The Africa Fair at Tokyo’s Tama Zoo—A Snapshot of Cultural Diversity

The Africa Fair at Tokyo’s Tama Zoo—A Snapshot of Cultural Diversity

[INTERVIEW]

Mr. Satoshi Takizawa
Executive Director of Tokyo Zoological Park Society

Africa Fair at Tama Zoo organized by Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Construction and Tokyo Zoological Park Society. Tama Zoological Park, one hour from central Tokyo by train, is a unique zoological park, where animals are displayed under naturalistic and spectacular habitats set up in its vast land of 52 hectares.


—The main slogan of this year’s Africa Fair is “Africa: the Homeland of Wildlife- Now and Into the Future”. Why did you choose this theme? Who were the organizers of the fair?

Our zoos in Tokyo have a variety of species and many African wild animals. In cooperation with African countries, we present African nature and cultures, the current situations of wild animals in Africa, and conservation activities, all of which we believe strengthens the friendly ties between Japan and African countries. By holding the Fair at the time when many Tokyo citizens, who have interest in animals, visit the zoo, we try to make people aware of African countries and offer an opportunity to think about what we can do as Tokyo residents and as global citizens.

—What was the purpose of this event?

The event was to make people feel closer to African countries that are geographically remote from Japan, and to further strengthen the friendly ties between Japan and African countries.

The event was to make people feel closer to African countries that are geographically remote from Japan, and to further strengthen the friendly ties between Japan and African countries.

—There were embassies from many African countries promoting their cuisine, culture, and art crafts at the fair. In what other way, in your opinion, can the 54 African countries promote their variety and uniqueness to the Japanese people?

By participating in events focusing on African cultures held by the government and the private sectors, African countries can provide opportunities to make people understand and have interest in their countries. If events are to be held at zoos, presentation of African wild animals and their habitats is a way to promote awareness of African countries.

—During the panel discussion, there was a question regarding what Japanese people thought about Africa. What were the most common answers given by Japanese people?

The common answers are: distant countries, very hot weather, a lot of wild animals living in the vast land, wild animals coming close to human houses, and Japanese people know there are dozens of countries in Africa, but they seem as though they are one.

—The exhibition booths were also promoting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and TICAD meeting. To make people even more aware of these two important events, will you be hosting similar fairs at the Zoo in the future?

There are no specific plans at the moment, but as a zoo that exhibits various animals from all over the world, we are going to try to find opportunities and make people aware of these two events by presenting our zoo as a site for international exchange with the countries of the world.


Related posts

Leave a Reply

The store is currently undergoing maintenance — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss