“I’m from a place in Japan that’s called ‘Ninja City’. I was a high school teacher for 10 years. While teaching social studies to Japanese students, I noticed how strong their stereotypes about other countries were. But they didn’t engage in deeper discussion and had the same opinion (or no opinion) as their peers. I wanted to change that so I became a researcher. Now I’m trying to collect opinions of people from all over the world. I want to show Japanese students different opinions from various people to deepen cultural understanding. Because I think conflict can be caused by stereotypes and surface-level understanding. We should try putting ourselves in other people’s shoes after acknowledging the fact that we have divergent views because we come from different places. Then we should understand the reasons why people think the way they do before making conclusions about them. I’m trying to achieve my goal of equipping our young generation with better tools through a visualization project. It’s like opinion-mapping with people’s thoughts and opinions connected to their cultural background. This digital Earth will be decentralized, too, so not one country will be in main focus. Hopefully this will encourage Japanese students to have meaningful discussions about diversity as the world becomes more integrated.”

at the University of Tokyo campus

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tokyointerlopers

Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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