Introducing organizations engaged in multicultural society

Exhibition Room 3: Activity Exhibition

Introducing organizations engaged in multicultural society

There are various groups active in Japan that are exploring the nature of multicultural society. Some of them are actively engaging in arts and culture, and are presently trying to project their respective aspirations in contemporary society while putting these ideas into practice. Here, we introduce the activities of these groups and our conversations with them.

Talk session vol.1
“Children and Art, Connecting to the World”
Talk session vol.2
“The Multicultural City of Tokyo Today”
Talk session vol.3
“Ethiopians as neighbors”

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

Adeyabeba Ethiopia Association

  • Activity period

    2009-present

  • Location

    Katsushika-ku, Tokyo

  • Project

    Organising seasonal parties and various projects including the art club

  • Organization Profile

    Half populations of the Ethiopians in Tokyo live in Katsushika Ward, where we have held cultural exchange events with the goal of helping and socializing with each other as local residents. In our triannual exchange event, we enjoy Ethiopian food and dance; we also participate in many community events. We host a variety of activities, including exhibitions of artworks that involve resident Ethiopians as artists or subjects of artworks, coffee ceremonies, and an "art club" that is free to enjoy expressions.

  • Key Point

    In recent years, the number of Japanese volunteers has been increasing through our events, and we have brought about a unique way of promoting the charm of Ethiopia, for example through Ethiopian Obon Dancing at a festival in Katsushika Ward. Beyond cultural activities, we also support refugees and other Ethiopians in Japan, as well as Ethiopians in their home country. Through a wide range of activities, our localized approach to engagement characterizes our organization.

  • Web

    https://adeyabebaethiopia.webs.com
  • Hopes for Art

    Everyone should be able to express your culture in your own way. Enjoying art together brings people closer each others and allows them to build interest in Ethiopian residents and Ethiopia by experiencing and feeling its culture.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    We try to integrate not only traditional Ethiopian culture, but also modern culture, individual experiences in Japan, and Japanese culture, and incorporate things related to life and work that would we 0be of interest to working Ethiopians.

  • Talk session vol.3 “Ethiopians as neighbors”

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

CASIO COMPUTER Co., Ltd and Musashino Art University

  • Activity period

    2017-present

  • Location

    Kodaira City, Tokyo and other places in Tokyo

  • Project

    Nippon Multicultural Co-existence Promotion Project

  • Organization Profile

    This project is an industry-university collaboration between Casio Computer and Musashino Art University. Students of Musashino Art University's Advanced Japanese Language Course team up with Casio employees to interview individuals and organizations involved in multicultural society promotion in order to produce a documentary film. The documentary film and a record of the entire project can be found on the project website. Through this project, we aim for students of art and design to learn about the merits and challenges of a multicultural society and to make multiculturalism a personal matter. At the same time, we aim to build a society in which we can think about multiculturalism together by publicizing the works created by the students and the trajectory of their studies.

  • Key Point

    This project, which is also a Japanese class, begins with a question to the students: What exactly is a multicultural society? The highlight of this project is that the Japanese students, international students, and Casio employees are confronting the idea of a "multicultural society" through fieldwork, interviews, and video production. We hope that you will take a look at the various "insights" of the students and Casio employees that they garnered in the making of the video.

  • Web

    https://web.casio.jp/mau/
  • Making of the film

    https://web.casio.jp/mau/works2019/index.html
  • Hopes for Art

    By incorporating art and design into our activities, we hope that we can express our message to a wider audience. Our goal is to arouse broad interest in multiculturalism and to see it as a personal problem, but this is a very difficult task. By designing a place to think through art and design, we hope to create opportunities to consider multiculturalism with as many people as possible. On the other hand, we would like art schools to recognize that multiculturalism is a social issue in the field of art and design as well. By carrying out a project linking art, design and multiculturalism, we hope that people in the fields of art and design will also think about multiculturalism.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    Art is often focused on the perfection of the resulting work of art. However, this project incorporates the question of what multiculturalism is into the making process as well as the artwork itself. We think the challenge is how to share the project process. As one answer to this question, this project presents a documentary about documentary production as yet another artwork.

