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HOME > 32nd JAMCO Online International Symposium > A Performative Approach to Understanding Others Perceiving the Multiplicity of Realities through Border-transcending Imagination

JAMCO Online International Symposium

32nd JAMCO Online International Symposium

February 2020 - March 2020

Messages for an Increasingly Divided World

A Performative Approach to Understanding Others Perceiving the Multiplicity of Realities through Border-transcending Imagination

Kishi Makiko(Meiji University) / Kawashima Yuko(Kansai University)

The world is embattled by crises of division. The need to understand other people and their cultures is becoming ever more imperative. Various responses have been implemented already at the levels of national and local governments, regions, schools etc. but this study starts from the question of whether it is even possible for us to understand others. Addressing the limits of people’s ability to understand the hard-to-accept other, it draws on Shiobara’s concept of the transboundary imagination and Ghassan Hage’s ideas concerning multiple realities to consider, from an educational perspective, how these crises of division may be tackled.

Keywords: understanding others, division, the transboundary imagination, multiple realities, performance

1.Introduction: Do we Possess a Correct Appreciation of Reality? The First Author’s Experiences in Palestine

In September, 2019, while returning by car from a school in Ramallah in the Palestinian territories, a member of the Palestinian Ministry of Education who was traveling with me showed me a video that was trending on social media at the time. The video showed a Palestinian woman whose son had been killed. She was screaming and waving a knife at Israeli soldiers and the video caught the very moment when an Israeli shot her dead. Israelis viewing this video saw that she was wielding a lethal weapon and concluded she was shot in self-defense. Palestinian viewers asked what possible danger a woman with a knife could pose to anyone at such a distance. They blamed the soldier who fired, asserting it should have been easy enough to disarm the women without shooting her.

I also heard many other stories of clashes between Palestinians and Israelis. While on my way to visit a school in Ramallah, for example, an empty lot I could see from the car window was once an olive grove. One day, for security reasons, the Israeli soldiers had suddenly arrived and cut down all the trees tended there by the Palestinian farmer. The soldiers went to the farmer’s house and took the farmer’s son away with them on some charge or other. As it happened, the son was found to be innocent and released the following day. I also heard how a school was obliged to organize regular protective drills because of tear-gas shells that were being fired from a nearby Jewish settlement. Likewise, teachers and pupils were being prevented from coming to school by the sudden introduction of new checkpoints, making it vital to keep informed about the current checkpoint situation on a daily basis. I heard all of these things from Palestinians who knew directly about the occupation, terrorism, walls, soldiers, suicide bombers and checkpoints. These are things I saw, heard and felt by spending a long time with Palestinians.

I have hardly ever spoken publicly of my own experiences in Palestine. This feeing stems from the fact that much of my experience was gained in close proximity to Palestinians. I was engaged in educational development at Palestinian refugee camps in Syria from 2002 to 2011. I speak no Hebrew but can hold everyday conversation in Arabic. I also visited the Palestinian territories multiple times to help improve the quality of schooling there. The strong desire to contribute to Palestine, coupled with the influence of Palestinian sensibilities and thoughts on my own embodiment, makes it challenging for me to view the Israel-Palestine situation “correctly” or “accurately.”

More broadly still, the problems cannot be divided simply into the two big categories of Palestine and Israel. The experiences of every single person who lives there are different, from the seemingly happy family I met behind the walls to three children, great friends, taking turns to ride their bicycle, or the blind girl who showed she could still go shopping in spite of her disability, or the youngsters greeting Israeli soldiers with broad smiles. It is undeniable that most Palestinian people living under occupation have experienced various forms of oppression, but people’s realities do vary depending on who they know and their living environment. The same is true for Israelis.

Many opportunities have been created for people to meet and talk at the grassroots level in efforts to ameliorate the clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. With each succeeding major clash, however, people see things in terms of broad categories, of Islam, Russia, Palestine or whatever, and the distrust and ill-feeling towards the other rises back. The individuals placed within each category do probably share various experiences that are specific to that culture, but the fact remains, as noted, that everybody’s realities differ depending on the people they know and the details of their living environment.

How then should we seek to engage and build relations with the difficult other? What in fact does it mean to understand the other at all?

2.The Limits to Multiculturalism: Is it Realistic to Expect Coexistence only by Understanding the Other?

