Dr. Saburo Horikawa
Department of Sociology, Hosei University
On Prof. Horikawa
The official 70th anniversary logo designed by Saburo Horikawa. Copyright © 2019 by Saburo Horikawa. All rights reserved.
Who He is
Professor Saburo Horikawa is a sociologist. At Department of Sociology, Hosei University, he offers courses in “Environmental Sociology” and “Sociology of Historic Preservation.” He was a Research Associate of sociology at University of Chiba, before joining Hosei. Professor Horikawa’s research interests include historic environment preservation, urban communities, Minamata disease, and the historical development of Japanese environmental sociology. His research focuses on uses and meanings of townscape, and rise of grassroots movements to preserve them.
His most recent book, Why Place Matters: A Sociological Study on a Historic Preservation Movement in Otaru, Japan, 1965-2016 (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, February 2018 [in Japanese]), is a milestone in the field. Based on his 33 years of intensive fieldwork and through “thick description” of preservationists, Why Place Matters analyses on the relationship between urban environments and society (i.e., “the materiality of society” and “the sociality of material”). The book gives a clear picture of the process how townscape preservation, a social issue, has been individualized and condemned as “a matter of personal taste.” The book has won 3 major academic awards: (1) the Isomura Memorial Prize, from the Japan Association for Urban Sociology; (2) the Ishikawa Prize, from the City Planning Institute of Japan; and (3) the Okui Memorial Prize, from the Japan Society for Urbanology. All three prizes are the highest awards given by their respective associations. It is highly unusual that a sociology book receives such an important recognition from city planning discipline. The English edition of the book was published in June 2021 by Springer.
He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from Keio University (Tokyo, Japan) and a B.A. summa cum laude from Chûô University (Tokyo, Japan).
He has taught at the University of Tokyo (as Visiting Associate Professor, 2001-2003; as Lecturer, 2012-2013), Keio University (1999-2000, 2008-2012; 2017-2020), and University of Chiba (1999). He has also taught at Department of History, Harvard University as an invited lecturer (2004). From April 2021 to December 2023, he is a Visiting Professor at School of Sociology, Nanjing University under the “High-end Foreign Scholar Invitation Program” of Ministry of Science and Technology (the People’s Republic of China).
He has given invited talks at the sociology department of State University of New York at Stony Brook (2006), Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Norwich [England], U.K. (2013), Harvard-Keio Workshop on “ ‘Constitution’ of Postwar Japan” at Keio University in Tokyo (2015), and Columbia University in the City of New York (2022), among others.
Prof. Horikawa has supervised and co-supervised many Ph.D.s to successful conclusion: his students now teach at universities in Japan and have won five awards from major academic associations in Japan (the Japan Sociological Society, the Japan Association for Urban Sociology, Association of Regional and Community Studies, and Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology). Versions of their theses have been published by Hosei University Press, Shin-Hyôron, and Shin’yô-sha (all in Tokyo) and Kôyô Shobô (in Kyoto). One graduate went on to study in the U.S. graduate school and made Phi Kappa Phi in 2006.
Since 2013 he has been an Associate in Research at Harvard University’s Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and has made a series of research trips to the U.S. for a book project.
His recent works (all written in Japanese unless otherwise noted) include:
Dr. Horikawa has served in the editorial boards of academic journals such as Research in Environmental Disruption and Journal of Environmental Sociology. From April 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2020, Prof. Horikawa was a Visiting Scholar at Keio University, his Alma Mater.
Ph.D. in sociology, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
M.A. in sociology, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
B.A. in sociology, summa cum laude, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan
Awards and Accolades
2019 Ishikawa Prize, the City Planning Institute of Japan
2019 Isomura Memorial Prize, the Japan Association for Urban Sociology
2019 Okui Memorial Prize, the Japan Society for Urbanology
Radio Interviews and Podcasts
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