2019 Update and Website Purpose Change

FullSizeRender-1Hello there!

It’s been quite some time since I have posted an update on Danketsu. Since my last post, Sophia Zemi has continued to foster a positive relationship with Sweet Potato Kids. Kibi Kokusai and F&M have ended the connection on good terms. Seishin and Garrison Forest have also ended their connection, players weighed down by schooling have made personal connections that will last a lifetime however the team connection has faded. Kana Okada, the star of Danketsu has taken a step back from track and field and is now competing in powerlifting competitions in Japan. Recently she rose to the top of her class in Squat and Bench Press.

Okayama University is now in the fold, with Professor Chung of the Global Studies department interested in connecting her students with an American University with the hope of tackling deep issues facing Japan and America’s history. In addition, I was recently admitted to Hiroshima University’s International Development and Cooperation graduate school where I will be studying Peacebuilding. Along with this, I have joined the Hiroshima University American football club as an assistant coach. The coaches and I are currently working to secure a connection to an American football team in America with hopes of creating a sustainable partnership for the future of the program.

The start at Hiroshima University has been quite challenging, as I am currently still working, maintaining a proper life balance has become quite difficult. However, the course work is the most interesting I have ever encountered and I feel closer to the goal of solidifying Danketsu already. The courses include; Human Resource Development for Education, Peace and Conflict Research, Microfoundations of Conflict, Game Theory, and International Security.

From this post on, this website will no longer be only updates on Danketsu, but updates ranging from current classes to interactions within the sports community in Japan. I will also use it to get closer to a topic for my dissertation. I currently have two quite distinct ideas: the power of sports in Peacebuilding, and relics of colonialism that still impact post-conflict societies. It will be comparable to a CV (Curriculum Vitae), however, this will be an active one, of which I will present to future partners of Danketsu as well as employers.

As the Japanese language tells us to say: これからよろしくお願いします!I look forward to all of your comments, questions, and working together to advocate for peace in our world.

The sole proprietor of Danketsu:

-AJ Koikoi


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Current Master's candidate at The Hiroshima University with a focus on post-conflict Peacebuilding. How can we as actors of the international community and indeed our own domestic communities work together for both sustainable and impactful change? Through local engagement in conjunction with governance and accountability, we can seek to instill such change. Thus far, I have received 3 grants and scholarships that have been utilized to advance cross-cultural understanding and international cooperation. The first grant was utilized to conduct research within the National Basketball Association to identify cross-cultural behavioral episodes by athletes. The second, to start Danketsu; a project that engages sports as a medium to connect institutions with the common goal of growing global citizens. With Danketsu and the cooperation of local actors in America and Japan, it has culminated in 3 years of experience connecting institutions and youths internationally. The most recent grant, awarded by the Rotary Club in Japan requires a command of both spoken and written Japanese (through interviews and research proposals). It is awarded to students who exemplify integrity and a propensity to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. It is my firm belief that although we all do not possess the tools to resolve both direct and indirect violence, we must utilize the tools that come naturally to try.

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