Japan@Strathclyde 2016/17

As part of its Japan-themed workshops, Japan Desk Scotland will deliver workshops on Japan as Japan@Strathclyde, in cooperation with the university’s Equality and Diversity Office and Chaplaincy Centre,  in 2016/17 academic year, with financial support form the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for those held between October and March.

The four workshops in October and November were held as ‘say hello to Inclusive Glasgow, Inclusive Scotland’, with the funding from BEMIS Scotland via the ‘Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design’ small grants programme. This was a partnership between BEMIS Scotland and the Scottish Government to facilitate diverse, multicultural celebrations.

The workshops were free and open to all.

Venue:  University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Level 2, Graham Hills Building, 50 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1QE.

(1) Wednesday 12 October 2016: ‘Inclusive Glasgow, Inclusive Scotland’

Three documentaries made by Japan Desk Scotland were shown: ‘Our Scotland: a Japanese perspective’; ‘The bird, the tree, the bell and the fish of Glasgow‘ and ‘Teaching English in Japan – Carolyn Biggs‘. Then the participants discussed about issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion in Scotland after the Brexit vote.

(2) Wednesday 26 October 2016: ‘Hiroshima’

Japan Desk Scotland’s documentary, ‘Hiroshima in 2013‘ was shown, which looks at why it is that some people in Japan find it difficult to talk about Hiroshima. Discussion was followed on issues relating to Hiroshima, including US President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima this year and the phrase used in Obama’s speech – ‘Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky’. Is the atomic bomb similar to rain or snow?

(3) Wednesday 9 November 2016: ‘Housing’

Two documentaries made by Japan Desk Scotland were shown: ‘Live a tradition in Maramureş, Romania‘ and ‘Glasgow West Housing Association: an unofficial story‘. The former looks at rural, traditional, timber house, while the latter looks at urban, collective, social housing. Discussion was followed.

(4) Wednesday 23 November 2016: ‘Origami workshop’

A variety of origami forms were tried. The participants enjoyed folding papers in origami style and conversation among themselves.

(5) Wednesday 8 February 2017: ‘Equality and Diversity in Japan’

Japanese society was discussed in terms of equality and diversity.

(6) Wednesday 22 February 2017: ‘Glasgow Chai Party’

The participants tasted chai (tea) from Japan and China, and enjoyed conversation. This was part of the university’s Diversity Week.

(7) Wednesday 8 March 2017: ‘Fukushima’ 

Japan Desk Scotland’s fourth documentary on Fukushima, ‘Fukushima: 2011-2015‘, was shown. This was followed by discussion.

(8) Wednesday 19 April 2017: ‘Inclusive Glasgow, Inclusive Scotland’ 

Scottish approach for making society inclusive was examined with the screening of Japan Desk Scotland’s two documentaries:

Our Scotland: A Japanese perspective‘ (2013, 34 mins): How are strangers treated at a ceilidh?

Equality and Equity at Scottish School – Andrew Robson‘ (2017, 26 mins): Andrew Robson, Deputy Head Teacher, Hillhead Primary, Glasgow, talks about ‘equity’ approach of trying to meet every child’s needs at school.

(9) Wednesday 26 April 2017: ‘Inter-cultural Understanding’

Is it easy to understand each other across cultures?

This question was examined with the screening of Japan Desk Scotland’s four documentaries:

Japanese isn’t English‘ (2016, 15 mins) Native speakers of Japanese are likely to understand English sounds in relation to Japanese sounds, although these two are different.

Equality and Equity at Scottish School – Andrew Robson‘ (2017, 26 mins): Andrew Robson, Deputy Head Teacher, Hillhead Primary, Glasgow, talks about ‘equity’ approach of trying to meet every child’s needs at school.

Hope – Rev Dr Norman Shanks‘ (2016, 20 mins): ‘Hope’ seems an easy concept, but the former Leader of Iona Community talks about its meaning with reference to Christianity, T.S. Eliot’s poem, and Pandora’s box.

Christianity is about relationship, hope – Rev Bruce Keeble‘ (2015, 26 mins): He was a prisoner of war at Japanese camps in China during WWII. When he came to Glasgow as a Minister, he met Japanese. How has he overcome his wartime experience?