Japanese History – Archaeology Project Online
The role of history in education is currently in the headlines in the UK, as the future direction of how children are taught about the past is debated as part of the current government’s education reforms. With the sponsorship of Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Solutions Europe, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures will develop a new online resource which will provide unprecedented access for school children in UK and other English speaking countries to some of humanity’s most significant but woefully under-appreciated cultural heritage, the historical and archaeological treasures of the Japanese archipelago. This resource will enable students across the English-speaking world to compare their own history with that of Japan.
Japanese art and culture is often perceived as being radically different from that of other countries. Through developing an informed engagement with Japanese archaeology and artistic heritage through a range of interactive activities supported by well-researched and accessible online modules, this project will allow children and teachers to understand and appreciate both shared historical experiences and the specificity of Japanese and their own cultures.
The distinctiveness of much Japanese art and archaeology can be used to encourage children to value diversity and also to learn how to question and challenge stereotypes, as well as understanding parallels in artistic and cultural development. Japanese archaeology and artistic heritage has resonance around the world, encouraged by exhibitions, manga and computer games. Japanese art has had a profound impact on the development of western art since the 19th century. This project will encourage further engagement with Japanese heritage.
Mami Mizutori, Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute commented:
We are delighted the Institute is to be working with Hitachi to bring the wonders of Japanese cultural heritage to new generations of English-speaking school children around the world.
Kiyoshi Yamamoto, Managing Director of Hitachi Europe Ltd. commented:
Hitachi’s experience as a global player has demonstrated the value of understanding different cultures. It is with this experience we are delighted to support and cooperate with the Sainsbury Institute the efforts of this interactive experience to teach future generations about Japan’s rich culture and history, especially in the year of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the start of diplomatic and cultural relations between Japan and Britain.
Yutaka Usuda, Chief Operating Officer of Hitachi Solutions Europe Ltd. commented:
We hoped that this website will help to foster new communication links between schools in both Japan and across the world and further display Hitachi’s global commitment toward an improving society and strengthening future generations.
The project will benefit from the involvement of Don Henson, former Head of Education at the Council for British Archaeology and Nakamura Oki, former Handa Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute. A series of online modules will be developed in consultation with interested teachers and will be freely available from summer 2014.