Professional Development Workshop on Hokkaido

Workshop on Hokkaido Tentatively planed for June/July 2020

Please note: This is a very preliminary outline. Workshop dates, content and structure are to be determined.

Sponsored by:

  • Japan Studies Association
  • The University of Hawai’i National Resource Center-East Asia (NRCEA)
  • The University of Hawai’i Center for Japanese Studies

Workshop Chairs:

  • A/Prof. Lonny Carlile, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  • Dr Maggie Ivanova, Flinders University

Due to the great distances that one has to travel in Hokkaido, this workshop is likely to take place over two weeks. It aims to balance breadth of coverage and logical practicalities.

The workshop starts at Abashiri as a way to get participants to think in an “out-of the box” way by focusing on the Okhotsk area as an interactive region and on Hokkaido’s nature. It will end at Hakodate.


Thematic Foci

The workshop will involve several exposures to Ainu culture at different sites. However, the primary learning site for this will be at Nibutani which is associated with Ainu acquisition of recognition as an indigenous people along with an excellent "non-commercial" museum and good staff. A key goal will be to get participants to move beyond simplistic understandings of Ainu history, culture and contemporary situation and grasp the subtleties and complexities associated therewith.

The other major recurring theme, which is one that is emphasized in Hokkaido itself, is the "pioneer" legacy of Japanese settlers in the region. The idea, of course, is to encourage participants to examine this legacy critically. We will be addressing this theme in somewhat of a "reverse" historical trajectory and end in Matsumae and Hakodate which are the starting point for Japanese colonization of Hokkaido. While done this way for logistical reasons, as an unconventional sequencing this might prove to be useful from a pedagogical viewpoint.

Hokkaido Prefectural Museum seems particularly well set up for Object-Based Learning as it has an app with extensive multilingual caption. Most likely, participants will be required to bring cell phones and/or tablets and to get data service for at least the period we are in Sapporo and Hakodate. In addition to making it possible to use the museum app, it would allow people to explore the city on their own and pursue individual research projects. 

Please check the workshop on hokkaido page on JSA’s website in the second half of 2019 for additional, more specific information, including on the application deadline, as our planning develops.