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Director’s Note

Enrichment through Learning from Others

mio

The Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA) promotes research on Asia and Africa, diverse regions with abundant natural and human environments, from linguistic, anthropological, and historical perspectives. We seek to reveal the universality and diversity of human languages, cultures, and history through regional research of Asia and Africa. With the advancement of globalization, languages and cultures of different parts of the world are rapidly becoming westernized and homogenous. The Asian and African societies, which have developed unique cultures, underpinned by their own long traditions and interactions with other societies across the world, have been not only generous enough to tolerate globalization but also strong enough to embrace it and use it to elevate their uniqueness. These cultures remind us that what we think is “normal”is not universal; there are myriad ways of living and thinking, of customs, and traditions. This realization is the greatest pleasure for the researchers studying the languages and cultures of Asia and Africa and a valuable gift for people in the global community. While an increasing number of regions in Asia and Africa have achieved remarkable development as well as political and economic influence, some regions are still facing violent conflicts and perpetual poverty. Under the current rapid globalization, the landscapes of Asia and Africa will have immense and instant impact on not only Japan but the entire world as well as the future of human beings. ILCAA is committed to producing research results that will provide a new framework to better understand these important regions and to ultimately help build a peaceful and prosperous twenty-first century.

Established in 1964 as an inter-university research organization, ILCAA was re-launched with the present name under the new “Joint Usage/Research Center” scheme promoted by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2010. ILCAA aims to be even more open to both domestic and international communities and to continue and further advance the achievements made by the original organization. The Asian and African regions are so vast and diverse and have such rich cultures, they cannot be fully explored within our Institute. Therefore, ILCAA, as a joint usage/ research center affiliated with Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, has been engaged in collaborative research with a wide range of researchers, domestic and international, beyond the boundary of the Institute and the University. At the same time, ILCAA has been leading research activities within the Institute in the following four core areas that have been identified as our research focus: Linguistic Dynamics Science Research, Anthropological Explorations into the Linkage of Micro-Macro Perspectives, Human Mobility and Formation of Plural Societies in the Middle East and the Muslim World, and Pluralistic World Understanding based on African Studies. ILCAA will continue to enhance and expand partnerships with domestic and international research communities and strive for even more profound research achievements in its studies of the languages and cultures of Asia and Africa. Thank you for your continuous guidance and support.

April 2013
Director of Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA)
Yuko MIO



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