The authors share an interest in multicultural coexistence and have proposed various methods for working towards it in the course of our research. In Japan, the number of foreign residents has been rising since the 1990 revision of the Immigration Control Law and stood at 3,075,213 at the end of 2022 (Ministry of Justice, 2023). The Japanese people now have more opportunities for contact with people from diverse other cultures and Japanese society has become more multicultural. The Japanese government actively promotes multicultural coexistence (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 2006). Whereas some people welcome these developments, there are also those who object to receiving more foreigners due to the misunderstandings, conflicts and other such problems that may arise between the Japanese and foreign populations. In these circumstances, the national government, local authorities (Yamawaki and Ueno, 2022), schools (Tsuneyoshi and Nukaga, 2021), regional organizations (Tokuda et al, 2019) and others have implemented various initiatives aimed at promoting multicultural coexistence.

Practical measures to promote multicultural coexistence are essential but some of such methods have been criticized. Nagayoshi (2018) ’s survey of Japanese people’s attitudes towards multicultural coexistence identified three main issues that lay behind such criticism. One was the perception that the very goal of multicultural coexistence tended to focus attention excessively on cultural rights, rendering economic and social inequalities invisible. Secondly, the very focus on cultural differences itself produced divisions between “us” and “them.” Thirdly, the tendency to focus on food, clothing, festivals and so on amounted to nothing more than “cosmetic culturalism” and failed to reach beneath the surface.

Nagayoshi’s criticisms are pertinent with regard to practices aimed principally at “understanding” of the other and other cultures, yet the fact remains that encounters with others and other cultures do also trigger interest in other cultures and motivate people to try to understand other values and attitudes. The acquisition of knowledge can negate dislike or disapproval of different beliefs and practices, and provide a foundation for building good and friendly relations. That said, Martine Abdallah Pretceille, the author of L’education interculturelle (2021), warns especially about the dangers of regarding distinctive cultural forms as unique realities. We do in fact encounter many materialized and essentialized concepts in our daily lives. As Nishiyama articulates, what problems may be caused by these “fossilized and simplified” understandings of culture and others?

One such problem is that practices aimed principally at understanding can produce the opposite result of people not accepting otherness. One Japanese student said that when she tried to offer her seat to an elderly person on the train, she was refused in a strong tone of voice, saying it was unnecessary, and she felt sad and scared as to why she should be told in such a manner. Likewise, a woman wrongly accused by a lightly disabled man with a developmental disorder of having attacked him spoke of being both scared and unable to accept his behavior even though she understood his underlying condition. There are in fact limits to how far people can understand and accept others. Those limits do impose constraints on how far practical activities focused on understanding alone can be expected to succeed. It becomes all too easy to ostracize people and cultures we cannot accept.

Accordingly, although activities aimed at advancing multicultural coexistence promote inclusion of diversity and an attitude of acceptance, there are, in reality, limits to how far people can simply tolerate difference. On the narrative of ‘tolerance’ for multicultural coexistence, Suzuki (2019) commented as follows concerning Hage’s consideration of the case of Australia.

Each time there is a discriminatory disturbance, the prime minister calls on “the people” to “be tolerant.” The people referred to here are not the Australian people as legally defined according to whether or not they hold Australian nationality. The objects of tolerance are implicitly assumed to be people of Middle Eastern or Asian. The subject to be tolerant are white people. Here, we are not referring to any legal definitions of “national citizens” / “immigrants,” or “white” or “the other” in the sense of skin color. It refers to an imagined divide between people who look as if they come from the Third World and are placed in the passive position of being tolerated, with no say in the matter, and the “white people” who decide whom to tolerate. These imagined constructs have real consequences for people on either side of the divide. (Suzuki, 2019 p.44)

It transpires that “we” the majority “put up with” various differences in our daily lives, and “we” the majority decide for ourselves what we “put up with.” In effect, we have the choice not to put up with things and not to accept them. Conversely, the people who are tolerated (or understood) have no choice. In this respect, the authors considered that cognitive “understanding” of the other, that is, understanding-centered multicultural coexistence, has its limits.

Categorization is one of our useful tools for understanding the other. In particular, when seeking to understand the unacceptable other, we refer to such explanatory categories as the autistic, Kurd, student, elderly, or female. In the case of the unacceptable other, knowing generalized tendencies within such categories provides a sense of understanding. It reduces the mental weight of feeling we do not understand. While acknowledging the social necessity of viewing individuals by category, however, Newman and Holzman (2020) observe that categorization only produces superficial understanding of the individual.

