Areas of Expertise

Social Change, Political economy of depopulation and regional planning.


I am intrigued with the changes in Japan over the past century or so. I started out as an urban anthropologist, looking at the social history of a neighborhood in Sapporo. I am now looking at depopulation, aging and economic change in the mountain towns of Akita.

Representative Publications

  • Mock, John. “Escaping Japan: Commentary” in Hansen, Paul and Blai Guarne (eds) Escaping Japan: Reflections on Dissent, Estrangement and Exile in Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge, 2017.
  • Co-editor, Mock, John, Naeko Naganuma and Hiroaki Kawamura, The Impact of Internationalization on Japanese Higher Education: Is Japanese Education Really Changing? Sense Publishers [“Introduction” and “Smart City – Stupid Countryside: Social and Political Implications of the Urban/Rural Split in Japanese Education”] 2016.
  • Co-editor and “Preface” Ertl, John, John Mock, John McCreery, and Gregory Poole. Reframing Diversity in the Anthropology of Japan. Kanazawa: Kanazawa University Center for Cultural Resource Studies, Program for Leading Graduate Schools, 2016.
  • Mock, John. “Hidden Behind Tokyo: Japan’s Rural Periphery” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Vol 12, Issue 12, No. 3, March 24, 2014.
  • Mock, John. “Hidden behind Tokyo: Observations on the rest of Japan” in Kingston, Jeff (ed) Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan. New York: Routledge 2014.
  • Mock, John. “Introduction to ‘Escaping Japan’” Pan-Japan: The International Journal of Japanese Diaspora Volume 7, Spring-Fall, 2011.
  • Mock, John. Culture, Community and Change in a Sapporo Neighborhood 1925-1988 Hanayama. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press 1999.


  • Ph.D. in East Asia Anthropology, Michigan State University
  • B.A. in African History, Michigan State University

Previous Appointments

  • Temple University Japan Campus, Tokyo, Japan (2009 – Present)
  • Professor, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki (2007 – 2009)
  • Professor, AKITA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, Akita City, Akita (2004 – 2007)
  • Associate Professor, Minnesota State University – Akita, Akita City, Akita (1993 – 2003)
  • Associate Professor, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN (1991 – 1993)
  • Director, Japan Center for Michigan Universities, Hikone, Shiga Prefecture (joint appointment, Adjunct Associate Professor, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI) (1989 – 1991)
  • Associate Professor and Director of Global Studies, Lewis-Clark State University, Lewiston, ID (1987 – 1989)
  • Coordinator of Senior Studies, Friends World College (1986 – 1987)
  • Director, North American Center, Friends World College (1982 – 1986])
  • Director, East Asian Center, Friends World College (1981-1982)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Social Science, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI (1980 – 1981)
  • Instructor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Adrian College, Adrian, MI (1978 – 1979)
  • Instructor, Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI (1977 – 1978)
  • Instructor, ESL and Expository Writing, Fuji Women’s College, Sapporo, Hokkaido (1975 – 1976)

Professional Associations

  • Anthropology of Japan in Japan (Vice President)
  • Japan Anthropology Workshop (JAWS)