On Thursday, January 18, Tosuke Yagi, a seventh-year student in the Full-Term Doctoral Program in the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, won the 14th Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Ikushi Prize. He is the second Ritsumeikan student and the first in four years to win this prestigious award.
The JSPS Ikushi Prize was established in 2010 by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to support and encourage young researchers who are working diligently on their studies and research in the midst of the dire economic situation. The purpose of the prize is to cultivate young researchers and enhance their motivation to pursue their studies and research by honoring outstanding doctoral students. This year, 170 students were nominated by university presidents and society chairpersons, and Yagi was one of 18 students to win the Ikushi Prize.
Yagi's research topic, which led him to win the prize, is a cultural anthropological study on the development of slum tourism in Africa. He collected data on Gatwekera, a village in the west of Kibera, a Kenyan slum where slum tourism is being developed on a large scale, and on the Luo people, an ethnic group that accounts for over half of the village’s population, and he examined the multiple meanings of and ethical issues pertaining to tourism development.
Comment from Tosuke Yagi (7th-year, Full-Term Doctoral Program, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences Five-Year Doctoral Program)
I am deeply honored to have won this prestigious prize. The research topic I won the award for is entitled “A cultural anthropological study on the development of slum tourism in Africa.” In this study, I consider what happens when you give meaning to the phenomenon of tourism in poor areas of African cities in the context of the daily lives of the people living in the tourist areas. I feel that I was awarded this prize for the potential of my future research, and I am grateful for all the people I have worked with for their support. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to all those involved in the JSPS Ikushi Prize selection process, to the Japan Association for African Studies for their recommendation, to the faculty and staff of the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences at Ritsumeikan University who have supported my research activities, to Dr. Sayaka Ogawa, who encouraged me to apply for the prize, to all the other researchers who have treated me well along the way, and to everyone in Kenya who cooperated with my research.
Comment from Professor Sayaka Ogawa (Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences)
I am very pleased that Mr. Yagi was awarded the Ikushi Prize. His research aims to unravel the ethical questions that arise in slum tourism, where the world's poorest people come into contact from affluent tourists from developed countries, from multiple perspectives. I believe this prize recognizes the outcomes of his in-depth field research, as well as the fruits of his study abroad in England and Belgium to develop theoretical research at an international level. I look forward to his continued dedication to his research, and I hope that he will make the leap to become a leading research in African studies and the anthropology of tourism. I also hope that Mr. Yagi receiving this prize will serve to encourage all graduate students who are working diligently on their research at Ritsumeikan University as well as the faculty and staff who support our students.