Contemporary society is at the intersection of various ideologies and political orientations, as well as of differences including race, ethnicity, religion and sexuality. How should we have relations with the other who has different beliefs and ways of living from our own? Do any approaches exist that transcend “understanding” of the other? Is it possible to overcome the deeply rooted limitations of the multiculturalist ways of thinking?

From Understanding to Empathy and Transformation

Suzuki (2019) observes that the structures that appeal for tolerance are, in the final analysis, essentially the same as those that appeal for assimilation.

To the extent that there is a structure that calls for “tolerance” apply to the majority alone, multicultural inclusivity shares the same roots as inclusivity through assimilation. The reason is that the definition of multiculturalism is constrained from the first by the fact that the advocates of tolerance operate within the boundaries of seeking to reproduce the space of the white-dominated society. The structural ethics of the white social space are taken as premises and only the differences that fall within that framework are included. Other differences are excluded. (Suzuki, 2019 p.45)

Drawing on Hage’s concepts of “multiculturalism as an assimilative device” and “taming of the other,” Suzuki criticizes multiculturalism which calls for “tolerance” only with regard to those others who pose no threat to the majority, (namely, those who can be tamed). Taming consists of the set of techniques for disciplining animals for domestic use according to human needs. The underlying assumption is that those who can be tamed may be admitted to the home, and those who continue to threaten the home should be ostracized. The reality in contemporary society is that the daily news is full of stories of attempting to exclude the others as a threat. The Palestine-Israel conflict cited at the beginning of this paper is a striking case in point. The majority seeks to “preserve a comfortable living space,” and does so by ostracizing those others who threaten it.

Hage proposes that it is impossible for as long as we draw dualistic lines between “us” and “them” to view difference in a positive light within a multiculturalist thinking framework by which others have to be used and tamed in order to “preserve a comfortable living space” for ourselves. What he suggests is that instead of viewing the other as an object, we have to regard the other as a subject. Concretely, Hage cites the methods of anthropology as a possible solution.

In anthropology, which describes worlds that are fundamentally different from the one we inhabit, learning about different worlds and comparing them with our own compels us to reconsider the seemingly unchanging society and modes of existence in which we live. In this manner, the very description of the ways of worlds different from our own can undermine the dominant modes of viewing reality and existence, and constitute a critique. (Suzuki, 2019 p.48)

In anthropology, the methodology used to describe different modes of existence is grounded in the concept of “multi-realism.” This is the approach of refusing to give priority to the fixed standpoint of any particular people, society or culture. Existence is not regarded as a single mode of being. On the contrary, anthropology seeks to understand human ways through the generalization of experience (Suzuki, 2019). The autohrs found clues in “multiple realities” to overcome constrained ways of thinking rooted in multiculturalism. Specifically, the idea in ‘multi-realism’ is that we can experience multiple realities through our bodies.

If a reality is an encounter between the affective, postural, libidinal and physical potentiality of the body and the potentiality of the Real, to think of ourselves as inhabiting a multiplicity of realities is to recognise the multiplicity of the potentialities of the human body. That is, it is also to recognise the multiplicity of modes in which the body is enmeshed in its environment. (Hage, 2015 pp.68-69).

According to the concept of multiple realities, the various bodily relations themselves create different realities. The Palestinian-Israeli example already discussed can also be understood from this perspective. Rather than centering discussion on which side’s assertions are correct, or what is actually true, the focus needs to be placed instead on what reality these individuals experience. In other words, it is not a matter of there being a single objective reality that is viewed from multiple perspectives. Even people dwelling in the same physical space experience different realities due to their different bodily experiences. It follows that we imagine these multiple realities by allowing “the other” to dwell within us.

Imagining multiple realities does not mean imagining and understanding “the other” from the position of “the self.” It is to let “the other” dwell within oneself, and to imagine from their position how that reality looks, what they feel and think there. Shiobara (2017) calls this “the transboundary imagination.” Imagining how people experience the reality created by difference provides an alternative to comprehension based on external understanding of the other. According to Hage, this alternative mode informs us that “whoever we are, we can always, as individuals or a society, live in this world in totally different ways from the way we do at the moment.” If we can “imagine” the realities experienced by others, the understanding of others can move beyond mere acceptance of difference.

