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Thursday, November 12, 2020 5:40 - 7:10 pm (JST)

Online seminar on China's peace policies and activities in Africa

African Studies Center - TUFS (ASC-TUFS) will host the 54th ASC Seminar on November 12, 2020. This is jointly organized by Kanto branch of Japan Association for African Studies. The speaker is Dr. Steven C. Y. Kuo, who specializes in China-Africa relations. He will clarify China's peace policies and activities in Africa, as the country plays an important role as the largest contributor of PKO staff among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. The seminar will be based on his book of the same title published in August 2019 by Routledge. ◆Title: Chinese Peace in Africa: From Peacekeeper to Peacemaker ◆Speaker: Dr. Steven C.Y. Kuo (Research Associate, the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa) ◆Date & Time: Thursday, November 12, 2020 5:40 - 7:10 pm (JST) ◆Venue: Online (Zoom Meeting) ◆Language: English ◆Admission: Free ◆Pre-registration is required. Please register here by November 10, 2020. The application will be closed as soon as the capacity reaches 300. ◆Jointly Organized by African Studies Center - TUFS and Kanto branch of Japan Association for African Studies
Thursday, 16th July, 2020

Seminar on Challenge and Response to COVID-19 pandemic in African societies

ASCSeminar51en.pdfAfrican Studies Center - TUFS (ASC-TUFS) will host the 51st ASC Seminar on Thursday July 16th, 2020. This is an online seminar jointly organized by Kanto branch of Japan Association for African Studies. Using the Zoom application, we invite two African scholars from Cameroon and Uganda. The seminar focuses on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on African societies. New viruses of COVID-19 are emerging as a significant challenge against people's health, lives, and affecting various aspects of humanities. In this seminar, we will focus on how formal and informal actors deal with and respond to the ongoing pandemic from two case reports from Cameroon and Uganda. Many Cameroonians rely on both biomedicine and ethnomedicine. As an ethnobotany specialist, Dr. Fongnzossie reports the current challenges faced by traditional medicine experts and the potential of contribution by plant-based traditional knowledge against COVID-19. As the COVID-19 is a serious matter of concern in terms of the national security, it can be a sort of political resource for the state. Mr. Karusigarira, a political scientist, will focus on these aspects and analyze policing strategy by the Uganda government and how it is perceived and translated by citizens. ‣ Speaker: Fongnzossie Fedoung Evariste (University of Douala, Cameroon) Ian Karusigarira (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan) ‣ Date: Thursday July 16, 2020 ‣ Time: 17:40-19:10 (Japan time. GMT+9) ‣ Venue: Webinar by Zoom ‣ Contents: 1. Traditional medicine and the COVID-19 pandemic in Cameroon: current situation, challenges and way forward (Dr. Fongnzossie Fedoung Evariste, University of Douala, Cameroon) Abstract: Since the outbreak in December 2019 in Wuhan (China) of COVID-19, approved drugs are still lacking and the world is engaged in a struggle to seek effective treatment. In Cameroon, the first case was reported on March 2020. In the absence of a medical cure, many traditional healers have gone in search of a traditional cure for the disease that has so far infected over 12000 persons in the country. While Cameroon's Traditional Healers are witnessing a rush for Herbal Medicines to Treat COVID-19, World Health Organization, medical researchers, doctors, and the Cameroon government are warning patients not to rely on traditional medicine which has not been robustly investigated for COVID-19 and to instead seek treatment at hospitals. This presentation discusses the potentials of the ethnomedicine as complementary cure, the issues and challenges it faces and pathways for innovative and more effective therapeutic approaches to fight COVID-19.                                      2. Security and Policing Global Epidemics: COVID 19 Politics in Uganda (Mr. Ian Karusigarira, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan) Abstract: With the paucity of the global function, comes a growing interest in the reconceptualization of policing and security to integrate infectious disease control like the COVID 19 global strategies, national security strategies and directives concerning the emergent socio-economic and political dynamics of public health. A retrospective analysis is done of the state approaches to global epidemic control, the societal responses, and security ramifications in developing countries like Uganda. I seek to examine the jurisprudential and structural dynamics of epidemic policing including criminalization, victimization, police-public engagements, and media that are critical to understanding structural and physical violence in the developing world in terms of human and political rights, access to survival/physiological needs and the public health imperative. To achieve this end, the state-based approaches to COVID 19 prevention and treatment, the people's representations of the COVID 19-related restrictions and the media's role are analyzed. ▪ Language: English ▪ Free of Charge ▪ Pre-registration is needed (Deadline of Application: Mon. 13 July) https://bit.ly/2NNkYBD ▪ Jointly organized by Kanto branch of Japan Association for African Studies
Event Postponed

