Life Onboard
Guest Educators - 81st Global Voyage, Oct 18, 2013
On Peace Boat, guest educators from various realms--such as professors, journalists, musicians, peace activists, social creators, and artists-- join our voyages as Mizuan --a term which literally means in Japanese "one who navigates the waters ahead." During each voyage, these guest educators not only give lectures and workshops on a wide range of topics, they also co-create events with staff members and participants, and form ties of friendship and cultural exchange with those onboard. On Peace Boat's 81st Voyage, the following guests from Japan and other countries around the world are planning to join us onboard to share their experiences and wisdom.

Greg DVORAK (Yokohama - Singapore)
Hitotsubashi University Associate Professor

Born in the United States and having spent his early childhood in the Marshall Islands, Greg studied on exchange for one year in Miyazaki, Japan during high school and went on to live and work again in Japan after graduating from Rutgers University. He later received his MA from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and his PhD from the Australian National University. He has continued to focus on Pacific Islands Studies, especially on themes of war memory, identity, and gender. He is currently an associate professor in the Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Law and a special lecturer in Waseda University School of International Liberal Studies. He has also established the grassroots networks "Transoceania" and "Project35" (Project Sango) to help link Japan and the Pacific Islands through culture, art, and history.

Amie THAO and Olli TUMELIUS (Yokohama - Singapore)
Cycling Advocates, Cofounders of International Supper Club

Amie Thao is a Vietnamese-American artist and writer. She has cycled over 21,000 kilometers in 33 countries while writing for publications such as Adventure Cyclist and International Examiner. Olli Tumelius is a Finnish drummer and photographer specializing in street portraits. He is the creator of several websites that provide resources about cycling to the Finnish-speaking community. Amie and Olli are cofounders of International Supper Club, a storytelling project that seeks to build connections between people using the space of shared meals. The project has taken two years and has spanned 13,000 kilometers in 20+ countries. They are currently working on a series of illustrated recipe cards that will be published in 2014. Onboard, Amie and Olli will give presentations about the basics of bicycle travel and the importance of seeking authentic connections through storytelling and photography.

MATSUMOTO Jinichi (Yokohama - Durban)
Freelance journalist, former senior columnist and Africa Bureau Chief of Asahi Shimbun.

Matsumoto Jinichi joined Asahi Shimbun Newspaper in 1968, and later went on to hold positions as the Nairobi Office Chief, Middle East and Africa General Bureau Chief, and senior columnist at the newspaper. At a time when not much information about Africa was available in Japan, he worked continuously to extend coverage of the region. Onboard, he will talk about poverty, civil wars, his own experiences, and details of daily life in Africa. He has published many books, including "Eating in Africa, Sleeping in Africa," "The Trajectory of a Terrorist," and "Kalashnikov."

Kolwane MANTU (Singapore - Durban)
Director of the African Youth Ensemble (AYE)

Born in Johannesburg, Kolwane Mantu was always musical. He started to show interest in music at the age of two and taught himself to play the violin. In the wake of the Soweto uprising of June 16, 1976, Mr. Mantu started teaching music to the youth in Soweto. Two years later, he co-founded the Soweto String Quartet and the group was invited to the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Aberdeen (Scotland) in 1979. After the festival, he was offered a scholarship to study music at the Royal Northern School of Music in Manchester. He returned to South Africa and founded the African Youth Ensemble, a group of string players whose repertoire ranges from such European composers as Vivaldi, Handel and Grieg to their own arrangements of African music. Top world class orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra and many individual musicians have visited South Africa to perform with AYE. Mr. Mantu has trained lots of young people who have won scholarships abroad and have become professional musicians. AYE has served as a model for the rest of the country and presently has over 150 students, producing more professional musicians than any project from any township in the country. Mr. Mantu will address key issues in South Africa, including the country's transition to democracy and youth development through music.

Khothatso MANTU (Singapore-Durban)
African Youth Ensemble Musician

Born in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, Khothatso started playing the violin at the age of 6. As part of the African Youth Ensemble, she played in the South African National Youth Orchestra? from 2003 to 2005, and also took part in the Presidential Awards during former President Thabo Mbeki's term in office. She later became the leader of the senior group of the African Youth Ensemble and the AYE Ladies Orchestra, which have shared the stage with well known South African bands. Some of the Ladies Orchestra highlights include playing for the Mayor and the First Lady and at the opening of the Soweto Theatre. Khothatso has a strong belief that it's never too late to make a difference in people's lives, so she takes pride in giving back to the community through activities such as performing at community projects and cancer awareness functions with the AYE Ladies Orchestra.

