PROJECTS | Center for Southeast Asian Studies Kyoto University

Table of Contents


Global Collaborative Research (GCR)

GCR aims to create new area studies and support the area studies community by:

 1. Promoting transdisciplinary studies toward the integration
  of humanities and sciences
 2. Fostering innovation of area studies focusing on global issues
 3. Creating research platforms beyond academia
 4. Designing collaborative research bridging Japan and Southeast Asia
 5. Cultivating researchers in an international environment

GCR conducts the following six joint research/usage programs: (Only available in Japanese)

Maritime Asia Heritage Survey (MAHS) 

The Maritime Asia Heritage Survey (MAHS) aims to systematically identify, catalog, and digitize historical and cultural heritage in danger of being lost or scattered in the coastal areas of the Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, to permanently preserve heritage information, and to build an open-access digital archive. In addition to field survey records and digital photographs, the digital archive includes 3D models of archaeological sites and buildings, orthomaps, CAD drawings, deep-zoomed manuscripts, video recordings of oral history interviews, and other digital assets. The complete 3D point cloud of LiDAR data is available for free download at Open Heritage 3D.

In addition, “MAHS Channels” have been established on YouTube and Sketchfab in an attempt to visualize the data from multiple angles. The project’s website offers an illustrated glossary, a virtual library of open-access publications, an interactive 3D timeline, and a blog as ancillary resources for understanding the context of the study area. Finally, the MAHS actively disseminates the latest project news and research updates through social media outlets such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

The MAHS is based at the Digital Heritage Documentation Lab at CSEAS in Kyoto, Japan, and has field teams at each survey site. All field teams receive training in the technical operation of digital equipment and basic field survey methodology. Field survey data is uploaded to the cloud and sent to the Kyoto University lab. In Kyoto, these data are used to create 3D models and maps, integrate multimedia resources, and incorporate all records into an openaccess database. Over the past year, MAHS has generated 32,100 new data and associated digital legacies, creating a large digital archive of approximately 2TB.

The overarching goal of the MAHS is not only to document the heritage at risk in the region, but also to collect, preserve, and share digital resources that are freely available to anyone looking for new ways to explore endless questions, with a wide range of users in mind. This MAHS initiative, which extends to the next generation, is not only an innovative approach to digital humanities and heritage management, but also has the potential for Kyoto University to become a future leader in area informatics, contributing to the development of other fields and broader research areas.

Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP)

The Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP): Promotion of Sustainable Development Research within the framework of the Collaboration Hubs for International Research Program (CHIRP) 2015 is funded by the Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP) of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Initiated in 2015 and continuing until 2025, it aims to promote Japan-ASEAN collaboration on science and technology research and accelerate the application of its outcomes to social innovation in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to strengthen cooperative research and foster links between ASEAN nations and Japan, it has established joint laboratories focusing on three fields; energy and environment, bio-resources and biodiversity, and disaster prevention.
    JASTIP is accelerating the promotion of research based on Japanese-ASEAN cooperation, and encourages discussions toward building a collaborative system with ASEAN countries in the areas of science, technology, and research education to move beyond institutions and the confines of particular projects. It also aims to promote the implementation of research results that have a social impact.

Industry-Academia Collaboration Program
Conceptualizing the Future of Air Conditioning with Area Studies Departments in Asia and Africa

CSEAS has been collaborating with Daikin Industries in an industryacademia joint research program since April 2021. Based on a comprehensive partnership agreement signed by Kyoto University and Daikin Industries in 2013, the program aims to conceptualize the future of air conditioning by working together with researchers in Asia and Africa. In the past, engineering-oriented collaborative projects were conducted at other institutions for scenario building and the realization of innovation in the fields of air, environment, and energy. In response to the worldwide interest in air and health in the wake of COVID-19, a new collaboration was launched to engage a broader range of disciplines, including area studies, to contribute to well-being, education, and awareness.

In the future, the Asia-Africa region is expected to see a significant increase in the demand for air conditioners due to rising incomes and expanding markets. However, several challenges related to air conditioning in the region remain, such as reconciling rising demand for electricity with environmental conservation and building social systems that are inclusive of the poor. Based on Daikin Industries’ technological development capabilities and business experience in Asia and Africa, the program seeks to create new concepts through industry-academia collaboration with the participation of local researchers.