【Event Postponed】Workshop on the possibility of Japan studies with a researcher from South Africa

【Update on Feb. 25】We're afraid to inform you that this event will be postponed due to the Coronavirus situation in current Japan. The new date hasn't been fixed yet, but we will announce it on this website as soon as it's fixed. International Center for Japan Studies will conduct a workshop on the possibility of Japan studies toward next generation on March 5 and 6, 2020. It is jointly organized with African Studies Center - TUFS. In the event, they will invite Prof. Scarlett Cornelissen from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She also has a close relationship with our center, and we invited her as a speaker of ASC Seminar in October 2018. The event is open to public, and no pre-registration is required. 【Seminar】 ◆Title: Japanese firms and their investments and internationalization in Africa ◆Speaker: Prof. Scarlett Cornelissen (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) ◆Date & Time: Thursday, March 5th, 2020 3:00 pm - ◆Venue: Project Space (3rd Floor, AGORA Global), Tokyo Unviersity of Foreign Studies 【International Workshop】 ◆Date & Time: Friday, March 6th, 2020 3:00 pm - ◆Venue: Project Space (3rd Floor, AGORA Global), Tokyo Unviersity of Foreign Studies ◆Programme:Speaker 1: Prof. Scarlett Cornelissen (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)"Asia Area Studies in the African context" Speaker 2: Mr. Kei Yoshizawa (Japan International Cooperation Agency - JICA)"日本とアフリカの開発協力、その歴史と今後の展望 (Development cooperation between Japan and Africa: Its history and future perspective)" The following information is both for the seminar and the workshop. ◆Language: Japanese and English *Prof. Cornelissen's presentation will be in English, and Mr. Yoshizawa's will be in Japanese. There will be no simultaneous interpretation, but Prof. Connelissen's presentation will be translated in Japanese and distributed to the audience. ◆Admission: Free ◆No pre-registration is required. ◆Jointly Organized by International Center for Japan Studies, TUFS and African Studies Center - TUFS ◆Contact: International Center for Japan Studies tel: 042-330-5794 email: info-icjstufs.ac.jp The reception will be held from 6:00 pm after the workshop on March 6th. For those who'd like to participate in the reception, please contact International Center for Japan Studies in advance (those who'd like to participate in only the seminar or/and the workshop do not need to pre-register).→【Update on Feb. 20】The reception will be cancelled due to Coronavirus situation in Japan. However, the seminar and the workshop will be held as planned.
February 2020

BBC documentary series on Africa are released as DVD

BBC Documentary Series "Africa with Ade Adepitan" has been released as DVD in Japan in February 2020. In the series, Mr. Ade Adepitan, the former wheelchair basketball player, visits various African countries and reports realities of each countries, such as people, economic growth, histories, political influences, conflicts, and so on. Prof. Shinichi Takeuchi, our director, and Dr. Yasuo Matsunami, our specially appointed researcher, supervised Japanese subtitles. ◆Series Title: Africa with Ade Adepitan (Maruzen Publishing)  Volume 1: Western Part (Cape Verde/Senegal/Côte d'Ivoire/Nigeria) Volume2: Central Part (Gabon/DRC/Uganda) Volume 3: Eastern Part (Tanzania/Ethiopia/Somalia) Volume 4: Southern Part (Mozambique/South Africa/Zimbabwe) ◆Japanese Subtitles Supervisors: Shinichi Takeuchi, Yasuo Matsunami ◆Details: Originally broadcasted in 2018/60 min/English with Japanese and English subtitles

ActivitiesActivity records of ASC


Helene's report on her stay in Japan

October 13, 2020
Hélène Mikanda Alinethu, our former exchange student from Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS), wrote an essay to look back her ten month life in Japan. Unfortunately, COVID-10 pandemic limited her activities during spring semester 2020, but she managed to find ways to learn about Japan and enjoy her life in a foreign country. Here is her essay. My Stay in Japan My name is Hélène Mikanda Alinethu; I am a 20 years old Congolese lady. I studied and stayed in Japan for 10 months. I am a student at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences, in Peace and Conflict Studies, program of Peace-building and Development. From September 24th, 2019 to August 3rd, 2020, I stayed in Japan, Tokyo, at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies "TUFS". I was there as an exchange student under the ISEP "International Student Exchange Program"; from my home university, I was invited by the African Studies Center which conducted a fundraising that supported me for my airplane tickets and living expenses. Apart from that I was supported by JASSO as one of their scholarship recipients. In this report, as I am going to talk about my stay in Japan, I would like to thank first of all those people who made my stay in Japan possible and enjoyable, those who supported me throughout the whole process. This report will be talked about into two main parts; at first I will talk about my life at the university as a student, and lately I will talk about my life as foreigner in Japan which will include my social life and adventures. First of all, I am a student in Peace and Conflict Studies and while in Japan I was interested in learning classes related to peace-building, war and postwar history of Japan, history of reconstruction of Japan, international relations, Japanese culture and religion. During the first semester, also called fall semester, I took seven classes which are; Oral communication for Japanese language lessons, introduction to gender in contemporary Japan, intercultural communication, international law, and diplomatic relations of postwar Japan, China's economic reform and globalization, and International protection of refugees. I learned a lot in classes that I took for this semester especially in the class of international protection of refugees; it was my first time to have a class on this topic and things that we did in the class were related to some kind of cases happening in my country, Democratic Republic of Congo. This class talked about refugees and their rights, asylum seeking, and many other interesting topics; the most interesting thing to me was about the rights of refugees because this took me back to my country where I see different cases of discrimination of refugees, and this made me understand that it is not easy to leave one's home and be expected to feel comfortable at an outside home; therefore, it is not easy to a refugee, all we need is to make them feel comfortable and we should let them find peace at our host places. About the classes that I took on history of Japan, I learned a lot about the Japan's international relations with other countries especially those from Asia; the history was such interesting as I learned about historical relations between Japan and Asian countries, and how that still have some impacts and still affecting Japan's international relation and globalization with the world. Another interesting thing was to learn about gender in Japan, as a foreign woman from Africa, it was really great to know about gender in Japan. During the second semester, also called spring semester, I took again seven classes based on my interest; the classes I took are; Topics in the news media and its role in global society, topics in religion and popular culture in Japan, topics in global business and leadership-innovation, introduction to intercultural communication and language education, Japanese performative culture, gender and globalization, and social movements and democracy in postwar Japan. In this semester I learned a lot about the Japanese culture, religion, war and postwar history, reconstruction and development in Japan. It was so interesting to take all those classes on Japan because I got to know that as my country is right now, Japan also went through hard time and they did so much effort to develop fast, they lost, but still they persevered till they reached the goal. I also got to know about religions and culture in Japan; was such interesting to see how religion is also involved reconstruction and that, they, on their own ways support the development process through various ways. To understand well the Japanese culture, I took a class on Japanese performative culture and a class on religion and culture in Japan; from which I got to know about different values, norms and I also