日米地位協定に関する講演会のご案内

各位

日米地位協定に関する講演会のご案内 〈2020年締結60年にあたり〉

講演:「被害者の叫び」 キャサリン・ジェーン・フィッシャー (国際人権活動家)

日時 : 11月11日㈪11時 (開場10時半)

場所 : 衆議院第一議員会館    第一会議室

会費 : 500円(資料代)

主催 : ウォリアーズ・ジャパン

問合せ : warriors.japan@gmail.com

講演者プロフィール :

キャサリン・ジェーン・フィッシャーさんは、オーストラリア出身。1980年代に来日、永住。 2002年4月、神奈川県横須賀基地近くで米軍兵士からレイプ被害を受ける。

同年、東京地裁に民事訴訟を提起、勝訴するも、日米地位協定に阻まれ、犯人は米国に逃走。全面解決のため、10年かけて独自で犯人をつきとめ、米国にて裁判を起こし、2013年、画期的勝訴となった。米軍が公平な裁きを妨害したという事実を証明することができたため、賠償金額1ドルに同意した。

以降、事件発生から17年間、日米地位協定を改定する運動を継続中であるが、来年2020年、協定締結から60年を迎えるにあたり、ジェーンさんは特に日米地位協定16条にある、日本国の法令を「尊重」から「遵守」への変更を訴えています。

今年7月には、ジュネーブにある国連人権委員会にて発言の機会も与えられ、沖縄を中心とした在日米兵による人権無視の性被害が今日まで21万件(日本政府発表)にも及ぶことや、自らの体験を、理事会の席上で語りました。

キャサリン・ジェーン・フィッシャーさんは、2002年より、性犯罪防止と被害者への支援のため「ウォリアーズ・ジャパン」(Warriors Japan-Woman Against Rape)を設立、活動を続けてきました。今後も、日米地位協定16条を変えるため、さらに、日米地位協定のあらゆる不合理をなくすために声を上げ続けます。皆様の変わらぬご理解ご支援をくださいますよう、どうぞよろしくお願い申し上げます。

付記:ジェーンさんの名前について。 ジェーンさんがこの世に生を受けた時、父親のMr.フィッシャー氏はもう一つの名前モルガン・ペルペツア(海を越えて伝わるとこしえの美、という意味)と迷った末、愛する娘にキャサリン・ジェーンと名付けました。 キャサリンは「無垢」、ジェーンは「慈悲深き神」を意味するという。いずれの名前も、ジェーンさんの使命を暗示していたかのようです。

 

Supported by:

Warriors Japan

I Am Jane

Happy Yellow Ribbon

Peace Project

The Peace For Okinawa Coalition

Heiwa Inkai

Wisdom’s Workshop: The Rise of the Modern University – Book Review

Robert Kajiwara

Book Review

Wisdom’s Workshop: The Rise of the Modern University

By James Axtell

Axtell, James. Wisdom’s Workshop: The Rise of the Modern University. Princeton University Press. 2016. $22.76 eBook.

In Wisdom’s Workshop: The Rise of the Modern University, James Axtell sets out to provide a history of the development of the modern university and how it came to be what it is today. From the earliest universities in Europe, the development of Oxbridge, and the founding and growth of major universities in the United States, Axtell’s narrative provides historical perspective and context for the creation of elite universities in the English-speaking world. The key phrase here, though, is elite English-speaking universities, which is Axtell’s true focus.

Through Axtell’s work we see that medieval universities were not terribly dissimilar from universities as we know them today. Both share a similar liberal arts curriculum. Students in both eras had to deal with issues of paying for their tuition, taking notes, managing their personal life, the high cost of buying books, and finding jobs after graduation. Throughout Catholic Europe the church was the primary employer of university graduates, though Axtell states that the goal of medieval universities was not to produce zealous clergy, but to produce qualified leaders to maintain the social order, both secular and religious.1