In 2022, the second year of the program, CSEAS established a cooperative framework with the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies and other departments within the university to discuss specific project proposals and conduct preliminary surveys. Daikin Industries is a major player in the global market for air conditioners and has experience developing various technologies beyond air conditioners. The program is expected to create an unprecedented industry-academia collaboration by leveraging the strengths of CSEAS faculty members’ deep understanding of Southeast Asia’s climate, cultures, histories, and political systems, as well as their practice of transdisciplinary research, including direct collaboration with local government agencies, civil society, and residents.

Visual Documentary Project

Southeast Asia is rich in its diversity of ethnic, religious and cultural composition. The region has maintained coexistence through its diversity while at the same time achieving economic progress and becoming a hub for the flow of people, goods, money and information. To respond to the changes taking place across the region, the Visual Documentary Project (VDP) was started in 2012 to provide a platform to deepen exchanges on Southeast Asia through documentary filmmaking. It aims to supplement academic research on Southeast Asia and create bridges between filmmakers and researchers working in the region. Each year VDP holds a call for documentaries from the region on different themes and promotes exchanges between directors, researchers and an interested public. So far the project has received over 1,200 submissions and each year’s selection are subtitled and archived for viewing and research.

Grant-in-Aid / Other Funding

Last Updated: 19 February, 2024

Principal Investigator Title Period (FY) Category
Satoko Kimura A Study on the Migratory Behavior of Finless Porpoises in the Coastal Waters of Japan and the Impact of Ships 2022-23 Transformative Research Areas A
Satoru Kobayashi The Comparative Anatomy for Political Transition in Southeast Asia: Exploring Interactions between Local Traditions and Globalism 2019-23 Scientific Research A
Shoichiro Hara Development of Evidence-based Quantitative Area Studies 2021-25
Yusuke Murakami Comparative Analysis of Changing Dynamics of Party Systems in Low-growing Latin America 2021-24
Kosuke Mizuno Land Ownership and Peatland Restoration in Indonesia 2019-23 Scientific Research B
Yoko Hayami Religious Practices and Well-being of the Elderly in Theravada Buddhist Regions 2020-23
Hiroyuki Yamamoto Analyzing the Representation of Southeast Asian Films through Collaboration of Area Studies and Film Studies 2020-23
Decha Tangseefa Sovereignty, Capitalization, and Uncertainty: Global Political Economy from the Vantage Points of Four SEA and GMS Borderlands 2020-23
Masayuki Yanagisawa Re-organizing Community in the Red River Delta, Vietnam: Diversification of Household Economy and Stabilization of Livelihoods 2021-25
Ryota Sakamoto Creative Community Research to Protect the Health of the Senior Citizens Living in Bhutan 2021-25
Toshihiko Kishi Examining Diverse Perceptions and Memories of the Cold War from the Perspective of Local Communities: Focusing on the Western Pacific Region 2021-24
Fumiharu Mieno Comparative Institutional Analysis on Southeast Asian Economy: Factor Allocation and Long-term Growth 2021-24
Wataru Yamazaki Development of a Highly Sensitive Simple Detection Method for SARS-CoV-2 to Achieve Highly Accurate Diagnosis and Elucidation of Environmental Dynamics 2021-23
Kazuo Ando International Collaborative Glocal Area Studies for Rural Revitalization in Myanmar in Partnership with Universities and Local Communities 2021-23
Motoko Kawano Comparative Study of the Concept of ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’: The Case of International Marine Order at Malacca Straits and Andaman Sea 2021-23
Chika Yamada Interdisciplinary Analysis of Drug Use and Its State Control in Indonesia 2022-26
Hideki Hiramatsu The Mekong River Basin in Environmental Literature: Rivers and Beliefs in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos 2022-26
Mikiko Ono Basic Research on the Overseas Vietnamese Viet Kieu Community in the Mainland of Southeast Asia: From Material Analysis of Vietnamese Buddhist Temples 2022-25
Yasuyuki Kono Economic-social-environmental Connections in Rural Southeast Asia: Investigating the Process of Economic Growth over a 40-year Period 2022-24
Osamu Kozan Collection of Scientific Data on Tropical Peatland Fires and Its Application to Fire Risk Assessment 2023-25
Noboru Ishikawa Social Formation in Borneo: A New Model of Estuarine, Riverine and Inter-riverine Society 2017-23 Scientific Research C
Junko Koizumi The Chakri Reform and China/Chinese Issues 2018-23
Michiko Fujisawa Preventive Study for Clinical Course of Dementia 2018-23
Tomohiro Machikita Temporary and Foreign Workers in Local Labor Markets 2019-23
Taizo Wada Empirical Research on Advance Care Planning in the Community 2019-23
Chika Obiya Following the Tracks of a White Russian Family in Eurasian Modern History: A Case Study of Effective Utilization of a Private Family Archive 2020-23
