Students engaged in Tokyo community outreach

23 May 2016 In LUJ News
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The Tokyo Public History Research Project, coordinated by LCJ professors Dr. Adam Tompkins and Charles Laurier, provides opportunities for students to engage in service learning by conducting research and engaging in community outreach. Much of the group’s activities thus far have focused on chronicling the history of the former Tachikawa Air Base in West Tokyo, the Sunagawa Toso (struggle) that opposed a proposed runway expansion, and the creation of Showa Kinen Park on former base land. 

Student participants have conducted oral history interviews with Americans that used to live on the base and Sunagawa activists who opposed the planned base expansion. TheTokyo Shimbun published an article about LCJ students’ oral history activities in Summer 2015. Many LCJ students and faculty also volunteered to help Sunagawa residents commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of their successful effort to save their community. Some students worked together to create a bilingual commemorative booklet, copies of which were given to the coordinators of the anniversary event. The group will continue to engage in projects in the Tachikawa and Sunagawa area. It is also planning to initiate a re-photography project in the greater Tokyo area, showing dramatic changes to the cityscape by replicating the photograph shots on old postcards.   

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