Drawing on experience implementing a Human Library and previous studies and research in the field regarding how best to support foreigners in the community and community building, the author reexamines awareness of the interwoven issues underlying a diverse society. This paper examines theories from several disciplines including Multiculturalism, Community Building and Disability Studies. By examining Japanese society through these perspectives, it is apparent how diverse Japan has become and how this diverse society is constantly changing. Furthermore, universities, responsible for educating the workforce which ultimately supports this growing multicultural Japanese society, are right there in the middle of the diversity itself.
In this paper we investigate and discuss optimal educational approaches on relations between Japanese oral proficiency and language behavior in multicultural society in Japan, based on two longitudinal studies (1) Japanese Brazilian students living in a concentrated area A (2007–2012) and (2) Pakistani students living in a scattered area B (2013–2015). In particular, from the point of social participation, we analyzed the importance of language environment as well as use of mother tongues and heritage languages.
In the case of concentrated area A, we found that CLD students’ social participation as bilingual teaching assistants, accelerated both their Japanese and Portuguese oral proficiencies, for example in usage of “noda” for the sustainability and attainability of paragraphs. Meanwhile, in the scattered area B, we observed that participation as ad-hoc Japanese teaching assistants during their trip to Hiroshima, promoted Japanese proficiency, in particular in oral and composition skills.
Based on these findings, in Japan’s developing multicultural society, understanding the importance of promotion of constructing language environment for the CLD students, such as ethnolinguistic vitality (EV) as well as communication network (CN), we foresee students’ participation in the social (learning) environment and its optimization.
This article aims to describe a nature of multicultural society in Japan by analyzing the recognition of schoolteachers for newcomer children about the adaptation and maintenance of “culture”. It argues that Japanese school culture is culturally assimilative and ignores ethnic differences of children (Tsuneyoshi, 1998 etc), Further, it highlights that the people in Japan exclude ethnic minorities and try to maintain the “pure” Japaneseness by favoring the idea of maintaining diverse culture (Nagayoshi, 2011 etc). Castles (2004) states that multiculturalism is an idea that expects the minorities to adapt to certain key values, while guarantees the equal rights with the majority without giving up the maintenance of the minorities’ culture. The result of the analysis indicates that many schoolteachers expect the minorities to follow the “rules” embedded in daily lives of the majority, in addition to the values expressed by the law, and expect them to maintain their “culture” such as first languages, food customs and traditional events, unless they break the “rules”. Such dimensions of “key values” (Castles, 2004) may be one of the characteristics of Japanese multicultural society and a new expression of cultural nationalism in Japan.
Is Okinawa included in the Japanese-style multicultural society? While standard multicultural trends are present in Okinawa, a special multi-ethnic trend could also be observed in Okinawa, which is the issue of mix-race children who are the offspring of locals and US military personnel. In this paper, we discuss the issue of mix-race children by focusing on the survey of mix-race children which was conducted in 1955, 1962 and 1975 in Okinawa. We highlight the context of the surveys, rather than using the data as facts. Which kind of organizations and under what kind of initiatives were the surveys of mixed race children conducted? How did the research questions reflect stigmas and stereotypes? The purpose of the paper is to analyze the discourse of mix-race children in Okinawa from the 1950s to 1970s, before and after Okinawa’s repatriation to Japan mainland.
The concept “multicultural co-existence” in Japan is widely criticized, because it is basically based on the unilateral desire of majorities to act “tolerantly”, hiding the underlying social structure of inequality and discrimination. Those critiques are understandable. This paper, however, argues that the important implication of the concept “co-existence” lies in the possibility that it enables us to transfer our standing positon from minority (those to be discriminated) to majority (those open to discriminate someone), considering the contentious debate among Japanese influential intellectuals on the concept “co-existence” and the theoretical attainment in the realm of intercultural education studies in Japan. In other words, the concept provides the basis to the educational philosophy that aims as the “pedagogy of the oppressors”.
From this viewpoint, the author focused on the “positionality declaration practice” originated in the early 1970s, when the movement for human rights education was raised and recognized, the declaration practice as the foundational layer of “co-existence” education in Japan. In the declaration practice, students from Buraku communities were motivated to share their Buraku origins and Koreans-in-Japan students were encouraged to introduce themselves using their Korean name. It is well known that those practices were severely criticized in that minority students usually came to have frustration due to their “coming out” and severely questioned for whom and for what they engaged in that process. However, it is necessary to appreciate the declaration practice because it can forcefully locate majorities in the situation where they need the “act of co-existence” to survive.
Globalization, and the emergence of a multiethnic society in Japan, has posed an important question on how people with cultural differences should live together in this society. In order to promote a multicultural inclusive society, Japanese people also need to change their outlook as much as foreigners. This paper aims to discuss the design of educational programs aiming to promote a Japanese-style multicultural inclusive society while focusing on the Japanese majority.