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多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

kuriya General Incorporated Association / kuriya

  • Activity period

    2016-present

  • Location

    Tokyo

  • Project

    Betweens Passport Initiative as part of the Placemaking Project

  • Organization Profile

    With a mission to provide opportunities for the migrant youth to enhance their potential to its fullest, we work with youth of age between 16 to 26. Based in Tokyo, we conduct various projects inviting migrant youths to work along with Japanese youths. We believe that the youth are potential to our society and diversity supplements a better community of tomorrow. We provide internship training for aspiring youths with strong willpower, commitment and determination. It is a more intensive training through Project Based Learning. The youth will work on their own project and receive scholarship and other support to implement their project. With this, we aim to equip the migrant youth with life skills to provide first step for better educational/employment opportunities.

  • Key Point

    kuriya have been implementing an international exchange project called "Moving Story" which connects three cities in Asia: Tokyo, Hong Kong and Penang.In the era of globalisation, we encounter more diversity than ever before. When diversity may be the cause of conflict and tension, it is vital to create a new approach based on interculturalism to recognise the value of diversity to increase interaction, mixing and hybridisation between cultural communities. The ability to work with diversity is an essential ability for leadership as a global citizen. This project perceives intercultural youth, with so much cultural diversity within, as a potential to the society. The project aims to empower the intercultural youth through creative approach by providing opportunities to 1) visualise the perspective of intercultural youth through art and media to advocate of their voice to the society.2)To connect intercultural youth across Asia to create a dialogue on common global issues and potentials of our society.3)To build global network among each other and to think together of possible actions to be taken in order to create a better future for our life.

  • Web

    http://kuriya.co/
  • Hopes for Art

    We believe that art provides opportunity for people to learn about diverse values and explore a new perspective that brings a step into a new world.

  • Talk session vol.2 “The Multicultural City of Tokyo Today”

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

The Japan Forum

  • Activity period

    1987-present

  • Location

    Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

  • Project

    Multilingual and multicultural "Performance Camp" (2017-present, once a year)

  • Organization Profile

    The Japan Forum (TJF) aims to create "a society that respects individuality, enriches diversity, and fosters creativity" by bringing together young people with diverse language and cultural backgrounds. One of our projects is a camp for high school students with diverse cultural backgrounds and Japanese high school students with an interest in diverse languages and cultures to participate in. Through the exchange activities of the camp (physical expression, molding, sound and rhythm workshops), we aim to stimulate each other's creativity and the ability for verbal and physical self-expression, to understand others, to work together, to communicate beyond differences in background, and to respect diversity.

  • Key Point

    The artists create their own programs that develop their expressive abilities and play a role as a facilitator, encouraging participants to open up. In addition to the organizing staff, many other people are involved in the activities, as camp alumni act as student supporters to help high school students communicate with each other. A distinctive feature of the program is the warm support it provides each participant.

  • Web

    https://www.tjf.or.jp/performance/ https://www.tjf.or.jp
  • Hopes for Art

    We believe that with the help of art, it is easier to overcome language and cultural barriers. Art also appeals to the sensibilities of participants, encouraging self-release and empathy. The creative activity of art elicits a variety of ideas and experiences, harnesses the diversity of participants, and generates collaboration and dialogue towards the performance of a common creative task. It also provides a sense of accomplishment because the result of the activity is a visible "work". The presentation and exhibition of this work also serves as a message to other people besides the participants.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    Many high school students feel that just hearing the words bijutsu or "art" is a hurdle to overcome. Some don't want to express themselves in public, are embarrassed, or don't want to interact with strangers. In order to get rid of such an image, we need to be inventive with our public relations. We try to create a safe environment for the participants and make it easy for them to open up. However, there is a danger that they may become vulnerable if their mental state is unprotected, so we are not pushy in asking them to do so, and encourage their self-awareness regarding when to “open” or “close”. This is the advice we received from experts at a multicultural mental health clinic, which we would like to share with our facilitators, supporters and management staff.

