Jiro Kawakita

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Jiro Kawakita
BornMay 11, 1920 (1920-05-11)
DiedJuly 8, 2009(2009-07-08) (aged 89)
Cultural anthropologist
Known forKJ Method, 1985 Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient

Jiro Kawakita (川喜田 二郎, Kawakita Jirō) was an ethnographer, a pioneer in participation of remote Nepalese villagers in researching their problems, resulting in practical benefits of portable water supplies and rapid rope-way transport across mountain gorges.[1] He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1984.[1]

He is reported as the author of KJ method for organizing notes,[2] also termed affinity walls in UX Research. He viewed the method as an alternative to Western quantitative methods in ethnography.

Kawakita established the non-profit organisation Institute for Himalayan Conservation Japan.[3]


  • Kawakita, J. (1957). Ethno-geographical observations on the Nepal-Himalaya. Peoples of Nepal Himalaya: scientific results of the Japanese expeditions to Nepal Himalayas 1952-1953, 3, 1-362.
  • Kawakita, J. (1960). Last Rites and Lamas. Japan Quarterly, 7(4), 428.
  • Kawakita, J. (1961). Some Ecological Observations in Nepal Himalaya: Torbo Ethnography, No. 3. The Japanese Journal of Ethnology, 25(4), 197-238.
  • Kawakita, J. (1974). The hill Magars and their Neighbours (Vol. 3). Tokai University Press.
  • Kawakita, J. (1984). Cultural ecology of Nepal Himalaya. Association for technical cooperation to the Himalayan areas.
  • Kawakita, J. (1985). Synergic approach to mountain development: Case study of Sikha Valley in Nepal. Integrated Mountain Development, 402-424.


  1. ^ a b Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. "Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation - Awardees". Rmaf.org.ph. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  2. ^ Valsiner, Jaan; Rosa, Alberto (2007-06-04). The Cambridge Handbook of Sociocultural Psychology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85410-8.
  3. ^ "Institute for Himalayan Conservation Japan". TIPS. 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2023-08-24.