got to see the beauty of Japanese culture. I learned about the Takarazuka performance and was so interesting to see how women perform the dances, songs, and put on costumes no matter the gender ideals around the place. I did a research on that as a way to understand well the gender ideals and roles in the Japanese society with regard to the meaning of the Takarazuka performances. To deepen my knowledge on the Japanese culture, I tried to learn Japanese with regard to JLC classes; I started just one level, 100, which I could not achieve, but kept doing my best in the oral communication class. The thing that I liked the most in learning Japanese was the polite way the language is spoken; I found that Japanese is the most polite language and most of the words I could hear every day apart from "arigatou" was "sumimasen" and "irashaimase"; the language was different and hard to learn for me even though I really love it. During the classes, I did not only learn from the lectures; I also learned from the lecturers and my fellow students through their shared experiences and knowledge. The second part of this story is about my life outside the university; outside the classrooms, I joined LET'S, an association that brings together students from different places and who speak and who are interested to learn different languages in order to exchange knowledge; I also joined a bible study group at TUFS, a group of numbered students who are Christians and who are open to welcoming other people who are not Christians. Talking about my social life in Japan; I had a great social experience in and outside school; I got more experiences from the friends I met in Japan, and many of them were from different countries all over the world; this is the greatest experience I have ever had in my life, living with youths from more than 50 countries in the world. Apart from that I visited so many places in Japan, apart from Tokyo; Hiroshima, Okinawa, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Kanagawa, Ibaraki, Chiba, Saitama, Shizuoka. Okinawa is the place where I stayed for many days, and I visited the Himeyuri Peace Museum, the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, and also different US military bases where I joined a nonviolent protest in front of the Camp Schwab in Henoko. In many of these places I visited, I also participated in Church services, I visited different Shrines and Temples; I usually went to church at the International Christian University. At my visit in Kyoto, I tried the Japanese traditional dressing "Kimono". Apart from just visiting, I stayed in families in Osaka and Ibaraki. I also tasted some Japanese dishes, among which I liked Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki. On January 13th, I joined an international restaurant for children with some Japanese and international students, where we cooked different kind of foods, and I made Congolese Ugali made with maize flour. Within the first academic term, I also started to interact with students of the Ikubunkan Global High School, with whom we organized seminars on Africa and Japan. I also did my internship at the Munakata Foundation, where I usually did researches about different issues in Africa and presentations about my findings, and sometimes I wrote some proposals to the Foundation basing on what could be done. I lastly visited Hiroshima where I wish I could spend more time; in Hiroshima I learned about the Japan A-Bomb, read some testimonies of survivors and also learn about the Japanese understanding of what happened during and after the war; I also learned about the Japan reconstruction and it was also interesting to learn about the atomic bomb from history in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Apart from that, I learned about the social life in Hiroshima and got the chance to visit just for some minutes, thanks to the pastor and some friends, we had a great moment in Hiroshima, and we could also try and enjoy some dishes. To conclude, I will say that my stay in Japan was beyond my expectations; I learned a lot from the ten months experience I got from Japan. Not just as a student, but also as a professional; I have improved my skills and knowledge and for me, my stay in Japan was a dream come true. All these could not have been possible without the support of different people who made all the things that I have said above possible. I want to thank all the crowd funding group with each person involved in it, I want to thank the African Studies Center, I want to thank Sasaki Sensei, I want to thank Baptist community in Japan, the TUFS and JASSO administrations, all my Japanese and international friends I met in Japan and those I met in Rwanda; you all made my stay in Japan enjoyable and possible, and everything you did for me will never be forgotten; your support changed me, and I will always be grateful.
Visiting Researchers

