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ERIC Number: EJ1017688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1475
Connecting Indigenous Ainu, University and Local Industry in Japan: The Urespa Project
Maeda, Koji; Okano, Kaori H.
International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, v12 n1 p45-60 2013
This paper examines how collaboration amongst university, indigenous community and private sector companies can promote Ainu participation in higher education, drawing on a case study of the Urespa Project in Sapporo University, Japan. In this project, the university offers scholarships to Ainu students, requiring them to take a special course in Ainu culture and history and develop collaborations with partner private sector companies. We suggest that "the two-way learning" that the Urespa Project advocates signifies a challenge to the conventional approach to Ainu education, which has long centred on the majority wajin providing uni-directional assistance to the Ainu in order to help them achieve the national educational benchmarks. The "mutual learning" approach (sodateai in Japanese, urespa in the Ainu language) stresses a nurturing environment in which both Ainu and non-Ainu students feel included. That such initiatives came from private universities, rather than the national government, is indicative of how Ainu education is perceived as a local, rather than national, issue in Japan.
Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A