  • Talk session vol.1 “Children and Art, Connecting to the World”

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

MULPA

  • Activity period

    2016-present

  • Location

    Kanagawa Prefecture

  • Project

    MULPA(Museum UnLearning Program for All)

  • Organization Profile

    MULPA conducts educational programs for the social inclusion of people with links abroad (including children and young people) and those with disabilities in cooperation with The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama; Chigasaki City Museum of Art; Hiratsuka City Museum of Art; Yokosuka Art Museum; and Fujisawa City Art Space. In the "Multicultural Youth Photo Session in Miura Peninsula", children and young people (a total of 27 participants) with multicultural backgrounds living in Yokohama City, Yokosuka City, Hiratsuka City, and other cities participated in a photo session, taking pictures of the scenery of the Miura Peninsula, including Hayama and Yokosuka. This project was carried out with the aim of empowering each participant and fostering friendships between them.

  • Key Point

    We aim to share and disseminate the experiences gained from the educational programs of the museums that make up MULPA through workshops, forums, and other activities with the aim of spreading inclusivity and multiculturalism throughout the prefecture's museums and galleries.

  • Web

    http://www.kifjp.org/mulpa/
  • Hopes for Art

    We believe that it will contribute to making museums and other public institutions in the prefecture more inclusive and multicultural.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    Not particularly.

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa Plaza for Global Citizenship
Designated manager : Japan Overseas Cooperative Association

  • Activity period

    1981-present

  • Location

    Sakae-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture

  • Project

    Kanagawa Biennial World Children’s Art Exhibition

  • Organization Profile

    Kanagawa Biennial World Children's Art Exhibition was established in 1979 as one of the "intercultural diplomacy" projects advocated by Kanagawa Prefecture, with the establishment of the International Year of Children. The exhibition aims to: use painting as a means for fostering dreams and creativity within the children of the world who will carry the future; to promote the mutual understanding of different cultures and lifestyles; and to deepen international exchange.We are soliciting works for children and students aged 4 to 15 years old who live or study in Kanagawa prefecture or overseas, and after screening, we hold an awards ceremony and an exhibition.
    As the number of children with foreign roots is increasing year by year in Japan, from the perspective of multicultural coexistence, we are also targeting children and students who are enrolled in or attending foreign schools nationwide.

  • Key Point

    Most of the winning works from the 1st exhibition in 1981 are stored at Kanagawa Prefectural Global Citizen Kanagawa Plaza. In addition to the exhibition of the winning works in this exhibition, we also rent out the winning works outside the museum (with some restrictions) to spread the opportunity to come into contact with children's paintings from around the world.

  • Web

    https://www.earthplaza.jp/biennial/index.html http://www.earthplaza.jp/ep/about/
  • Hopes for Art

    Each time around 100 countries and regions participate, and so far, 700,000 artworks from 160 countries and regions have been received (including entries from Kanagawa Prefecture). Through art, we hope to nurture children's richness of expression and creativity and, through these paintings, help people understand the world's diverse cultures,and lifestyles and circumstances of the countries at that time.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    I don't feel "difficult" in particular. It's rather fun to work with the children’s art works.
    However, in practice, there are always obstacles in collecting children’s drawing from all over the world.
    Because our policy is to get the original art by post, not the digital by the e-mail. Firstly, it takes time and money for applicants to send their work by post.Secondly, the participation depends on the situation in the country. Specifically, there are political instability, disasters, postal conditions, and relationship with Japan etc.
    Especially this year, the covid-19 has made it even more difficult to submit the art works.