4.How Can We Trangress Borders? – The Focus on Performance

The authors have focused on performance practices in considering initiatives rooted in multi-realism. This decision was premised on the notion of performance as a place for realizing a new self (Holzman, 2016) and a means for experimenting with new relationships with the other and new ways of living in the world. Further, it should be noted that movement and feelings of the body stand at the very heart of experimental performance. In the case of performance, accordingly, the study of modes of self and the self’s relationship with others necessarily proceeds through the body. The authors chose to investigate the performance of roles of others from different cultural backgrounds from their own; others whose perspectives, experiences etc. contrasted sharply with their own. Specifically, these performances would imitate such other people’s language, gestures, attitudes etc. and the actor would, thereby, experience bodily proximity to others.

Performance in which the actor becomes the other is familiar as role play, a commonly used teaching method in schools, external education programs, corporate training, therapy and various other fields. Its purposes typically include enhancing social understanding, imagining being in another’s position, and discovering how it feels to be in a given situation. Such role plays are often used to address specific issues and social situations through the teaching of prepared procedures and responses by acting out idealized situations. The case of dwelling the other, however, is not designed to lead us to the right answers prepared from the outset. It is designed instead as a place of inquiry, constructing or deconstructing relationships between the self and other.

Imagination is the key factor in this activity. The aim here is to relate to diverse others across spatial boundaries. A second factor is that the social process is interactive and dynamic. These performances are essentially acted before an audience and various points of contact come to be established between the self, the other and audience members in a single space.

We next present an example showing what new selves and relationships with the other emerge in such performance practices; how performers discover the realities of others inside themselves; how these discoveries produce new relationships with others; and how performers release themselves from their singular worlds.

5. Outline of the Activity

The performances practices were conducted in the Kishi Seminar group, School of Global Japanese Studies, Meiji University. The Kishi Seminar specializes in Arts-based research. Theatrical performance on the theme of cross-cultural experience is one of its activities.

The concrete process was as follows. The activity described in this paper was conducted in three 100-minute sessions. In the first, the students were split into groups of four or five and spoke with each other about their own experiences of other cultures and discrimination. In order to delve more deeply into those experiences, an interviewer quizzed each interviewee. Each group then selected one particularly interesting case from the four or five examples mooted and acted out the situation described. In the second, the students first read a text on documentary drama written by Hagiwara Ken (2023) to expand their understanding of theatrical techniques for renewing and extending awareness of everyday realities. Afterwards, group members again quizzed the student whose experience had been chosen to produce the scenario in their own freely devised format. The questions continued to flow as they sought to imagine the scenario more clearly, finishing with the performance. Here is one example:

The scenario concerns an experience of cross-cultural misunderstanding when a vegan customer visits a restaurant. The characters are the restaurant manager, chef, waiter (the student who had the experience), vegan customer and another customer. The play takes place in Sou (a fictional name), a popular pasta restaurant in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. Natsu (an alias) is a student of the School of Global Japanese Studies who works there part-time. The day is Sunday and the restaurant is busy. A foreign customer arrives and explains she is vegan. She asks if they have a vegan menu. Natsu asks the restaurant manager, who answers that almost everything on the menu contains meat but proposes some items that he thinks should be OK. The customer further requests that chopping boards and knives that have been used to cut meat should not be used to prepare her food. Natsu conveys this further request to the restaurant manager, who replies that is something that will surely never be found out. The actors then discussed this scene with the audience after the performance. The same procedure was repeated for the other four performances as well.

6.Results and Considerations

Analysis of the students’ reviews of the activity identified distinctive learning in each process of moving from experience to production, acting, experiencing the play as an audience, and interaction with the audience. The parts in italics below are quoted verbatim from the students’ own reports.

  • 6.1. The Process of Moving from Experience to Production

    The students produced their scenarios by imagining how to give tangible form to the incidents described. In cases where they struggled to imagine a situation clearly, they quizzed the student who had had the experience in further detail for the whole group to grasp the picture. “Was it like this? It might have been like this. Each time gaps were identified, or new issues were raised, I wanted to know more, and wanted to talk it over with the others.” As we can see from this comment, the discussions made the students aware not only of each protagonist’s perspectives but of other perspectives as well.