Axtell writes that “The Genesis of America’s great modern universities lies not in the continental experience of all European universities, but in the provincial antecedents of England’s Oxford and Cambridge.”2 That is to say that Axtell has a self-admittedly strong penchant for universities in the English-speaking world, while giving little thought or time to the study of universities in non-English speaking countries. Some of the oldest European universities are in Germany, France, Italy, and elsewhere, yet Axtell gives little attention to these. He also overlooks ancient universities and centers of learning in Africa, the Middle East, India, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific. Many civilizations throughout the world constructed their own schools and universities that far pre-date European universities by hundreds and even thousands of years. Axtell, though, writing from a white Eurocentric perspective, shows little interest in these. A case could possibly be made that the modern university is based on the Western university model, and therefore the study of non-Western systems is not relevant to Axtell’s work. However non-English speaking Western European countries made important contributions to the development of the modern university as we know it, so Axtell’s lack of interest in this narrative is a notable shortcoming.

Axtell also has a strong focus on elite universities in both England and the United States. While elite universities may have a prominent role in setting precedence for others, they are certainly not the only universities worth studying in a review that is title the the Rise of the Modern University. Far more students attend community colleges and less-prestigious universities than the Ivy Leagues, the Stanfords, and the Oxbridges of the world, so a true study of the modern university should have a significant emphasis on institutions that are more representative of the majority of students. Axtell’s review of the modern American or English university is intriguing, but it should be labeled accurately. It is not truly a study of the Rise of the Modern University, since it focuses primarily on a very specific and elite version of the modern university. Instead Axtell’s work would be better titled The Rise of the Modern American-English University or perhaps The Rise of Elite American-English Universities.

Axtell’s sources are reflective of his focus, and includes both primary and secondary documents, mostly from England and the United States. Although Axtell devotes a chapter to the German influence in American higher education during the nineteenth through twentieth centuries, he neglects the use of German-language sources, and opts instead to heavily utilize English-language sources. Unsurprisingly his narrative in the chapter remains heavily focused on how Germans helped to influence elite American institutions, rather than on how Germans contributed to the modern university.

Universities were not immune to the negative effects of the Great Depression. Faculty salaries and the construction of new buildings came to a standstill in reaction to lessening of university income.3 During World War II American universities saw a decrease in enrollment and faculty, though this was somewhat alleviated by the start of military training that took place on university campuses. When America became an undisputed superpower after the war, American universities adjusted to an increase in enrollment, as well as to being the premier centers of learning in the world.

In spite of its shortcomings, Wisdom’s Workshop is an interesting read for anyone who desires to know more about the history of the university as an institution and how it came to be what it is today. Through times of struggle and prosperity, change and consistency, Axtell describes the university as an institution that both changes and remains the same. Axtell’s focus on elite English-speaking narratives though advances the American exceptionalism and white supremacist belief of superiority over other cultures and races, including Europeans from non-English speaking countries.

1Axtell, 17, 38.

2Axtell, 43.

3Axtell, 316.

 

Robert Kajiwara is a Ryukyuan (Okinawan), Nahua, Hawaiian PhD in History student at Liberty University. He has an MA in History from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a BA in History, Asia/Pacific focus, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is President of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition, a non-profit think-tank and cultural organization (www.PeaceForOkinawa.org). For more information please see his website, www.RobKajiwara.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RobKajiwara.

Why Study History? Ryukyu’s respect for ancestors

Why Study History?

Ryukyu’s respect for ancestors

Robert Kajiwara

Done in partial fulfillment of the PhD in History program at Liberty University

Robert Kajiwara is a Ryukyuan (Okinawan), Nahua, Hawaiian PhD in History student at Liberty University. He has an MA in History from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a BA in History, Asia/Pacific focus, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is President of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition, a non-profit think-tank and cultural organization (www.PeaceForOkinawa.org). For more information please see his website, www.RobKajiwara.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RobKajiwara.

For many people the study of history is not exactly fun or important. Some colleges have actually reduced the amount of history credits required for general education. Earlier this year the Washington Post ran an op-ed titled “Americans’ ignorance of history is a national scandal.”1 In 2017 they ran an article titled “Why so many students hate history – and what to do about it.”2 In 2016 the American Historical Association wrote that fewer students were enrolling in college history courses.3 In 2018 the Smithsonian wrote that the number of college history majors has dropped by more than 30% since the Great Recession.4

Why, then, should people study history?

