Japan All Stars, Tokyo, Japan

Track:
2.5 Intercultural-cultural communication and new forms of being
What:
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
When:
26 minutes
Where:
Discussion:
0
Japan All Stars is a non-profit organization functioning as a think-tank for organizers of poor communities in the poorest areas of Tokyo. Over the past two years, the organization has held several developmental gatherings and events for young people in partnerships with community organizers. The gatherings and events are aimed at intersecting diverse groups and communities, including bringing together young people growing up poor with academics, inner-city people with farmers in the rural area, poor adolescents with college students.
In 2015 we held the first trial of All Stars Project of Tokyo at Nishi-Iko-Family Park, Adachi Ward, Tokyo. Under the fine blue sky and with the cherry trees in full blossom, 82 people got together and enjoyed games and food, including 10 mother and child pairs, 5 high school students who normally hang around the parks after school, 4 social workers who are engaged to assist poor and single-mother families, 2 farmer grandmas who donated vegetables and helped us to cook dumpling soup, 28 primary school children and their care-takers (who participated on the spur of the moment), and 9 graduate students. This event took place in three parts. In the first part of the event, the group cooked dumpling soup with vegetables which were kindly donated by farmers in Tsukuba area, including carrot, white radish, long green onions, burdock konnyaku, and spinach. Two farmer grandmas and two boys did the cooking. In the second part, we invited two percussionists who played drums and a marimba, playing with hand-claps by young people. After eating dumpling soup, we organized game sessions. For the older children, Wagner Schmit, a graduate student from Brazil studying games in Japan, led a role playing game which focused on the Japanese Samurai era, in which they made a historical story about rural area people who found a dead body in the woods. An interesting discovery has been that the children loved speaking English during the game, even though they say they do not like to learn English at school. 
Presenter
Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba

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