First, this paper proposes curriculum management (to consider an educational goal, concrete plan, action-research on the PDCA cycle, collaboration) as a framework for educational reforms. Second, this paper sheds light on the process of the creation of a multicultural inclusive society and focuses on the processes of construction to de-construction and re-construction of “Japaneseness” as the social norm and privilege. Third, this paper introduces a case study of a new educational program in a university based on the PDCA cycle of curriculum management. In the program, students with diverse cultural backgrounds collaborate and think over different multiethnic issues. Lastly, this paper points the importance of designing a multicultural curriculum to help create a Japanese-style multicultural inclusive society.
This study aimed to conduct an inter-age comparison of Taiwanese people’s national consciousness and their image of Japan and to investigate the relationship between image of Japan, sense of national consciousness and attributes and contact frequency with Japan-related information. A questionnaire survey was conducted via the internet between November and December 2013 of 525 respondents aged from their twenties to fifties living in Taiwan. As a result, four factors were identified for national consciousness, namely: “pride as a Taiwanese person”, “assertion of Taiwan’s superiority in international society”, “openness towards foreign countries”, and “low self-engagement towards foreign countries”. In the inter-age comparison, it was shown that “pride as a Taiwanese person” and “assertion of Taiwan’s superiority in international society” were higher for respondents in their fifties than for those in their twenties. Six factors were identified for image of Japan, namely: “affinity openness”, “collective innovation”, “aggressiveness”, “inhibition of self-expression”, “frequent natural disasters”, and “importance of individuality”. In the inter-age comparison, it was shown that “affinity openness” was highest for respondents in their twenties and lowest for those in their forties. Images of “aggressiveness” and “frequent natural disasters” were more likely the older the age group. As a result of a multiple regression analysis of the relationship between image of Japan and national consciousness it was found that “openness towards foreign countries” in national consciousness had a common effect on “collective innovation”, “inhibition of self-expression”, “frequent natural disasters”, and “importance of individuality” in image of Japan. In cases when “contact frequency with Japan-related information” was high images of “affinity openness” and “collective innovation” were more likely. For older respondents there was a tendency to have low “affinity openness” and to be likely to perceive that Japan is “aggressive” and has many “natural disasters”.
Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Okayama University
Good health is critical for studying abroad. Eating is one of the essential behaviors to maintain our health. To improve healthy eating education during studying abroad, we asked international students in Japan to (1) describe eating-related changes, difficulties and the coping, and awareness and behaviors, after coming to Japan, and (2) provide numerical evaluations and those reasons to eating related matters. We then identified the framework for eating related problems and extracted relevant factors for inclusion in cross-cultural dietary education. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21, 14, 10 Chinese, Korean, and Western students (current and former), respectively. Chinese students had low cultural distance, but showed difficulty in adapting to eating in Japan and reported lower satisfaction with about eating in Japan than in China. Many reported eating cheap and convenient foods, showed turbulence in eating, and talked about few nutritional awareness. Korean students experienced little incongruity, and enjoyed Japanese food culture. They exhibited high awareness regarding health and beauty. Notably, nutrition in Korea and pleasure in Japan were significantly evaluated better. Korean students regarded coaction in eating as important, and they were highly active in cultural exchange. Westerners who had greater cultural distances than did the other two groups felt attached to Japanese culture and food, but reported some confusion, due to cultural differences. They tended to evaluate Japanese foods as healthy. Western students showed no significant differences in satisfaction between eating in Japan and those in their own countries. Overall, six elements should be addressed in cross-cultural dietary education: basic knowledge of healthy eating, respecting original culture, acquisition of cooking techniques, practical information about food, assuming stages of support, and considering eating’s social function. Support offered international students may depend on their cross-cultural adaptation and acculturation, and any individual differences in their cross-cultural experiences.
The environment of kindergarten has become more international than before. To improve the circulation of information between kindergarten teachers and Non-Native-Speaker-parents (NNS-parents), lecture named ‘Easy Japanese at Kindergarten (EJK)’ was given to undergraduate students who major in Early Childhood Education (Nishio & Noyama, 2015). This paper seeks to identify students’ consciousness towards EJK by conducting a lecture feedback questionnaire. According to the questionnaire, most of the interviewees express that they are not aware of their own perspective of NNS-parents before attending the lecture. Furthermore, the fact that perspectives of NNS-parents’ are different from native speakers was also taken into account when examining students’ consciousness. At the same time, it was found that through this lecture, students became more capable in observing Japanese culture in an objective way. Therefore, this raise the issue of the way in designing a course that pays more attention in different cultures. Moreover, the results of the questionnaire show the importance of EJK by showing interviewees’ desire in making good use of EJK. However, even though they were taught how to use Japanese in an easy way, it was found that there were difficulties in changing their mindset and the way of expressing EJK through writing. In order to further facilitate the communication among students and NNS-parents, improving students’ overall ability in language becomes the most important issue in the future.