KONNICHIWA! from Japan – Wikimedians of Japan User Group

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Our logo under review

A group of Japanese users have come together to start the first user group in the Japanese community (jawikis) hoping to be recognized by the AffCom. We have received the WMF’s Rapid Fund for primary preparation in May to June 2023, and the General Support Fund for our activities from July 2023 through June 2024.   

Our goal is to help improve the quality of the Japanese wiki projects where needed. We want to achieve this by supporting to provide a safer space with better inclusion for users, especially for women and young people. We would also like to see that the wiki projects are more trusted by the wider society.   

Just like any other communities, Jawikis has its own uniqueness. Japanese Wikipedia started in 2001. It was in 2002 that our characters became available. Although being one of the first Wikipedia language editions established and with a large number of users with over five thousand currently active, there has never been any local organizations such as chapters and affiliates. It is incredible how the long-time contributors have self-governed Japanese wiki projects with the minimum support from the Foundation all these years. Our wish is for the Japanese wiki projects to continue to be successful, so as to contribute to the sustainability of the global wiki projects. 

With all this said, we still don’t have the capacity to collaborate with other communities yet. We ask for your patience while we first focus on laying the groundwork to make our group sustainable. What are we currently working on?

  • We share the challenges of all trailblazers, requiring research for every step including administration. For instance, we have contacted lawyers and tax agents to understand how our user group can operate within Japanese law. 
  • And similar to many new groups, we are learning by trial and error on best ways for task sharing to leverage the various talents and interests that each member brings. We are also seeking ways to share information with Jawiki communities and have started a newsletter. Starting with updates within the Jawp and Wikivoyage, aiming to add news from global communities and WMF more and more. 
  • Furthermore, because Jawikis, especially Jawp, are already a mature community, there are many things for us to take into consideration before taking actions to avoid our work being self-pleasing. We are preparing to conduct surveys within Jawikis to better understand the challenges. 

Some of our group members were teenagers in the pre-internet time without a space to share their findings, while others are digital natives. We share the same hope that Wikimedia projects can continue to be open to anyone who is open to sharing their knowledge, even those who are young and/or feeling alone. 

For now, a big HELLO to everyone in the Wikiverse, and we will share more when we are ready! 

Details and latest updates can be found on our meta page

JNakayama supported my English. I thank her very much.- Kizhiya

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