Essay on my stay in Japan

September 29, 2020
Octave, a former exchange student from PIASS in Rwanda, wrote an essay to look back his 10 months in Japan. Because of COVID-19 pandemic, he had to take online classes and basically stay at home in spring semester, but he could find the way to enjoy himself under such a circumstance. Here is his essay. Essay on my Stay in Japan I still remember the first time I went to Japan; last year towards the end of September. I was very excited to visit the country and even more excited to meet new and a diversity of people. My stay in Japan was from September to July. Which is long enough to learn and experience a few things, but at the same time it felt like a short stay. Thanks to the efforts of Prof. Sasaki, Prof. Takeuchi and the African Studies Centre, crowd-funding members and TUFS, I was able to go to Japan as a TUFS exchange student from Rwanda. During my stay in japan I experienced a lot of good things and new perspectives of life which I learned from a variety of people of different cultures and age groups. I learned very important things which can help me improve my life, both in my daily experiences and with my academic studies. My experiences Most of my friends were from different countries such as; France, Spain, UK, USA, Brazil, Nigeria and New Zealand to name a few. Thanks to TUFS I was able to make such friendships which I never thought I would be able to. To my surprise, I met some very interesting Japanese people which I later befriended. I was surprised because before coming to Japan I was under the impression that Japanese people were quiet and a bit shy, but after a few days of spending a bit of time with my Japanese friends, the opposite was true. Each of them were very interesting, some ranging from very active and outgoing to a few others that are more reserved but just as much of good company. friends at a Halloween party (October 2019) When I was in TUFS I stayed in one of the dormitories which were reserved for international students. There I met lot of students from other countries and we would often explore the cities of Japan, shrines, temples and in a few occasions' festivals. At a festival with a few of my friends (October 2019) Food and cultural festivals Someone once told me that the best way to fully experience a culture is through the food and language. Unfortunately my Japanese is not good enough to have long conversations with local people, so I tried the next best thing. Food! During the first few weeks in Japan before intensive classes started I was on a mission to get fat on Japanese food. Although I didn't get as far as I wanted to be, I thoroughly enjoyed the tastes of Japanese cuisine. What I came to realize is that sushi and sashimi were incredibly tasty but with a bit of soy sauce, my taste buds would be in a frenzy of delight. Sushi and sashimi are just a few of the food I enjoyed there. The most memorable of the foods I tried in Japan were okonomiyaki and tempura. tempura in Okinawa(December 2019) Sashimi in Okinawa(December 2019) okonomiyaki and a fish dish I really enjoyed During my stay in Japan I went to a few festivals such as the chestnut festival. I had a lot of fun meeting new people and eating some very delicious chestnuts. It is only then where I saw parades which seemed very Japanese and different types of foods being sold. This made me appreciate how beautiful the Japanese culture is. chestnut festival in Fuchu (October 2019) Trips to Okinawa and Hiroshima Okinawa During the times when I wasn't studying I had the pleasure of going to Okinawa. I was very happy to go because at that time winter was approaching and it was very cold in Tokyo, but prof. Sasaki planned a study trip to Okinawa and mentioned that it would be warmer there. the beautiful blue Okinawa Sea While in Okinawa we learned about the army bases in Okinawa and a few cases of how the Okinawa people are distressed by this. However, I was glad to hear that some locals would protest every week. As a student of Environmental Science I knew that the building of new army bases would negatively affect the natural environment, so something needed to be done to ensure that the environment and peace were fought for. In order to this, people would protest and slow down the building of these army bases and fortunately I had the chance to join the local people in protesting. I just hope our efforts and the efforts of the protesting locals are not in vain and that peace and understanding can be achieved. Hiroshima Hiroshima was one of my favorite places in Japan; i enjoyed its presence and happy people. Despite my enjoyment and wish to one day return there, it was a bit of a sad but fulfilling trip. What made it sad were the stories which I read about the effects of the A-bombs and how people suffered. It was quit depressing but very insightful. My hearts go out to those still affected directly or indirectly and to those who have overcome the pain of what had happened. After visiting the museum two friends that we met in Hiroshima took us out to okonomiyaki and it was great! It was my first time trying okonomiyaki and I was told that Hiroshima has the best okonomiyaki in Japan. In Hiroshima with friends and pastor Harima In Tokyo In Tokyo I would sometimes travel to different parts of the city such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Kichijoji, but my favorite place was Kichijoji because it was closer and had everything I needed form bigger cities such as Shibuya and Shinjuku. Seeing such tall buildings and a more urban life than I'm used to in Rwanda was a nice surprise and worth the experience. Tokyo metropolitan tower Weather (winter) I love the changing seasons but i think winter was the worst thing I've experienced in Japan! I'm naturally used to warmer weather so winter was very difficult for me to cope with. I did enjoy the beauty of snow but not so much the feel of it. My school life TUFS Life in TUFS was often busy in between classes and club activities. At PIASS (Protestant Institute of arts and Social Sciences) I study environmental sciences. With this course, I was a bit worried if I would find any courses related to my field of study but I was glad to found a few. In the first semester I took about 11 courses which were all very interesting including Japanese 101. The courses which I found most interesting in the first semester were my Japanese courses, globalization and social change and world geography. The courses which I highlighted were very engaging. The manner with which the lecturers would conduct the class felt very professional and personal. The classes tried to get each and every student to give their own opinions and views on the courses. The classes never felt like lectures but more like conversations. I had some trouble being early for classes in the first few weeks but once I got used to the campus, I learned how to manage my time for almost each class and although I'm no longer In Japan, I wish to experience the teaching methods of TUFS. I was looking forward to the second semester, but unfortunately for everyone covid-19 left the world stuck and at home. The pandemic did not allow for classes to be open so the TUFS students (new and old) had to take classes online. Although it was inconvenient to meet the new students joining the second semester and physically join clubs for school activities, studying online was not so bad and I could enjoy classes and still learn a lot through video. I appreciate the lecturers for making the classes interesting even in that situation. Club activities Towards the end of the first semester I joined the QUATRO club for dancing. The main club I was in was house dancing. As an African, dancing is something I do almost all the time and joining that club not only made me want to dance but also meet new people. I met a lot of very talented Japanese and international students, each with amazing dance moves! The other club I joined was a basketball club. This was my favorite club but unfortunately due to covid-19 it had to be closed and we could no play. Despite the missed opportunities caused by the pandemic, I had a lot of fun in Japan and I learned a lot about myself and gained a new understanding of the world while I was there. I shall never forget the courses I took and the teachers who shared their knowledge with me and allowed me to share mine with them. TUFS for hosting me, putting me on JASSO scholarship which really helped and the African Studies Centre for making sure I was alright and enjoying my stay my in Japan. I would like to show my appreciation to the crowd-funding members for making it possible for me to go to Japan and last but not least Prof. Sasaki for sending me to Japan blessing me with that opportunity to learn, explore and make new connections. me and my friends that I miss so much Thank you all!
Visiting Researchers

