Asei Ito (Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo)
HYI Visiting Scholar, 2022-23
“Toward a Digital Emerging Economy: A Comparative Study of Technology-Led Transformation in Asia”
What got you interested in your research topic/field?
Fieldwork! When I visited the wholesale market in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China, I could not understand why such a huge wholesale market was in a rural area, and I started fieldwork to understand it.
Outside of work, where can we find you?
Boston Science Museum. They recently opened a new exhibit on AI, and you can see a dog-shaped robot, Spot from Boston Dynamics. I also recommend the leaf-cutter ant nest.
What would you want to do most as a career if you were not in academia?
I really wanted to be a cartoonist. It was impossible because I had no talent for drawing at all. However, as a researcher, I think I almost experience the life of a cartoonist in the sense that I am pressed for deadlines every week (due to my low productivity!).
Read Prof. Ito’s bio on our website.