How do/should we learn from this course, Japanese Society?

Jiro Okada

“What do you think in the lecture room?”

This is what I would like to consider on this blog post.

(I do not criticise on this post, I just want to have a consideration with questions.)

When people look at something, there is an aspect of it that the person glances. Also, every single person has her/his own perspectives, backgrounds, and interests. Then, how do they apply to the class that we are taking? I am, personally, quite curious about how other classmates of mine are looking at this class. There would be something we have not known though it must be quite beneficial and exciting.

This class, Japanese Society, gives a quite interesting spotlight on minorities in the Japanese society, and we can actually recognise them through the class with the rich knowledge provided in it. The issues already presented are; for example, Ainu; Burakumin; Hafu; and Japanese Peruvian. Likewise, it vividly draws attention and gives us the great opportunities to consider the issue related identity. What are the mostly treated in the class are the issues and the facts with full of sources of thinking. Those contents in the course strongly make me think about the issues both in and out of the classroom.

However, I sometimes consider like “So what? What should we think from just knowing their existence and issues?” We can know the issue, and we can understand the contents of the issue. Then, we can feel something struggling inside of ourselves.

So, what?

I have known the reality Ainu people faces.

I have understood that Okinawans has been marginalised from mainland.

I know it is obvious that the issues in the class are all quite controversial.

Likewise, it is obvious that those controversial issues cannot be solved in a day or week.

Thus, it leads to the question on me:

“For What?”

On the other hand, there is another question. In this class, we often consider about the issue of identity. We can consider that there are people who have troubled with there identities. The issue of identity is actually difficult to think. Even this is the concept which did not exist in Japan before, as it can be seen from the fact that there is no direct translation of the word ‘identity’ in Japanese language.

In this class, the issues of identity get attention. It must be quite worthy to study this issue. Even around the world, there are several places that provide the course related identity issue. Also, there are several people who have mixed identity.

Then, this is my question.

Is this for whom, in what way?

It must be quite meaningful for everyone. But, sometimes I wonder how I should contribute to the discussion because I, personally, do not have any of the obvious identity problems on myself. Is there no way to contribute the discussion not just only asking to somebody who has something inside of her/him?

As I mentioned first, I am not criticising. For both questions I mentioned, I have got my own answers as meanings for study these issues. I am enjoying the class every Wednesday, and this class is actually brilliant. I would simply like to know how our perspective towards the class could be cultivated, and it must be worth to share. Though it might be answered in each of blog post in issue by issue, how about sharing the idea about this whole course?

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