Hirofumi UEDA, Associate Professor, Center for Advanced Tourism Studies
Graduated from the Course of Forest Environment Science, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo. Graduated from the Department of Forest Science, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo. Obtained a Doctoral degree in Political Science (Dr.rer.pol.) from the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology, School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Kassel, Germany. He has held his current position since 2016, after working as a lecturer in the School of Design at Sapporo City University. He is also an associate professor in the Graduate School of International Media, Communication and Tourism Studies.
“It’s not just about increasing tourists,” says Associate Professor Hirofumi Ueda of the Center for Advanced Tourism Studies (CATS). According to Associate Professor Ueda, the Center, which specializes in studying “community-based tourism,” focuses its research on urban tourism development for local residents and supports tourism development in municipalities within and beyond Hokkaido. It also uses its expertise to assist in establishing systems to prevent local cultures and living environments from being destroyed by the tourism industries in Jordan, Ethiopia and other countries.
Associate Professor Ueda himself is helping to develop a tourism master plan for Biei Town. Tourists who visit the town to see the agricultural scenery may interfere with farming, and he sees this as an important problem to be solved. In education, an assignment to create a tourism master plan for the Hokkaido University campus, which is also a tourist spot, is given in the Seminar on Landscape Planning, in order to make students think of solutions that benefit both tourists and the university in terms of spaces and systems. Associate Professor Ueda also teaches the concept of forest aesthetics to students. Under this concept, when the economy circulates smoothly and everything is in harmony and is favorable for humans and the ecosystem, a truly beautiful forest can be created. The concept was introduced from Germany in the Meiji era and spread to the University of Tokyo and Hokkaido University, but it has now been almost entirely discarded. Therefore, the Center also focuses on the sustainability of learning. Associate Professor Ueda is currently researching woodland burial. This practice started around 2000 in Germany and Japan. In Germany, it refers to human burial in forests; in Japan, it refers to the planting of trees instead of tombstones. Associate Professor Ueda believes that, if graveyards in Japan can incorporate forests, a new form of visits to graveyards that involves the gathering of descendants in forests will be created. He expressed his hope to revitalize the local community through wide-ranging tourism exchanges and to contribute to the local and global communities.
The Center for Advanced Tourism Studies（CATS）
The Center provides information and conducts university-community relations activities in an integrated manner, in addition to conducting surveys, research and education that are related to tourism development. For the ASSC assessment in the “Education and Research” field, the Center presented “Tourism Development Studies” and the “World Heritage Management Seminar” in its curriculum and sustainability research projects entitled “A study on architectural heritage management in developing regions with respect to tourism development” and “A study on the individuation process of a historical urban area” as its education and research activities.