AJF:Newsletter[quarterly]"Africa NOW" No.84

Africa Japan Forum (AJF) works with African People for African People's better life.

Africa NOW No.84

Issued on March 31, 2009 by Africa Japan Forum (AJF)

Special Topic: Voices of African Residents in Japan

The number of African residents in Japan has increased since the end of the 1990s. Most of them are faced with a bias against Africa or black people in the Japanese society or various difficulties accompanied by jobs or social life. However, on the other hand, mutual assistance are very active among African communities, and African residents have more opportunities to have a relationship with the Japanese society through shops, workplaces, schools, different circles or NGOs than before. This special topic presents voices of three African residents in Japan.

p.3-7 Reshaping the "image of Africa", written by Willy Toko
Willy Toko from Democratic Republic of the Congo has lived in Japan for ten years. He presented a clue to rethink views on Africa held in the Japanese society. Based on his encounter with African residents in Japan and bias or harassment against Africa or foreigners in Japan, he expressed his opinion that various attractions of Africa should be developed in the Japanese society. The original text of the essays is also written in Japanese.

p.8-10 Being African in Japan, written by Busi Puseletso Nkopane
Busi Puseletso Nkopane from South Africa working as ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Ibaraki prefecture talked about the stereotypes or bias against Africa or black people found in the classroom, thinking back on her experiences. At the same time, she showed her efforts to change the present situation of cultural divide like that and make Japanese citizens have positive images on African and Africans.

p.11-13 Japanese translation of the above essay "Being African in Japan"

p.14-17 My colleague in Sudan have a chance to enjoy IT, interview with Hisham Elser
Interview with Hisham Elser, a completely blind Sudanese currently studying at Graduate School, Tsukuba University. The editorial board at Africa Now asked him about his experiences at blind school and his host families in Japan, blind person's study, how to use IT for communication, support activities for blind persons in Sudan offered by CAPEDS (Committee for Assisting and Promoting Education of the Disabled in Sudan) or a society for supporting education for Sudanese visually-disabled persons where he serves as Executive Vice-President.

p.18-19 Book review: "The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy" (The original is written in English. Its Japanese title is "Anata no T-shirt wa doko kara kita no ka? "), reviewed by SUEMASU Chika
Review of "The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy", a book tracing the process of production and distribution of T-shirts in the current global economy. SUEMASU Chika, a member of AJF, explained that policies of advanced countries were deeply related to poverty at the production site of T-shirts in developing countries to be consumed in advanced countries.

p.19-20 Book review: "Medical services, disabilities and gender in Africa" (original title is "Africa no iryo, syogai, gender" in Japanese), reviewed by YASUHARA Soichi
Review of "Medical services, disabilities and gender in Africa", the Japan's first book reporting different issues of African (Nigerian) medical services from a historical and theoretical point of view. YASUHARA Soichi, sociologist and writer, thinks about fundamental problems like "what is healing or care?" confronting modern medical services (mental health), explaining the current condition of Nigerian mental health.

p.21 Film review: "Memory of baobabs" (The original title is "Baobab no kioku" in Japanese), reviewed by ISHIZAWA Takako Review of a film "Memory of baobabs" (currently showing) describing life and season's transition in a village of Senegal, presenting villagers' relationship with baobabs. ISHIZAWA Takako, freelanced journalist, talked about how attractive the film was.

p.22-23 Film presentation: "Chokora!", reported by MOZUMI Mamoru
"Chokora!" is a documentary film portraying children living on a street in Kenya. MOZUMI Mamoru from the editor of "Africa Now" had an interview with a director (KOBAYASHI Shigeru) and an editor (HATA Takeshi) of the film to be released in May. MOZUMI explained what points the film producer paid attention to in shooting and producing the film, and told how Africa was portrayed in the film, thinking of portrayal of impressive scenes.

4th cover To readers ("Hitotsu no musubime toshite" in Japanese) and daily report
Information from the secretariat of AJF to readers.


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