sint Maarten and New Hebrides/Vanuatu).
      There will be opportunities to ask questions and exchange comments.

  • Research Seminar No.155, 26 January 2015
    16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building , 5th Floor

    「Early Human Settlements in the South Pacific in Light of their Relation to Natural Environments」
     MORIWAKI Hiroshi
    (The Faculty of Law, Economics and Humanities, Kagoshima University)

      This meeting is concerned with the study of early human settlements in the East South Pacific. Natural environments related to those settlements are considered as follows. First, the role of tephras is examined in New Britain Island, Bismark Islands, which were settled early, and New Zealand, which is the last landmass to be settled. Second, changes in coastal lowland and vegetation in the Cook Islands are commented upon. The Cook Islands, situated on the western rim of eastern Polynesia, are particularly important when it comes to examining the chronological gap between the early settlement of western Polynesia and that of eastern Polynesia, which constitutes a mystery in the study of early human settlements. On Rarotonga, which is the largest of the Cook Islands, the changes in the coastal lowlands and vegetation related to this gap are demonstrated.

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