    The process of producing scenarios in groups further led the students to consider every possibility regarding the protagonists’ speech and movement and consider the scene in its entirety. “By picking up and performing an everyday scene, and analyzing the situations and what people were feeling at each moment, I was able to see the situation more completely. For example, I might feel I was being looked down on by others, but the others did not intend it that way. By picking up these scenes, I had to think about what made me feel that way, and why and in which situations. Answering detailed questions about how each person responded at each moment, and what the customer and restaurant manager actually said, made the scene clear for me. When thinking about another person’s words, I tried to imagine myself in that role and how I personally would feel in that situation, and this made the feelings and situation clearer to me.” The comment reveals how the process of describing the protagonists caused this student to consider people’s feelings and the situation more closely.

  • 6.2.The Acting Process

    The students produced their scenarios through a process of repeated rehearsals before presenting their plays. On the experience of becoming another person, the students wrote such comments as, “It was interesting to see how trying to be the person produced feelings we had not imagined, and, Performance teaches you a lot about the person you are acting. It takes you inside their standpoint, responses, expressions and dilemmas, and makes you want to know more.”

    The acting process made students aware of the protagonists’ standpoints, dilemmas, thoughts in particular situations and feelings which they had not perceived during the first session while sharing their experiences of cross-cultural communication. “The simple act of performance, of performing things I had not experienced myself, made me want to experience them for real, and also to think more deeply about how cross-cultural problems can be solved as my own problems.” Also, “Acting this out, performing an experience I had never actually been through, gave me a sense of having experienced it for real and made me think about how I should try to resolve intercultural issues as my own real problems.” Again, “I played the role of a teacher after discussing it with my teacher. I discovered how to sense the tiny details of what the teacher was feeling at the time. When performing a role, you have to think about what you would do and say if you were placed in that situation, and become that person. It is this process that naturally makes theater a way to think as another self. The experience of trying out being a different person made me think about things for myself.”

  • 6.3. The Process of Experiencing a Performance as a Member of the Audience

    Each group performed their play in front of the other groups, who became the audience. The performers were not allowed to state during their performance what they wanted it to convey. Once the play was over, they then asked the audience members what they had seen, felt and thought while watching the play. The students in the audience considered the various characters who had appeared in the play and, on the basis of that viewing experience, began to talk about what the problem was, and the background to why it had occurred. For example, “I didn’t think anyone did anything wrong. A customer asks for vegan food in an ordinary restaurant, and the waiter tried to help, and the manager did, too, while attending to the costs and the needs of other customers.” Also, “It is a case I have not experienced myself, but the tone of the conversation was something you hear in daily life, so it is easy to accept there are people like that. When talking with my friends, too, there are moments that don’t feel right or can be hurtful. People see things differently, and what is normal to one person doesn’t always feel normal to me, and the opposite also occurs.”

    In ways like these, the students found that the behavior and feelings of the characters portrayed in the plays corresponded to their own experiences and provided a trigger for them to reflect on them.

  • 6.4. The Process of Communication with an Audience

    The performers wrote of realizing new things through their interaction with the audience. “It was a very interesting experience to see that new ideas different from those of the actors emerged from the audience.” The actors learned they still had not achieved a full understanding of the issue they were presenting. Each group’s own discussion and analysis of its chosen example still produced only imperfect understanding. The act of sharing an imperfect product did, however, give them the opportunity to see things from other angles. “I learned that a situation which appeared discriminatory to me could, when viewed in a different light or relationship, be seen totally differently.” Also, “I experienced how ways of understanding, seeing and feeling what has happened can be so different even when viewing a single situation. It is hard to express what you mean through words and actions, and this was a good opportunity for me to discover different ways of understanding and thinking.” Regarding these experiences, “I felt the danger of viewing things from only my perspective. The importance of drawing close to the other person was mentioned, but I think there are limits to how close you can get. I cannot draw close to things that do not appear in my own field of vision or mind. This has taught me how important it is to keep my antennas up in order to see and absorb things in the world around me.” This student had become aware of multiple realities.

    The process of opening up the understanding process to an audience has been an object of past research. The audience, too, only sees the scene in a fragmentary manner, and this makes it possible to weave many different interpretations together. The fact that the performers’ view is also only partial enables the audience to help them obtain a fuller understanding.

7.Summing Up

This paper examined an activity aimed at incorporating the other in the self. Instead of viewing the other externally from a single position, the goal was to feel and see events from the other’s standpoint and imagine, however imperfectly, how that person felt in a given situation. A change in the students’ attitudes was reported. In place of viewing the other in a single way, the emergence of alternative ways of viewing could help to obviate misunderstanding and hostility.