Makiko SAKAI【Discussion Paper】"Characteristics of Bike taxis in African rural society: A case study of Dschang, West Cameroon"

◆Name; Makiko Sakai ◆Date: July 2020 ◆Published in FFJ Discussion Paper Series ◆Title: Tree Shape Classification and Land Management by Hausa Farmers in Sahel Region of Southern Niger ◆Abstract: This paper, based on a field research using more than 100 questionnaire results, aims to clarify the current precarious realities of Bamiléké bike taxi men in Dschang, West Cameroon. In the recent decades, we see the significant increase of bike taxi activities in Sub-Sahara Africa an organic initiative to tackling chronic youth unemployment due to a development of urbanization. We cannot ignore the increasing contribution of Chinese motorbikes in the diversification of the mode of marketing systems. In 2000s, China took a zero custom measure for a part of import goods toward Africa, which provides an opportunity to increase a number of imports of motorcycles. As a result, a lot of young who were seeking employment started to do bike taxi, and play an important role to connect between the production area in the mountainous location and local markets in the cities. Some research emphasizes its positive effects on local economy, other research focuses on the negatives as a curse on society, such as causes and symptoms of social disorder. This paper contributes to give alternative perspective viewed by drivers themselves. It is important to understand their concerns and anger due to predominant fears for their future, caused by the dysfunctional social and political structure. ◆Keywords: Cameroon, West Region, Dschang, Bike taxi, local transport, periodic markets, Opération Ville Mortes, Reulatory Authority

The 51st ASC Seminar "Challenges and Responses to COVID-19 pandemic in African societies: Case reports from Cameroon and Uganda"

July 16, 2020
Date&Time: 7.16 Thu 17:40-19:10 (Japan time. GMT+9) Speaker: Fongnzossie Fedoung Evariste (University of Douala, Cameroon) Ian Karusigarira (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan) Venue: Webinar by Zoom Language: English Report: The seminar was held online connecting Africa and Japan as with the 50th ASC seminar. This time we invited African scholars from Cameroon and Uganda as speakers. The theme of the seminar was the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa societies. As an ethnobotany specialist, Dr. Fongnzossie reported the current challenges faced by traditional medicine experts and the potential of contribution by plant-based traditional knowledge against COVID-19. Mr. Karusigarira, a PhD. student of political science in TUFS who has just arrived in Japan from Uganda in quarantine, analysed policing strategy by the Uganda government and how it is perceived and translated by citizens. Some audiences joined connecting from Africa and the speakers had lively discussion with the audiences.
The 51st ASC Seminar