  • Talk session vol.1 “Children and Art, Connecting to the World”

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

Resource Center for Multicultural Community Tokai

  • Activity period

    2012-presents

  • Location

    Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City (2012, 2014, 2015) Toyohashi City (2017) Anjo City (2019)

  • Project

    Aichi Multicultural Film Festival

  • Organization Profile

    Our goal is to promote the realization of a multicultural society through activities for both non-Japanese residents and Japanese people, and by ameliorating and solving problems related to the cooperation, collaboration, and coexistence between and amongst non-Japanese residents and Japanese people. As a part of our activities, the Aichi Multicultural Film Festival was planned and implemented at the International Conference on Japanese Language Education, held in Nagoya in 2012, as an opportunity for non-academic staff to participate in the festival. Since then, we have continued to hold the festival as an opportunity for people not usually involved in our activities to experience "multiculturalism".

  • Key Point

    Resource Center for Multicultural Community Tokai has been carrying out various activities for the realization of a multicultural society, such as supporting Japanese language learning. However, it seems that our organization started the Aichi Multicultural Film Festival because organizers felt a sense of crisis when they found out that even though they planned training sessions and seminars, the participants were always the same people. We are trying to make movies a tool that anyone can enjoy easily so that people from various backgrounds can participate in the festival. In addition, the Aichi Multicultural Film Festival is unique in its "exchange-style" format, where people not only watch the films but also deepen their understanding of each other's cultural differences and commonalities by sharing their impressions and thinking about the message the films are trying to convey after watching them.

  • Web

    http://mrc-t.blogspot.com/
  • Video : Interview with participates

    https://youtu.be/ZXclX9z1wRs
  • Hopes for Art

    Compared to lectures and workshops, using "film" as an entry point will lower the hurdle for participants, making it easier for them to participate and allowing them to approach the event from various perspectives.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    ・It is not possible to hold film screenings frequently because of the high cost of screening fees and equipment.
    ・It is necessary to have a mechanism to share or exchange words between all the participants in order to deepen their understanding of the film, as their understanding and impressions will remain in their own individual minds if they only see the film.

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

Center for Citizen Initiatives MieMie Prefecture / Mie Foundation for International Exchange (MIEF) / JICA Mie Prefecture Desk

  • Activity period

    2014-present

  • Location

    Tsu City and Mie Citizen's Activity Volunteer Center, Mie Prefecture

  • Project

    Multicultural Understanding Event: Hand in Hand

  • Organization Profile

    In Mie Prefecture, people of different nationalities and ethnicities recognize each other's cultural differences and work together to build local communities based on an equal relationship. As part of this effort, the "Hand in Hand 2019 Event for Multicultural Understanding: Delusional World Travel" provides an opportunity for participants to learn about the history and culture of a specific region or country with Japanese people, foreign residents, and international students each time they visit. By learning about the history and culture of the countries visited on this delusional trip, we aim to deepen an understanding of life abroad, as well as an understanding of the people who have moved to Japan from those countries.

  • Key Point

    Rather than focusing on expressive art forms like theater, music, or video production, “Delusional World Travel”—held as part of the “Event for Multicultural Understanding Hand in Hand”—is unique as a means for promoting multicultural understanding, treating its sessions as a kind of trip around the world in which you learn about the cultures of different countries.

  • Web

    FB https://www.mienpo.net//
  • Hopes for Art

    We do not wish to incorporate any artistic elements into our activities at this time.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    We do not wish to incorporate any artistic elements into our activities at this time.

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

  • Activity period

    2014-present

  • Location

    Gunma Oizumi Town

  • Project

    Brazilian community touring performance of the Portuguese play

  • Organization Profile

    At the Gaigosai” within our university festival, second-year students have a tradition of performing a play in the language of their respective majors. We have been practicing since spring, and we thought it would be too good to only have one performance, so we wanted Brazilians living in Japan to see the play, too. In addition to providing opportunities for young children of Brazilian descent residing in Japan to learn about the literature and traditions of the country of their roots, since 2014, the project has aimed to introduce Japanese residents to Brazilian culture, deepen their understanding of Brazil and, in turn, make them feel closer to the Brazilian people.
    Our next goal is to make a place of exchange between local Brazilian and Japanese children. However, in the long-term, we would like to create a place where Japanese children from local schools can come and have a deep exchange with our university's Japanese students as well as international students from Brazil.