Atsuko Ohashi The Cultivation System in 19th Century Java as a System to Hook Local Societies to the Global Economy 2020-23
Mitsuhiro Nose Multifaceted Study between Health Condition and Agricultural Life in Elderly Dwellers 2020-23
Noboru Ishikawa The Islamization of Upriver Communities: Toward a Better Understanding of the Highland-Lowland Relationship in Maritime Southeast Asia 2021-24
Junko Koizumi The Asia Foundation and Overseas Chinese Studies in Asia during the Cold War Period 2021-23
Kimiya Kitani Study on the Initiatives of Ethnic Minorities in Mainland Southeast Asia for Preserving and Transmitting Their Linguistic and Cultural Identities by Scrutinizing both Published and Digital Materials 2021-23
Noriko Iizuka Collaborative Re-creation of the Field: Public Anthropology of Educational Practices 2021-23
Hideki Sawada The Study of the Micro-geomorphology on the Planktonic Invertebrate Larvae and Settled Juveniles 2021-23
Pavin Chachavalpongpun The Making of Modern Siamese-Burmese Boundaries: The Ethnographic Factor 2022-24
Yasuko Yamazaki Development of a Simple, Inexpensive, and Highly Sensitive On-site Diagnosis System for African Swine Fever 2022-24
Noa Nishimoto Cognitive-linguistic Study on Local Naming of Poisonous Plants: Poisonous Plants and Its Local Naming System from Cross-cultural and Linguistic Perspective 2023-25
Mario Lopez Japanese Intellectual Knowledge Formation in Multidisciplinary Research within Southeast Asian Area Studies 2023-25
Noa Nishimoto Documentation of the Endangered “Number Culture” from an Ethnomathematic Perspective 2018-23 Challenging Research
Yoshimi Nishi Highly Resilient Families: Information Sharing in Times of Disaster and Its Impact on Intra-family Relationships 2022-24
Hideki Hiramatsu Solving Environmental Issues in Southeast Asia through Literature 2022-24
Minako Yoshikawa Analysis of Factors Promoting Acceptance of Novel Mosquito Control Technologies by Residents in Areas with Mosquito-borne Infectious Diseases 2019-23 Early-Career Scientists
Natsuho Fujisawa The Role of Coffee Agroforestry in the De-agrarianization of Rural Society in Latin America 2019-23
Julie Ann Delos Reyes Financing ‘Carbon Lock-in’: The Role of Japanese Investment in Philippine Energy Transition 2020-23
Yalei Zhai Does Ethnic Linkage Act on the Integration of Migrants into the Host Society? The Case of Cross-border Myanmar Migrants in Rural Yunnan 2021-24
Sabine Choshen From ‘Creative Destruction’ to ‘Creative Development’ in the Popular Living Heritage Sites in Asia 2021-23
Tomomi Nakamura Research on the Formation of Russo-Chinese Trade and Information on the Qing via Europe in the First Half of the 18th Century 2022-26
Kisho Tsuchiya Reconsidering the Twentieth Century through Mindanwan People’s Life-Histories: An Investigation on the Formation of Grassroots Conservatives 2023-25
Atsushi Kobayashi Empirical Study of Establishment of Multilateral Settlement System and Agents in Nineteenth-Century Asia 2022-23 Fostering Joint International Research A
Masaaki Okamoto Indonesian Area Studies and Reconsideration of Good Governance Framework: Analyzing Big Data 2019-23 Fostering Joint International Research B
Osamu Kozan Development of Disaster and Hydro-meteorological Information Management System in Tropical Peatland, Indonesia 2019-23
Isamu Yamada Agarwood in Wallacea and Papua: Collaborative Research on Species Distribution, Composition, and Conservation of Genetic Resources 2020-25
Yusuke Murakami An Empirical Study on the Constructing Process of Environmental Governance: The Case of Drug Alternative Cultivation in South America 2021-24
Wataru Yamazaki Development of a Practical Highly Sensitive Diagnostic Method for African Swine Disease in Vietnam and Elucidation of Its Environmental Dynamics 2022-26
Sachiko Imamura The Idea of Governing and Violence: State and Society in Independent Indonesia 2023 Publication of Research Results
Natsuho Fujisawa Conditions of Coffee Agroforestry Establishment and Rural Livelihoods in Latin America 2020-24 JSPS Fellows
Miriam Jaehn Rohingya Refugees ‘Doing’ and ‘Re-making’ Family in South and Southeast Asia’s Borderlands 2022-24
Nurul Huda Binti Mohd. Razif The Familial and the Supernatural: Crafting Kinship through Sorcery in Contemporary Malaysia 2022-23
Kazuyo Futaesaku Identity Reconstruction in Local Society in Indonesia: Cultural Practices in the Online Age 2021-23
Natsumi Shida “Tradition” and Living Culture of Uzbek Herders Observed through Carpet/Rug Weaving 2022-24
Gen Shibayama The Dynamic Self-representation of Chinese Indonesian: A Study Focusing on the Transition of Social Integration Policy in Taiwan 2022-24
Eishi Senaha The Paradox of Democratization and Violent Policing in the Contemporary Philippines 2022-24
Mariko Ohashi Multi-sited Nomadic Lifestyle of the Indigenous People in Latin America 2022-24
Miki Kashiwa Anthropological Study of the Peranakan Indians Who Live among the “Three Major Ethnic Groups” in Malaysia 2022-23
Kanako Minaki Exploring Sustainable Local Livelihood in the Digital Era: A Case Study of Small-Scale Shrimp Farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam 2023-24

