Associate Professor TASHIRO Shimon

Affiliations :

  • Graduate School Faculty of Arts and Letters
  • Division of Department of Integrated Human Sciences
  • Social and Human Sciences Course
  • Department of Sociology

For those of us who cannot become a ‘professional’

We live in the era of professionals. But it is hard to choose just one type of knowledge to seek since it would also mean giving up on many others. It seems to me that there are still myriads of unidentified problems in the world, so I cannot help but think about territories yet unexplored by any specialized field. If possible, I would like to grasp the world in its totality, even if my understanding will be incomplete.
Sociology was developed for people with such an attitude.

Two questions have driven my studies: “Why are experiments on human bodies allowed?” and “What line of thinking would be most beneficial when facing death?” Since both topics are not very popular among social scientists, I often had to defend their relevance, not to mention having to develop a research method from scratch. At times I felt like a helpless amateur stranded amidst medical professionals. However, I have pursued my curiosity to the fullest and have been able to put my conclusions into words, however clumsy.

It is certainly not easy to brave the wild terrain led only by your thirst for knowledge. But if you are willing to face the hardships, I hope that you will take full advantage of the freedom offered by the discipline of sociology.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    Sociology (General Lecture); Sociology (Special Lecture); Sociology (Seminar)
    Personal History
    BA, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
    PhD, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University

    Project Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Ethics, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo
    Assistant Professor, Office for Promoting Medical Research, Showa University
    Chief of Division of Bioethics and Healthcare Law,
    Center for Public Health Sciences, National Cancer Center Japan
    Current position
    Ph.D. (Literature)
    Medical Sociology; Bioethics
    Research Subject
    Social control of biomedical research
    Sociology of death and dying
    end-of-life Care; death and dying; illness narratives; qualitative research, biographical research, research ethics, medicines regulation; clinical ethics
    The Japan Sociological Society; The Tohoku Sociological Society; The Japanese Society of Health and Medical Sociology; Japan Association for Bioethics; The Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Researches in Medicine
    Database of Researchers Information
  • Books
    The Ethics of Clinical Research: Beyond the Ethics of Clinical Care, Keiso Shobo, 2011 (in Japanese)
    Living Thorough the Dying Process: the Sociology of Terminally Ill Cancer Patients' Experiences, Sekai Shiso Sha, 2016 (in Japanese)
    Academic Papers
    “Rethinking the Role of Research Ethics Committees: beyond Subject Protection,” The Annals of legal Philosophy 2017, 2018, 23-41. (in Japanese)
    “Do Physicians Respect Patients’ Prognostic Information Preferences?: a Survey of Bereaved Caregivers, The Japanese Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care 2013, 23(5): 411-415 (in Japanese). (co-authored with Fujimoto Tokihiko, Aizawa Izuru, and Morooka Ryosuke)
    “Ethical Issues of Placebo-controlled Studies in Depression: the Case of a Randomized Withdrawal Trial in Japan,” The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2012, 200(3): 255-259. (co-authored with Maki M. Yamada and Kenji Matsui)
    "Unintended Consequences of 'Soft' Regulations: The Social Control of Human Biomedical Research in Japan, "International Journal of Japanese Sociology, 19, 2010.
    “Research, practice, and innovative therapy: on the theoretical models of Robert J. Levine,” Asian Bioethics Review, 2010, 2(3): 229-239.
    The 9th Prize of the Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Researches in Medicine
    The 5th Prize of Japanese Association for Social Research (Advances in Social Research Outstanding Paper Award)