SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
TAKEUCHI Kyoko “To continue to be a ‘researcher'”
The other day, I had a chance to have a lecture about my research life at the high school where I graduated. Students asked me, “Was it good that you have been a researcher?” It does not mean students have a negative image of researchers. I have focused too much on negative aspects of researchers, such as overwork, harassment, economic issues etc.
On reflection, I have hardly ever wanted to become anything, and I have never wanted to become researcher works in a research position. As I was interested in the experience of gender-minority as a research theme, I have been deeply involved in the common sense of sexuality. It means it is difficult to separate research from my daily life. In social situations, there are a lot of arguments about gender and sexuality. So, I had strong feelings that I must research against my will, even though the circumstances of Japanese researchers are not favorable.
There are a lot of friends who went to universities in English-speaking countries or got jobs at foreign universities because there are too many things to do in Japan besides research. As I think it is important to expand our research internationally, I kept studying English daily while living in Japan and tried to involve myself and attend occasions of international exchange or announcement as much as possible. On the other hand, however, I began to feel something strange. Firstly, it is English supremacy. Recently, English translation software has developed, and people who investigate and research non-English worlds, develop their arguments based on the information or research of English-speaking countries.
The second reason is a contribution to the community. I think it is problematic that researchers leave Japan and stop their relations with their collaborators after their announcements of research results. At least, I think it is necessary for them to report their results not only to their universities or research institutes but to targeted persons in a style they can understand. Personally speaking, I like to try to change the circumstances at the university and convey the results of my research to students in the classroom, even though I am a part-time teacher. I would like to contribute in the future for increasing the number of university laboratories for sexual minority research and making it easy to join for overseas students who have various backgrounds.
If such reasons were correct, I may be able to say that I was targeting a future in which I am glad to have continued to be a researcher. I remember there were many tough routes. But I could have a joyous and frustrating experience in which I noticed what I did not know or renewed my existing knowledge. There were other aspects or reasons for my existence, such as a good reaction in my class or encounter with new possibilities from my research. Anyway, I would like to thank the Atsumi International Foundation, which has made it possible for me to continue to be a researcher.
I hope I can make use of the fate that comes from communication with Raccoon (Atsumi Scholarship Students).
TAKEUCHI Kyoko: 2022 Raccoon, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of the University of Tokyo
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Sabina Koirala