University Research Units

Data-oriented Area Studies Unit (DASU)

Our unit aims to develop a “data science-based comprehensive area studies,” which attempts to reconstruct our understanding of contemporary social issues by integrating area studies and informatics. While area studies aim to understand a region as a whole from a pan-disciplinary standpoint, informatics has come to demonstrate its pan-disciplinary usefulness in the midst of recent developments in data science. Through the joint research and dialogue, we synthesize approaches from the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences to enhance policy effectiveness, risk evaluation, and simulation studies for the development of political, economic, and social systems in Japan, Asia, and the Pacific Region.

Tropical Research & Education Unit (KU-TREE)

The Unit was established in December 2016 with researchers from 12 (currently 10) Kyoto University departments to promote collaborative environmental research and build cooperative frameworks related to climate change countermeasures and the UN SDGs.

The goal of the Unit is to establish integrated, transboundary, and practical research that will help to promote the effective use and conservation of tropical forests for the sustainable development of society and to clarify the role that they play in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. The Unit collaborates with international research institutions and universities, such as the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), to raise the international profile of Kyoto University’sbroad range of research related to tropical forests, as well as to promote research and education that contributes to the Paris Agreement of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), agreed to in 2015 and adopted as an international goal by 2030.

Under the Paris Agreement, various tropical forest conservation, restoration, and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures are expected to be implemented after 2020. Responding to changing times, this unit focuses on developing professionals who can immediately contribute to the conservation and restoration of local tropical forests through practical field experience in these activities. (Only available in Japanese)

Completed Projects

Japan-ASEAN Platform for Transdisciplinary Studies: FY2016-2021

The project was carried out between 2016 and 2021 to address urgent political, economic, social, and environmental issues of the 21st century by generating a transdisciplinary community and program of research across Japan, ASEAN countries, and the rest of the world. It sought to bring together individuals from a wide range of disciplines and fields to conduct research on a diverse spectrum of environmental and social topics.

International Program of Collaborative Research (IPCR): FY2010-2021

Having been qualified as one of the Joint Use/ Research Centers by the MEXT from 2010 to 2021, the IPCR Center promoted Southeast Asian studies with an emphasis on the integration between the humanities and natural sciences and collaboration with local peoples and societies by providing support for various collaborative research endeavors and sharing facilities and equipment such as the CSEAS library and its Map Room.

Center for Information Resources of Area Studies (CIRAS): FY2010-2021

Between 2010 and 2021, the Center for Information Resources of Area Studies (CIRAS) served two primary functions as a Joint Use/Research Center: “Integration and Sharing of Information Resources for Area Studies” and “Promotion of Cross-regional Area Studies.” CIRAS promoted comparative studies among more than one area of the world in order to analyze research topics relating to politics, economy, society, and the different environments of the contemporary world, while aiming to apply state-of-art information technology to integrate and analyze data produced in area studies research.