  • Key Point

    Not only do we perform at the university festival, we also travel to Oizumi in Gunma Prefecture, where many people with Brazilian roots live. Our goal is not only to learn the language of each country, but also to build relationships between our domestic or international students and local residents, including those with roots abroad, through cultural exchange.

  • Hopes for Art

    〈The Brazilian Community in Japan〉
    ・It is a valuable opportunity for those in the Brazilian community of Japan who do not have much exposure to Brazilian literature and theater to become familiar with it. The programs are representative of Brazilian theater and are a great opportunity for Brazilian children to learn about important Brazilian theater.
    〈From the point of view of a intercultural society〉
    ・This is as an opportunity for Japanese residents to learn about Brazilian culture.
    ・We provide a place for exchange between the residents of Japan and Brazil to promote the project not only to Brazilian residents but also to Japanese residents.
    〈Educational Effectiveness for Students〉
    As part of our language education program, we find that when students perform a Portuguese play to an audience from Brazil as the country of their roots, those students become stimulated, receive a valuable learning experience, and gain motivation towards their efforts.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    Because of the cost and procedural hurdles of having to get permission from copyright holders, we are often limited to classical works that do not require such procedures.

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

KANI public arts center

  • Activity period

    2005-present

  • Location

    Kani City, Gifu Prefecture

  • Project

    Multicultural Project

  • Organization Profile

    Since 2018, under the script and direction of Yuki Kanome, we have been producing theater works that incorporate documentary theater techniques. Taking those with roots abroad as a subject, participants share the cultural differences and similarities that emerge in the process of tapping into each of their life experiences. We also provide an opportunity for the audience to experience multiculturalism through the creation and presentation of a theater piece. Throughout the year, exchange meetings and workshops are held periodically to maintain the sense of community among participants (and audience members) formed by this project.

  • Key Point

    Documentary theater is a theatrical technique in which the script is created from interviews with its actors. Since the script is created from interviews with people with roots abroad, and the actors themselves speak in their own words, it is interesting both in terms of acting as a drama and also as an opportunity to learn about the realities of the people themselves. By telling the characters in the play what they have to say, it may be an opportunity to confront one’s own way of thinking.

  • Web

    https://www.kpac.or.jp/
  • Document Video (2020)

    https://youtu.be/dO-53g4D1u0
  • Hopes for Art

    Presenting the results of their theatrical productions to the public boosts the participants' confidence and self-esteem, as well as the audience's knowledge of other cultures.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    We have the hardest time attracting participants. In particular, it is difficult to reach people who are not able to participate on their own (e.g., non-Japanese people who do not speak Japanese and live in a limited community). There is a limit to what we can do with the theater alone, and we feel that cooperating with professional organizations and supporters who have the ability to disseminate information is essential.

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

Higashikujo Madang Executive Committee

  • Activity period

    1993-present

  • Location

    Higashi Kujo area, Minami-ku, Kyoto City

  • Project

    Higashikujo Madang

  • Organization Profile

    Our activities started in 1993 in Higashikujo (Minami-ku, Kyoto), where many Zainichi (Resident) Koreans, Koreans and Japanese people live together. We create and organize festivals and outdoor performances—such as pungmul (a traditional Korean percussion performance and dance)—produce and exhibit art and sculptures to decorate the festival, and produce participatory fun and cultural experiences. Madang means "space" in Korean; it is a place where people with various positions, roots, mental and physical conditions, and feelings can express themselves as they are and encounter other identities while embracing differences, making this a festival for everyone.

  • Key Point

    The Higashikujo region has a dynamic history inherent to the periphery of a large city, where people came not only from the Korean Peninsula before and after World War II, but also came from all over Japan in search of a place to live and form a region. People from diverse backgrounds have been working with local residents to support and campaign for the improvement of their lives and have sought to create a festival in which everyone in the city takes the initiative. Since the early ‘90s, our organization has been exercising a viewpoint through "festivals” that goes beyond any specific ethnic group.

