Tojisha-Kenkyu (Self-directed Research) UTokyo D&I Actions and Messages

September 7, 2022

― UTokyo D&I Campaign 2022 ―

The University of Tokyo has launched a campaign aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion on campus, and making the university a place where people from diverse backgrounds can thrive. The initiative, called UTokyo D&I Campaign 2022, started in March 2022. Here, we introduce plans and actions related to D&I initiatives from members of the UTokyo community, including deans and directors of various UTokyo organizations.

Actions and Messages

Tojisha-Kenkyu (Self-directed Research)

Shin-ichiro KUMAGAYA, Associate Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology

The “Tojisha-Kenkyu” was born as an activity in which persons with severe mental disabilities, who have been placed in segregated environments for a long time, take the leading role in researching the mechanisms and coping methods for the various hardships they face in the process of being included in local communities, together with their peers who are also suffering similar hardships, supporters and neighbors. Since then, it has spread beyond disabilities to various areas of hardship, such as addiction, autism, child rearing, transition from prison to community, corporations, athletes and astronauts, as a research practice to realize an inclusive society from the viewpoint of the people concerned.

It has also attracted interest from various academic fields beyond the boundaries of the humanities and sciences, including anthropology, sociology, philosophy, medicine and engineering. In 2015, the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology established the department of Tojisha-Kenkyu to systematize the empirical knowledge generated through Tojisha-Kenkyu and to promote the production of knowledge in collaboration with conventional academic discipline (co-production).

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