I'm a part time PhD student who is researching how music could help sustain and revitalise the Ainu language. I've just started my 3rd year, which is the first of two fieldwork years.
The Ainu are an indigenous population who used to live mainly in Hokkaido. They've got a really interesting culture and language, but over the generations, for a number of reasons, the Ainu language has ended up becoming endangered. Communities are working to find solutions, and my research is to look at the impact that Ainu language music is having on the efforts to people's knowledge of Ainu.
Money raised will help me to not just complete my fieldwork, but to be able to stay in Japan for longer periods of time during my fieldwork - at the moment I am going to have to make repeated, short trips, which is expensive, and makes it harder to work with the communities. Eventually, I want my research to not just be 'academic' - I want it to be a practical piece of work that students, researchers, teachers and communities can use to help them maintain and revitalise culture and language.
An example of how raised funds would be used:
- International and internal flights
- Public transport and car rental
- Living costs
- Tuition fees