  • Web

    http://www.h-madang.com
  • Hopes for Art

    Over nearly 30 years of continuous activity, Higashikujo Madang has become a place of creativity that not only improves individual performance skills, but also creates a variety of fusions. It has also become a place where we can express ourselves for who we are and find new sides of ourseves while embracing our differences. For example, the rhythm (chandan) created by the land of the Korean peninsula and the life-culture of the people there, as well as the memories and culture cultivated by the Zainichi (Resident) Koreans in Japan who came to Higashikujo, have given birth to a form of expression unique to Higashikujo Madang. Further, "Wadaiko & Samul Nori", a fusion of Korean percussion sessions and Japanese taiko performances, was also born. In addition, "Madanggeuk (Madang Play)", which was actively performed in Korea from the 1970s to 1990s, is a play that incorporates elements of traditional Korean mask plays, but is reworked and performed every year in response to current situations and challenges. We also have a Korean percussion session (Samul Nori) where we create a process of expression with children with disabilities (group name: Samul no Tamago). Every year, the festival site is decorated with high quality and original artworks that combine the life and culture of the Korean Peninsula with the history and characteristics of the Higashikujo region. Improvised art is also held at the festival site on the day of the festival, creating a landscape that combines the diversity of the festival with improvised creative expression.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    Although it may not necessarily be the norm, there are times when we're concerned about whether or not we can fully capture this creative festival called Higashikujo Madang, which cannot be captured in the term "art". It may not be a brilliant and glamorous art form, but this festival and its inheritable aspects—its existence; the excitement of preparations; the expressions, roles, and presence of participants; and the fact that various people meet through Higashikujo Madang—comprise a culture that we have nurtured, and an artistic asset for wholehearted people.

多文化社会に取り組む団体紹介

Credit:Junpei IWAMOTO

NPO DANCE BOX

  • Activity period

    2013-present

  • Location

    Nagata-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture

  • Project

    Developing numerous projects per year

  • Organization Profile

    The town of Nagata was an open land and early adopter of immigrant culture. Since the opening of the port of Hyogo in 1868 in particular, it has had a history of taking in a diverse population. It is a "multi-resident community" with the second largest Korean community in western Japan a community of immigrants from Amami Islands, and more recently, Vietnamese immigrants. The program takes advantage of the unique characteristics of the area with the goal of continuing to create opportunities for everyone to have equal access to cultural and artistic activities, as well as provide a guaranteed place for freedom of expression.

    【Recent activities】
    ・Multinational Jumble Karaoke Concert: a music concert of songs by people with roots in Tokunoshima (in the Amami Islands), Myanmar, Vietnam, Korea, Peru and India.
    ・100 People in the Tetsujin Park! Don-chan Parade: Park Won and Hyemi Cho, musicians and dancers living in Shin-Nagata and identifying as Zainichi (Resident) Koreans in Japan, were invited to join community members of all ages in a musical parade involving a customary Korean performance called pungmul.

  • Credit:Junpei IWAMOTO

  • Credit:Junpei IWAMOTO

  • Key Point

    NPO staff and artists enter the local community and weave careful communication with its people towards launching the project. In order to find modes of expression based on "encounters" with people of diverse cultures in the town, the project characterizes itself with unstructured outputs that gently mingle the cultures of each community. Yokobori says, "In our activities, we want to involve not only people of different nationalities but also various ‘Japanese’ living in Nagata.” This is a glimpse of the diversity that Dance Box is aiming for.

  • Web

    https://db-dancebox.org/
  • Hopes for Art

    We think that the support for the livelihood of non-Japanese residents in Nagata Ward is better compared to any other area. However, the structure of the relationship between supporters and recipients does not change, and sometimes the social system is unable to compensate for this. We are hoping that the structure of this relationship will be transformed by incorporating cultural and artistic activities.

  • Difficulties in Incorporating Art

    There is a possibility that artistic and cultural expression is taken advantage of for fun, beauty and connecting people. That is why we need to be aware of the violence and power-struggles also expressed therein. We are conscious of taking the utmost care not to exploit the expressions of the politically and socially vulnerable.

  • Credit:Junpei IWAMOTO