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47th Miura Visiting Professor shares cross-cultural research efforts to reduce retail waste

When asked to use one word to describe his experience as the 2023 Kohei Miura Visiting Professor with Chubu University, Jacob Lee Hiler, Ph.D., said it would be “tomodachi” (the Japanese word for “friends”).

The Kohei Miura visiting professorship has been a staple of Ohio University’s partnership with Chubu University since 1973 and was the inaugural partnership activity. Dr. Hiler, Fox Associate Professor of Marketing in the College of Business and director of the Center for Consumer Research & Analytics (CRA), marks the 45th time an Ohio University professor has engaged with the Chubu community, in and out of the classroom. His tenure, which took place from May 11 through Aug. 4, 2023, also auspiciously occurred amidst the 50th anniversary of partnership between OHIO and Chubu.

“With family ties to Japan and family still living across the country, my heritage and Japanese culture have played a very important role in shaping me. It was a privilege to meaningfully engage with the Chubu community in many ways during my tenure, especially in the realm of cross-cultural investigations of several aspects of my research," he said.

Jacob Hiler
Jacob Hiler, Ph.D.

Dr. Hiler spent significant time gathering valuable research data. Specifically, he interviewed several people involved in the Japanese resale and second-hand store industry, seeking insight on how resale stores operate in Japan as opposed to other countries. Conducting numerous interviews with students, faculty, and employees on various concepts including resale shops, Dr. Hiler explored the Japanese concept of reducing waste--called "mottainai"--sustainability marketing, differences between the US and Japanese commercial styles, and communication style differences between Japanese and American video game developers. These interviews, videos, photos, and secondary research will be used to develop multiple research films and papers in the future alongside collaborators from Chubu.

He also worked with many students during his time at Chubu University, giving guest lectures and attending multiple sessions of various classes including "Social Collaboration Class" (taught by Dr. Yamaguchi and Dr. Zhao) which is similar to the Integrated Business Cluster in OHIO's College of Business. Dr. Hiler also engaged with Dr. Shimizu’s New Product Development course and Dr. Ito’s Sustainability (SDG) course. Dr. Hiler was also frequently spotted at Center for International Affairs events acting as a conversation partner for students wanting to practice their English skills.

"Along with the help of students and faculty I wrote, filmed, edited, and narrated an English promotion video for the Chubu University College of Business. I also coached students who created a Japanese language version and developed one traditional ad, one moving poster, and one TikTok / Instagram Reel-style ad," Dr. HIler said. "It was wonderful to work with the students and faculty on this. It was a dynamic hands-on opportunity to better understand marketing communication across cultures.”

Amy Oya, program manager in Chubu’s Center for International Affairs shared, “Dr. Hiler is very proactive about interacting with both the faculty in the College of Business Administration and Information Science as well as with the Chubu students. Chubu has thoroughly enjoyed having Dr. Hiler here on campus.”

Welcome dinner at Chubu University

Dr. Hiler didn’t just work during his time at Chubu, he also went on a number of adventures: he enjoyed a baseball game between the Chunichi Dragons and the Yakult Swallows, attended 2 days of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, visited Nagoya Castle, explored Kiyomizu-dera Templa in Kyoto, and attended the New Japan Pro Wrestling G33 Climax Tournament (a wrestling event similar to the WWE in America).

“Being able to live in Japan over the summer has meant so much to me.  It has helped me connect with my roots, explore my cultural heritage, and fully experience a culture that I have so much respect for, but the part of my time in Japan that I will cherish the most are the friendships that I made during my time at Chubu," Dr. HIler said.

During his sabbatical this Fall, Dr. Hiler visited Chubu University once again to reconnect with his newfound friends. He also shared perspectives and experiences through in celebration of the OHIO-Chubu 50th anniversary partnership. His essay was composed partway through his tenure on July 04, 2023.

To learn more about the Miura Visiting Professorship and the forthcoming application cycle to seek the 2025 candidate, visit the Kohei Miura Visiting Professorship website or email

January 8, 2024
Staff reports