Japan Anthropological Field School

Nagasaki University

The Nagasaki University School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences is excited to announce the launch of its new summer program! Spend three weeks in Nagasaki undertaking an internship in local communities and cultivating skills for anthropological fieldwork and ethnographic writing, and learning about the modern history of Japan. This program is open to undergraduate students at Nagasaki University’s partner institutions. Upon completion of the program students will receive a transcript from Nagasaki University for Japan Studies I, Cultural Anthropology and Ethnographic Method, and Internship in Local Communities.


Summer Program 2019 starts 1st of July. Information about 2020 program will be released in August.


Engaging with the Local Community


Low birthrates, aging, and depopulation threaten the survival and sustainability of rural life in contemporary Japan. Yukinoura is a coastal village located an hour-and-a-half drive from Nagasaki City. In the 1990s, residents began opening up their homes, paddy fields, schools, the sea, and the village as a whole to the outside world, to nature lovers and prospective settlers who are interested in slow-paced rural life, grounded in nature and tradition, and where human relationships are more face-to-face than those in the city. In recent decades, many have come to settle in Yukinoura, bringing into the village new ideas, networks, and creativity. Students will study what is drawing new settlers to this small community in rural Nagasaki, and explore new ways of bringing vitality and sustainability to village life.

Learning from Local History and Experience


Between 1612 and 1873, for more than two and a half centuries, Christianity was banned in Japan. In Nagasaki, Christianity went underground and survived persecutions and the ban. In the Sotome area of Nagasaki, we find one of the Catholic communities that have kept their faith throughout the persecution period. Located a forty-five-minute drive from Nagasaki City, Shitsu Village in Sotome is where Fr. Marc Marie de Rotz, a French missionary, worked in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, devoting his whole life, knowledge, skill, and wealth to the wellbeing of the underprivileged Catholics. Students will study both the material and the spiritual wealth and resources that Fr. de Rotz left with the community and their effects on the lives of individuals and the community as a whole in Shitsu.

Immersion in Holistic Rural Life: Organic Farming

Japanese food is celebrated all over the world for being healthy, fresh, and pleasing to the eye. However, people’s diet in Japan has changed drastically in the past decades, and today, many live on bento (packaged, cooked food) available at convenience stores and local supermarkets. Poverty and health are deeply connected. In such a context, people’s interest in organic farming and the Slow Food Movement has opened up new opportunities for the rural economy in both Yukinoura and Sotome. Students will study the production, distribution and consumption of goods in this new economy through participant observation and community engagement.