Ibasho: Fostering Safety and Belonging for All

Is it possible for ibasho to serve as your sanctuary?

In this video, Professor Haruhiko Tanaka shares how ibasho encompasses being part of a group where individuals can experience a sense of safety and empowerment when confronting life's challenges.

Finding empowerment in ibasho

Nick: But moving on, I'd like to quote your paper, you mentioned:

All humans live in a state of coping with the outside world. However, several external pressures have weakened our original social power and reduced it to the minimal inner circle - deprived person. Creating ibasho is a necessary refuge for the oppressed. The restoration of the social power supposed to be inherent is called ‘empowerment.’ Ibasho functions as a foundation to recover the social power of the oppressed.”

So yeah, would you like to expand on this, Sensei?

Haruhiko: Yes, take an example, in 1980s, free schools and free spaces were refuge for truancy students. In this facility, they could avoid the public cold view, the damage to their mentalities were restored and revitalized in these free schools.

But the turning point came around 2000s, the free school students studied in Europe, they visited European free schools, they found that in European countries, these free schools are situated as formal schooling, and the truant students are very active.

So they found that the Japanese school system is not good. And after coming back to the European tour, they have organized a group to promote the new law or ensuring diverse education opportunities.

So truancy students was once a refuge in such free schools. But after that, they recover, after recovering, they now have some power to change the school system in Japan. And this law was enacted in 2017.

Nick: That's good, that's some progress. My memory of my son’s education at primary school, it was very positive. And he was he was doing things like public speaking, and we had this open-learning plan, and lots of activities related to the real world: they had garden projects, they would make vegetables, and they would either eat them or they could sell vegetables at the school fair.

And then once he went to the same school, once he went to high school, it changed back to that traditional structure of teaching and learning, and he really struggled and didn't like didn't like it. So I do think education is a bit backward and bit old fashioned.

So yeah, an ibasho in a school that would allow this diverse educational opportunities, I think is where education needs to go in all countries.