Mahutsa Bethuel RAMETSI (Singapore-Durban)
African Youth Ensemble Musician

Bethuel Rametsi was born in a township in the south western part of Johannesburg. He started his music journey at the age of 11, when his choir teacher in primary school selected him to be taught violin by Mr. Walter Mony at the Wits University in Johannesburg. He later discovered a music school around his neighbourhood and was fascinated to see people of his same cultural and economic background playing so well. He then joined the African Youth Ensemble, where he was taught by Mr. Kolwane Mantu, and later he began helping Mr. Mantu to teach younger students. Bethuel has since performed internationally and nationally. He has played in places such as Reunion Island, India, Chile, Holland and all over South Africa. He has also performed in large scale events like the South African Mass Choir Festival and performed with some of South Africa's top singers at events such as the Cape Town Jazz Festival. Bethuel recently appeared on a local television show called Jam Sandwich , as well as on the world renowned music show South African IDOLS.

Tebatso MODIMO (Singapore-Durban)
African Youth Ensemble Musician

Tebatso was born and raised in Soweto, a township south of Johannesburg. She began playing the violoncello in 2009 at the African Youth Ensemble (AYE). She started playing it as an after school activity, but soon discovered a passion for music.Currently, she is a cellist at the AYE ladies orchestra, which was founded in 2012. With AYE, she has had the opportunity to play in front of mayors and first ladies, as well as at charity events and shopping complexes during festive seasons. In addition to playing with AYE, Tebatso has participated in dance and choir clubs, and is currently in an acapella group called Hard Rock. It was this passion for the arts that first led her to AYE. When she is not playing an instrument, she can be found dancing, singing or sketching. She is also a full-time Business Management student at Damelin College. Tebatso says she is happy to be part of AYE not only because of the musical performances they give, but because of the healthy environment that members bring about to the group.

FUJIWARA Koichi (Male-Cape Town)
Science Journalist, Head of Nature's Planet Museum, and Adjunct Lecturer at Gakushuin Women's College

Born in Akita Prefecture, Koichi Fujiwara majored in biology during his time at university and graduate school in both Japan and Australia. He also pursued a research fellowship at the Lizard Island Research Station, which is located on the Great Barrier Reef. He subsequently shifted his career into science journalism, focusing upon ecology and environmental issues. His travels have taken him to Antarctica, the Arctic, Africa, Tropical Asia, Oceania and South America. In 2007 he founded, and now heads, the Galapagos Conservation Fund Japan (GCFJ) which has cooperated with Peace Boat to undertake reforestation projects on these islands. He is also well known for his regular appearances on television as a science educator, raising public awareness of environmental issues.

Sandii (Male-Cape Town)
Owner of the Sandii Hula Dance Studio, and 'Uniki Kumu Hula' (possessor of traditional hula knowledge)

Sandii is a groundbreaking vocalist who combines a wide range of musical genres from around the world. She encountered Hula during her teenage years in Hawaii and then began her singing career in Japan in the 1980s. After releasing many works in Japan with her band 'Sandii and the Sunsetz' she is now recognized as one of Japan's premier artists on the world stage. In 1996 she produced an album of Hawaiin music that draws upon her background, marking another milestone in her evolution as one of Japan's most unique artists.

Tsina ENDOR (Male-Toamasina)
NGO AZAFADY International Volunteer Coordinator

Since 2005, Tsina Endor has been working for Azafady, an award-winning British charity that is partnered with an independent local NGO in Madagascar. Azafady's mission is to alleviate poverty, develop communities, and conserve the highly endangered biodiverse forest environments in southeast Madagascar by empowering some of the poorest people to establish sustainable livelihoods. As the Head of Volunteering for Azafady, Tsina Endor works with up to 100 International volunteers per year, ensuring that Azafady projects such as school building, community replanting programmes and English teaching are effectively implemented. Onboard the 81st Voyage, she will talk about Azafady's activities, as well as about the culture, politics and environment of Madagascar.

ITO Shoichi (Durban-Rio de Janeiro)
Public Relations Officer, Public Relations Center, National Astronomical Obersvatory of Japan, and Former Japanese Board Member of the International Planetarium Society

Ito Shoichi began his career in 1975 at Suginami City Hall in Tokyo. He was initially a technical advisor at the Suginami Science Museum's Planetarium. After visiting planetariums and astronomy education centres around the world, including in the U.S. and Canada, he set about internationalizing the planetarium experience. In 2008, he was selected to be a specialist researcher at the Public Relations Office of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). He is currently in charge of running the '4D2U Dome Theater', which is part of the 'Four-Dimensional Digital Universe Project ' at NAOJ, as well as running the International Festival of Scientific Visualization. His work centres on improving public understandingofastronomy,andtrainingfuture astronomer. While onboard the 81st voyage, he will give presentations about stars and space in general, and host star-gazing events. This will be an opportunity to have expert commentary about astronomical bodies that can only be viewed from the Southern Hemisphere.