The examples presented in this paper dealt with incidents which the students had seen in a negative light from their own perspective. In the process of describing the situations in which the others were placed, they gained new perspectives on why those others had spoken and behaved in the way they did. They came to realize that they might have reacted the same way if placed in the same situation themselves. They obtained, in this way, new perspectives for understanding the other.

This activity for incorporating the other in the self does not produce identical experiences to those of the original protagonists. They are never more than hypotheses about how it might have been. The scenes were not pure fictions. Every effort was made in the process of devising each play to describe the characters’ words and actions precisely. Even so, the thoughts and feelings described were only those parts that were imagined from the characters’ words and actions. It also does not follow that even if placed in the same situation as each protagonist, we would in fact respond in exactly the same way. The act of imagining a given situation as if one were the other does, however, produce an awareness that one might have reacted in the same way, and this creates potential for connecting with the other.

The distinctive feature of this activity lay in the selection of cross-cultural experiences in which failure to understand the other arose from the beginning. The activity brought the students in contact with the different feelings, thoughts and behaviors of diverse others. The incorporation of unfamiliar others in the self does not transform one’s own ways of seeing and thinking. Rather, the realization that other ways of seeing and feeling exist adds new perspectives.

Incorporation of the other in the self is distinct from cognitive understanding of the other. Behaviors that target external understanding and acceptance contain an element of “taming.” The targeting of incorporation involves internalization of the other as a part of self. The other ceases to be only an object and instead enters into the subject. We can create our own multiple realities by making the other not an object of external understanding and acceptance but a subject that lives inside us. Viewed from this perspective, the other becomes not an object of misunderstanding or hostility but is rather conjoined to the self as subject.

We cannot expect to obtain a complete understanding or acceptance of the other. The focus up until now in cross-cultural education has largely been placed on external understanding of the other. This paper has described a performance-based approach for moving beyond external understanding to empathy and transformation. It triggers the realization that the differences of the other should not be judged only according to one’s own individual standards, but that other standards may also exist. It is hoped that such dialogue can help us to connect to others and forge new relationships.

Acknowledgements The authors would like to express my sincere gratitude to the students of the Kishi Seminar , School of Global Japanese Studies, Meiji University, who have been practicing numerous Arts-based research projects together. Thanks to them as my intellectual partners, we have inquired and generated diverse perspectives. And the authors also thank Professor Ken Hagiwara of Meiji University and Masahiko Aoyama of Seijo University for their advice on implementation of this study and helpful discussions regarding the analytical processes.


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Kishi Makiko(Meiji University) / Kawashima Yuko(Kansai University)

Kishi Makiko(Meiji University)

Associate Professor, School of Global Japanese Studies, Meiji University. Field of expertise: educational technology. Pursues research on education and learning environments for diversity and inclusion. Has focused on the comprehensive learning periods and other exploratory learning in Japanese schools. Outside of Japan, has focused on the Middle East (Syria, Palestine, Turkey), studying the design stages where anyone, including the children of refugees and other socially disadvantaged children, can perform beyond who they are and mutually develop with their diversity, in terms of their personalities, experiences, strengths, and so on.

Kawashima Yuko(Kansai University)

Kawashima Yuko is an associate professor at the Faculty of Informatics, Kansai University. She received her Ph.D. at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her special fields are Education, Communication Studies, and Applied Theatre. She researched communication education for teachers applying theatrical methods at Hokkaido University of Education for a project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Then she moved on to research communication programs for First Year Experience at university and educational programs for multi-cultural conviviality both in and outside schools. Placing her focus on theatrical performances that emphasize physicality, embodiment, and practical knowledge, she devises educational programs that create a multilayered self and transcend cultural boundaries such as gender and race. She is also involved in arts-based research. Her publications include “‘Kyōshi’ ni Naru Gekijō – Engekiteki Shuhō ni yoru Manabi to Communication no Design” (Editor and co-author, Film Art, 2017); “Machi ni Deru Gekijō – Shakaiteki Hōsetsu Katsudō toshite no Engeki to Kyōiku” (co-author, Shinyōsha, 2018); “Arts-based method in education research in Japan” (co-author, The Netherlands: Brill Sense, 2022); and “Ethnicity as rigid boundaries and muted differences: Japanese youth experiences at school”(Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook, 13, 2019).

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