Division of Society and Culture on the Boso Peninsula

We seek to discover and promote the charm of Chiba Prefecture--an area that takes pride in its wealth of resources, nature, and traditions--while engaging in interdisciplinary research on the creation of new culture and tradition, thus contributing to revitalization of the region.

Members and Staff

Professor, Faculty of Law, Politics and Economics, Chiba University (European Political History, Comparative European Politics, Town Revitalization in Chiba)
Kayono SHIBA
Professor, Faculty of Letters, Chiba University (Medieval Japanese Literature)
Associate Professor, Center for International Research and Education, Chiba University (Folklore Study)
Associate Professor, Faculty of Letters, Chiba University (Ancient Japanese Literature)

Sakae Town Activation Project

Since 2006, graduates and undergraduates have been cooperating with local community organizations, such as the Shopping Street Promotion Association of Sakae, in a revitalization project for towns in central Chiba.

Students in Jiro MIZUSHIMA's seminars host "Sakae cram schools" for local children, participate in beautification activities, issue a community magazine, put on a range of vibrant events, and hold lively exhibitions.

The project has been showcased many times in a variety of media, including The Asahi Shinbun, Chiba Nippo, The Yomiuri Shinbun, and Chiba local cable television.

A seminar led by Professor Mizushima

See, Know, and Communicate Chiba - Creating Kyogen theater

Kyogen theater, a form of Japanese drama based upon Chiba's local legends and folklore, is being produced and performed thanks to Tadashi Ogasawara, a professional Kyogen performer in the Izumi-ryu style, Chiba University and the Foundation for the Promotion of Culture in Chiba Prefecture. The University, prefectural and municipal foundations, and the non-profit organization "Forever" set up and run the "See, Know, and Communicate Chiba - Creating Kyogen theater" management committee.

Creating Kyogen theater is a unique chance to not only bring to life to a performance on stage but to learn a great deal about both the Kyogen form of drama and about the Boso Peninsula. Those members of the public who participate in the workshops also appear in the performance.

A scene from a past Kyogen play

Panel exhibition on a past Kyogen production

Ethnography of the Boso Peninsula

Since 2007, ethnographic research has been carried out on the traditional foods of the Boso Peninsula. In a region with so many unique features, how have locals eaten throughout the ages?

For their research, students explore the area by themselves, speaking to and eating with locals as they learn about how people of the region live. Students undertake this research (or just eat it?) in order to be able to understand the finer elements of local food in a region as large as the Boso Peninsula--a region that is certainly cannot be reduced to only one characteristic.

Seaweed jelly, made from red algae. Locals call this dish Nagamata. Seaweed jelly is often eaten in Choshi.

Ocean sunfish sashimi from the town of Chikura, part of Minamiboso City. It is the one food that the locals really love. When the sunfish are unloaded from the boats, a note is slipped to the fishmongers that states, "We have ocean sunfish." The fishmongers then let their customers know, and the sunfish are sold immediately. It's the one food that the locals really love.