Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura ’15, a politics and East Asian studies double-major, has been awarded a 10-month Fulbright research grant to Japan. In Japan, Scanlon-Kimura will study regional food systems as drivers of local economies, surveying farmers and producers in food supply chains, to make policy recommendations that help foster sustainable rural communities.
“Demographic decline, stagnant economic growth, and hyper-urbanization are the defining challenges of contemporary Japan,” Scanlon-Kimura says. “Using food production as a lens, I will examine the intersection of all three issues and the role public policy can play in mitigating them. Tackling these issues is important to the well-being of millions of people.”
Scanlon-Kimura says his heritage, as well as his desire to teach comparative politics at the university level, are the reasons he applied for the grant. “As a half-Japanese American, I have always seen myself as a bridge between the United States and Japan. I applied to leverage my deep personal connection to U.S.-Japan relations into my future career.”
Scanlon-Kimura says five out-of-class experiences he’s had while an Oberlin student sparked his interest in this particular research topic and helped prepare him for the work ahead. These include:
Scanlon-Kimura will begin his research in Japan in September following a summer internship with the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT).