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Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education

A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw


Edited By George J. Sefa Dei

An important academic goal is to understand ongoing contestations in knowledge in the search to engage everyday social practice and experiences, as well as the social barriers and approaches to peaceful human coexistence. This reader pulls together ideas concerning Indigenous epistemologies (e.g., worldviews, paradigms, standpoints, and philosophies) as they manifest themselves in the mental lives of persons both from and outside the orbit of the usual Euro-American culture. The book engages Indigenous knowledges as far more than a «contest of the marginals», thereby challenging the way oppositional knowledges are positioned, particularly in the Western academy. Subsequently, this book is a call to recognize and acknowledge Indigenous knowledges as legitimate knowings in their own right, and not necessarily in competition with other sources or forms of knowledge. The project offers an opportunity for the critical thinker to continue on a de-colonial/anti-colonial intellectual journey in ways informed by Indigenous theorizing.


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22. Re/Membering In—Between “Japan” and “The West”: A Decolonizing Journey through the Indigenous Knowledge Framework Kimine Mayuzumi 350


This chapter begins with my calligraphy. I wrote the poem above on a quiet Saturday morningwhile sitting in a straight posture with my calligraphy brush. I wrote the poem in the Japanese tanka style as an instinctive expression of my feelings toward the academy within which I resided and later read it in front of my “Women in Higher Education” class. More recently, rewriting the poem in calligraphy enabled me to (re)embody the meaning that I intended to convey at the time it was created and reconnect to the hiragana (Japanese-based characters) and kanji (Chinese-based char- acters), which allow me to convey a heightened level of expression compared to the English alpha- bets. To this (re)embodiment experience through my tanka in calligraphy style, I wish to apply the notion of “re/membering,” which Jeong-eun Rhee (2006) effectively applied to her decolonizing text. It refers to [T]he double acts of remembering (recalling) and re-membering (becoming a member again). ‘Remembering’ brings the silenced history and the voice of the marginalized back to [one’s] mind and ‘re- membering’ continuously affirms [one’s] solidarity or belonging to the voice of the displaced (p. 597). By foregrounding this experience of writing the poem in calligraphy using hiragana and katakana, I remember or recall my connection to the cultural knowledge that I had for gotten since my move to the West and re-member or once again become a member of the group that reclaims such cultur- al knowledge as a legitimate way of knowing. The...

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