Southeast Asian Studies for Sustainable Humanosphere: FY2011-2017

Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies (SEASIA) Governing Board Members (11 October, 2013)

Between 2011-17, the large-scale research program “Promoting the Study of Sustainable Humanoshpere in Southeast Asia” was carried out. The main aims of the program were to provide support for the construction of an Southeast Asian academic community and this culminated in the creation of the consortium for Southeast Asian Studies in Asia (SEASIA).
    Over 5 years this program also promoted research on plural co-existence focusing on social capital, the strengthening of social infrastructures, and supranational regional restructuring as well as innovative research on tropical biomass society taking the global capitalization of tropical biomass as our key concept and examining glocal linkages between tropical biomass society and global interests.
    This program, along with the Asian Core Program made possible various efforts to further strengthen networks in and beyond the region. This included a post-doctoral program which employed 7 PD fellows who were active in helping develop ties between disciplines within Southeast Asian Studies. This program eventually led to the publication of 10 proceedings, 219 international workshops/academic and outreach activities, and the Visual Documentary Project (VDP).

This is an overview of the New Large-Scale Research Program “Promoting the Study of Sustainable Humanoshpere in Southeast Asia” that has been initiated as of 2011. In this program, we aim to strengthen the sustainable humanosphere as a leading principle supporting the construction of an East Asian academic community. In order to overcome the political and economical imbalances inherent in globalization and worldwide environmental problems, we will develop research that actively makes use of “local knowledge” that has accumulated in response to Southeast Asia’s specific characteristics.

Strategic Young Researcher Overseas Visit Program for Accelerating Brain Circulation: FY2014-2016

The Strategic Young Researcher Overseas Visit Program for Accelerating Brain Circulation (hereafter the Brain Circulation Program) was a competitive program for research funding which JSPS established based on the concept of “Funding Program for World-leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology Research.” It supported dispatching overseas young researchers who were engaged in international collaborative research and promoted Japan’s science initiatives through accelerating international brain circulation. The program focused on expanding the opportunities for young researchers to be involved in world-class research and tackle various crucial issues faced by the world, as well as strengthen research networks with overseas research institutions, other universities and individuals.

Asian Core Program: FY2009-2013

“Asian Connections: Southeast Asian Connection for the 21st Century” has been running under the JSPS Asian Core Program (FY2009-13). Over the centuries, Southeast Asia as a region, has adopted Hindu, Chinese, Islamic and Euro-American civilizations into its history, which has led to the formation of a pluralistic world where multiple ethnic groups and cultures co-exist. Under the present world order of globalization and neo-liberal economy, Southeast Asia has, on the whole, overcome the Cold War and internal conflicts, demonstrating economic and social developments. At the same time, many problems and issues have emerged which transcend national boundaries. In order to cope with these, there has been a move toward regional cooperation and flexible response towards co-existence. Where state-level institutional arrangements may not be fully functional, there is a multi-layered and dynamic social foundation that adapts to these changes. In this program, we look at the grounded responses that can be found in the region towards various problems and issues such as in the post-economic crisis reconstruction, super-regional governance of resources and environment, emergence of local powers, social and cultural reconstruction in the face of mobility and flow. By focusing on the concrete level, we hope to provide an alternative view of the region: rather than one of peripheral region that becomes incorporated in the globalization of the central and powerful regions, we look at Southeast Asia’s own model of development in re-constituting the region and beyond.

G-COE Program: In search of Sustainable Humanosphere in Asia and Africa: FY2007-2011

Between 2007-11, CSEAS received MEXT funding to initiate a five year project for a Global COE program titled “In search of Sustainable Humanosphere in Asia and Africa” (740 million yen over 5 years). This program aimed at an integrated multidisciplinary approach toward the humanosphere. This was led by Professor Sugihara Kaoru and was a collaboration between eight different institutions within Kyoto University: ASAFAS, the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanopshere (RISH), the Center for Integrated Area Studies (CIAS, now merged with CSEAS), the Institute of Sustainability Science (ISS), the Graduate School of Agriculture, the Institute for Research in Humanities, and the Graduate School of Engineering. The core institutions worked together to ask research questions in relation to Southeast Asia and other tropical regions.
    At the heart of this program was a shift in research emphasis from Southeast Asian Studies for understanding Southeast Asia as a region and object of study to tackling questions emerging from the region that spoke toward global issues. This project eventually led to the publication of six edited volumes, 68 international symposia 273 domestic workshops and 127 working papers.