GAKU-MC (Cape Town-Rio de Janeiro)

This living legend of the Japanese hip-hop scene is known for rapping accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Setting up his own label - Rap+Enterntainment - in 2011, he is active in making Rap a force for good throughout the world. In 2012, he began the 'Akari to Live' series, which aims to bring people together through the power of music and candles and hasten Japan's recovery from the recent disaster. In the same year, he set up MIFA (Music Interact Football for All), whose goal is to combine the two greatest common languages of humanity - music and football - to promote relationships across borders. From 2013, he began collaborating with his colleague Kazutoshi Sakurai of Mr Children to form the group UKASUKA-G. They together released a single named 'Demo, te wo dasu na!' GAKU-MC's latest album, 'ALL YOU NEED IS RAP' was released earlier this year. He also released an essay titled 'If the world were to end tonight'. Website:

Binka LE BRETON (Cape Town - Rio de Janeiro)
Author, environmentalist and activist

Binka Le Breton lives in Brazil's Atlantic Forest where she co-directs the Iracambi Research Center, working with the local community to protect the rainforest and improve rural livelihoods. In an isolated rural area which formerly had little hope for its future, Iracambi is a catalyst for community action, resulting in greatly improved access to health, education and communications, and more importantly, a new concept of "Yes, we can". Binka travels extensively on the lecture circuit, sharing her passion for environmental and human rights, and her books explore topics such as modern-day slavery, land conflicts and profiles of human rights activists. She recently completed research for her current book about forced disappearance in Colombia and beyond.

SAKANE Hiroshi (Buenos Aires-Rapa Nui)
Director of Amano Museum

Sakane Hiroshi graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo with a degree in education. Currently living in Lima, Peru, he is the director of the Amano Museum, which was founded by his grandfather, the late Amano Yoshitaro. In addition to his involvement in excavation activities in the Andes region and leading research on the culture, earthenware and textiles of Peru, Mr. Sakane also works with key political figures, business experts, and the press as a private diplomat. He travels throughout Japan for a month or more every year, holding lectures and panel discussions in order to deepen understanding of Peruvian culture.

UCHIMURA Akira (Buenos Aires-Ushuaia)
Head of the Nikkei Youth Network

Born in Costa Rica, his father is Japanese and mother Chilean. Following his father's work, he moved every 3 years living in Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Japan, Republic of Suriname, and Chile before moving back to Japan. Currently he is the head of the organization he founded in June 2010 to create a global network of Nikkei Youth Leaders around the world. He runs the web site "" which enables multicultural Nikkei youths around the world to share ideas and projects with "Japan+You=WOW" as its theme. Also in collaboration with the Nippon Foundation Student Volunteer Center (Gakuvo), he is currently working to send students to disaster affected areas through a project called "IS Volunteers". He also receives Peace Boat Exchange Programs when Peace Boat visits South and Central America. Onboard, he will discuss the past and present of Nikkei Communities, as well as issues of nation and identity.

Mario TUKI (Valparaiso - Rapa Nui)
Rapa Nui Dancer, Activist

As an active promoter of Rapa Nui culture and history, he is the Director of the Ma`ara Nui Cultural Ballet troupe, made up of Rapa Nui youth living in continental Chile. Despite his young age, he is well versed in teaching dancing workshops and delivering Rapa Nui-related conferences at university level. He will introduce participants to Rapa Nui history and culture, as well as teach dancing workshops, as an introduction not only to Easter Island but to the broader Polynesian culture.

Gabriel TETIARAHI (Rapa Nui - Papeete)
Indigenous Rights Activist, Founder of NGO Hiti Tau

Gabriel Tetiarahi (Gabi) is the founder of "Hiti Tau", an NGO that strives to restore the indigenous Maohi people's identity, and regain their independence from French-ruled Tahiti. In the past, he also organized and led protest movements against French nuclear tests in the South Pacific, and has been working to promote economic independence among the Maohi people since the testing came to an end in 1996. Mr. Tetiarahi is also active in training young leaders and working with them to cultivate organic vanilla and taro using traditional methods in order to build a brighter future for Tahitians. Hiti Tau is a long-time partner organization of Peace Boat, and Gabi has been instrumental in organizing optional programs for participants in Tahiti.

HIGASHIDA Tomohiro (Tahiti-Yokohama)

Born in 1972, this Kumamoto singer-songwriter debuted on the music scene in 2003. His expressive music is infused with a strong message, which has earned him fans not only in Japan but also around the world. His live performances are characterized by a sense of boundless energy, making him a favorite at music festivals. He is also a practitioner of natural agricultural methods and self-sufficiency, and believes life is a journey. As leader of the 'Change the World' project, he sends fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables to the children of Minami-Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture.

***The above list is subject to changes and cancellations.