Japan team

Japan Team

Dr Takahiro Ozaki


Takahiro Ozaki, PhD is a professor of faculty of law, economics and humanities in Kagoshima University, Japan. He is a cultural anthropologist and has been carrying out research about Mongolian pastoralists’ strategies in pastoralism, focusing on their diachronic change from 1990s to now, which is mainly caused by the penetration of the market economy in pastoral societies. In addition to Outer and Inner Mongolia, he has field research experiences in Chinese northwestern mountainous areas and Japanese remote islands, where pastoralism is a major industry. Recent publications are “Pastoral strategies in modern Mongolia: comparative ethnography of regime transformation and natural disaster” (Fukyosha, 2019: in Japanese, http://www.fukyo.co.jp/book/b450071.html) and “Policy Related Environmental Disaster and the Socio-Cultural Impacts in Mongolia” (Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1080/24761028.2021.2015837).

Dr Buho Hoshino

Senior Researcher

Dr. Buho Hoshino, Professor, Dean of Graduate School of Dairy Sciences, Head of Laboratory of Environmental Remote Sensing, Department of Environmental Science, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Rakuno Gakuen University, Japan). Associate of Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), USA and Full member of Sigma Xi.  

Prof. Hoshino is an expert in remote sensing. He is primarily the leader of projects such as satellite tracking of wildlife and livestock, habitat analysis, and Asian dust storm satellite monitoring. Study area including Center Asia, North Asia, and African Countries. He has succeeded in satellite tracking of Tibetan antelope for the first time in the world. Currently Prof. Hoshino studies on risk assessment of the regional impact of the China “One-Belt-One-Road” (OBOR) project.

Professor Yuki Morinaga

Senior Researcher

Professor Yuki Morinaga of Meiji University has been investigating and recording the traditional method of Airag production for 8 years. She specializes in Geography, Environmental and Ecological Symbiosis, Natural Disaster and has written extensively on rural Mongolian ecology and tradition food. Professor Morinaga’s efforts to scientifically analyze and record Mongolia’s airag culture provide many tips on the rich diversity of nutrition and microbes, environmentally friendly production methods, animal welfare, and more. 

To find out more: 



Moe Terao

Early Career Researcher

Moe Terao is a Specially Appointed Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Humanities of Kagoshima University. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in social anthropology at Tokyo Metropolitan University.

She has been studying rural society in western Mongolia, especially on ritual and social interactions held in wedding rituals, visiting-receiving customs in Mongolia, and conversations in everyday lives.   

Currently, she is interested in how the intimacy of the house is fluctuate because of the visit of others, and how traditional social interactions have changed following the increased exclusivity of the households due to COVID-19 and other social changes in contemporary rural Mongolia. Also, she is interested in the private business of transportation in rural Mongolia and considering how COVID-19 has affected people participating in these businesses, especially in the areas near Customs.  

Takahiro Tomita

Early Career Researcher

Takahiro Tomita is an associate professor at Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. He received PhD in cultural anthropology from the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences at the Ritsumeikan University. His research interests center on how the relationship between people and environment in Mongolia has transformed in the context of the socio-economic changes in the 20th and 21st century. Currently, he is studying the human–environmental relations in modern Mongolia by focusing on the following three points: (1) demographic dynamics, which includes population increase and population concentration in urban areas, (2) production, consumption, and distribution of livestock products, and (3) the institutions and practices of natural resource use and management. He has published many articles in Japanese and English on pastoral land use and livestock production in the socialist and the post-socialist context. His recent articles include “Dzud and the industrialization of pastoralism in socialist Mongolia,” Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies, 2021. He is currently leading the project “A Study on the Industrialization of Pastoralism and Natural Disaster in Socialist Mongolia” (2022-2024, JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research C). He is also involved in the transdisciplinary project “Nomadic Pastoralism Sciences as Revealed by Agent-based Modeling on Multiple Spatio-Temporal scales” (2020-2024, JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research A).

Yuko Matsumiya

Early Career Researcher

Yuko Matsumiya is a Senior Lecturer in Faculty of Liberal Arts, Saitama University. She obtained Ph.D. in Geography at Meiji University, 2020. Her doctoral dissertation is “Generation and foundation of Ger Area in Ulaanbaatar: An epistemological turn from problematized area to lived space”.

She has been studying migration from rural areas to UB and after moving in UB. Her interests are how people make their lives――above all, how have they earned their livelihood and made their habitation. From such a viewpoint, she has clarified how the Ger area has been constructed through an interview survey.   

Through research so far, she is now interested in the relationship between Ulaanbaatar and rural areas, especially soum center. People living in soum center have various life strategies. Few people have a steady income from a regular job, and are considered to have various means of livelihood. For example, have livestock, some business, driving a truck, carry luggage, taken some allowances. Her research question is that how the Corona pandemic has changed or not changed soum resident’s life strategies.  


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