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For my Ph.D. dissertation research, I explore the agricultural import and export industries between Japan and the Philippines in the context of intensifying regional free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Partnership (TPP) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Integration 2015. I am particularly interested in efforts to realize alternative economic partnerships against the backdrop of monocrop industrial agribusiness. My fieldwork involves following the commodity chain of highland bananas from its harvesting, processing and transport sites in the Philippine Visayas and Mindanao regions, to its distribution, marketing and consumption sites in metropolitan and suburban Japan.
I also maintain a longstanding personal and academic interest in craftsmanship, especially as it relates to themes such as mechanization, aesthetic theory, and folkcraft idealism. I pursued this research study through fieldwork in Koishiwara and Onta, two folkcraft villages in Southwestern Japan, on a Fulbright scholarship from 2011-2012. In my free time, I enjoy hand-throwing ceramics.