In my book, Occupied Okinawa: The United States of America and Japan’s Desecration of Okinawa’s Democracy and Environment, I argue that there are five basic aspects that make up Ryukyu / Okinawan identity. They are, in no particular order, culture, history, language, environment, and national identity. To lose any one of these will mean eventually losing them all, since they are all intricately connected to each other. Though this is specific to Ryukyuans, the same can be applied to many cultures or nations around the world.

Ryukyu was a prosperous independent nation up until 1879, when Japan forcefully annexed it against the will of Ryukyuans. Since then, Japan has worked to destroy Ryukyu’s history, culture, language, and identity in order to prevent Ryukyuans from rising up and regaining our independence.

To forget one’s history is to forget one’s self. This is why when a nation commits genocide against another, they often forbid the teaching of the victim’s history, and instead brainwash them into learning the history of the oppressor nation. The Nazis and the Khmer Rouge were notorious for this. The Spanish did this against Native Americans in Mexico and South America. The United States has done this to Native Americans as well as Hawaiians, and Japan has done this to Ryukyuans.

Generally I think many indigenous cultures place a greater emphasis on history than does Western culture. Westerners give little thought or acknowledgment to their ancestors, so there is also little emphasis on the study of history. 65% of Americans define themselves as Christian, and Christianity has played a pivotal role in American society since the earliest days of the United States.5 The Bible places a tremendous amount of importance on history, and contains twelve historical books, along with numerous genealogies scattered throughout. The ancient Jews and early Christians, similar to Ryukyuans, understood that knowing genealogies was critical to knowing history and to knowing ones’ self. Western Christians, though, tend to give little thought to the genealogies found in the Bible. Perhaps if they better understood their own history, the average American Christian would better understand their own faith and role in the world.

Ryukyuans are traditionally taught history from a young age, and a person with good understanding of history is often referred to as a kaminchu, or a Godly person, since in Ryukyuan culture knowing history is synonymous with respect for ones ancestors. Genealogies are so important to Ryukyuans that up until recent generations, Ryukyu women tattooed their genealogies onto the back of their hands as a sort of fashion accessory. After Japan annexed Ryukyu, they banned the practice of traditional Ryukyu tattoos (hajichi), along with many other practices. Today, because of Japan’s oppression, most young Ryukyuans have little understanding of their history, culture, language, or identity, all of which are in grave threat of extinction in the immediate future.

History provides us with the knowledge of our ancestors and those who came before us. It can help foster greater understanding of ourselves and the world. It allows us to learn from the mistakes and triumphs of previous generations, and can help us make better decisions in our own lives. Westerners would do well to revive the study of their ancestors and of history in general. Indigenous peoples around the world should continue to study our histories, in spite of the many colonizing forces that try to prevent us from doing so. Through the study of history we can find better understanding of people from other cultures and backgrounds and perhaps make the world a better place for ourselves and future generations, who may someday look back on us with gratitude.

Sources

“Americans’ ignorance of history is a national scandal.” The Washington Post. 20 February 2019.

Brookins, Julia. “Survey Finds Fewer Students Enrolling in College History Courses.” American Historical Association. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2019 from: https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2016/survey-finds-fewer-students-enrolling-in-college-history-courses.

Daley, Jason. “Why Are Fewer People Majoring in History?” Smithsonian.com. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2019 from: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-people-major-history-180970913/.

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” Pew Research Center. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019 from: https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/.

Kajiwara, Robert. Occupied Okinawa: The United States of America and Japan’s Desecration of Okinawa’s Democracy and Environment. Honolulu: Kaji Books. 2019.

“Why so many students hate history – and what to do about it.” The Washington Post. 17 May 2017.

1“Americans’ ignorance of history is a national scandal.” The Washington Post. 20 February 2019.

2“Why so many students hate history – and what to do about it.” The Washington Post. 17 May 2017.

3Brookins, Julia. “Survey Finds Fewer Students Enrolling in College History Courses.” American Historical Association. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2019 from: https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2016/survey-finds-fewer-students-enrolling-in-college-history-courses.

4Daley, Jason. “Why Are Fewer People Majoring in History?” Smithsonian.com. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2019 from: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-people-major-history-180970913/.

5“In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” Pew Research Center. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019 from: https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/.