The Second Tohoku Conference on Global Japanese Studies
Sat 14th Dec 2019, 10:00-12:00 Plenary Session
Chair: Kabashima, Hiroshi, Mr Prof, School of Law, Tohoku University
Caring for carers: Psychological impacts of caregiving and acceptance-based psychotherapy for family carers for people with dementia
The proportion of older people worldwide is growing and dementia is considered a public health priority. In many countries, a large percentage of the annual economic cost of dementia is currently contributed by unpaid informal carers such as family members, suggesting they are an essential taskforce in caring for people with dementia.
This talk presents a series of research led by the keynote speaker demonstrating the prevalence of mental health problems in family carers. In brief, mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and carer burden are highly prevalent in family cares of people with dementia and the estimates of prevalence are substantially greater than family carers of people with other conditions such as cancer and stroke.
If carers are distressed not only is their health at risk, but the quality of care provided to their care recipient at home is also likely to be impacted. Despite the risk of negative consequences, family carers are currently under-provided for by healthcare services due to a number of barriers (e.g., care for people with dementia is often prioritised and less attention is paid to family carers in medical settings). This talk also presents a series of research led by the keynote speaker demonstrating the up-to-date evidence on different types of psychosocial interventions targeted family carers.
The talk concludes with challenges in providing continuous support to family carers within healthcare services in the UK and Japan and discuss ways in overcoming such barriers including the keynote speaker’s ongoing project funded by the National Institute for Health Research, which aims to develop online acceptance-based psychotherapy for family carers of people with dementia.
Ganesan, Arasu (Mr Prof , Chemical Biology, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia: A.Ganesan@uea.ac.uk):
Ikigai: Expanding the limits of human lifespan
Tomioka, Yoshihisa (Mr Prof , Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University: email@example.com):
Development of Professional Education Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences toward 2025
In Japan, there are concerns about the sudden increase in social security expenses such as medical expenses as the 2025-issue, and it is expected that occupational changes to medical personnel will occur. As a change, pharmacists who can participate/collaborate actively and contribute to drug treatment as pharmaceutical specialists in a medical care team will be required in the viewpoint of improving the quality of medical care and ensuring medical safety. In particular, the role of pharmacists in community settings is also expected/ required to change from focusing on product such as medicine/item to focusing on people or patient such as disease management. Now in Japan, we are promoting the creation of a comprehensive support and service provision system (community comprehensive care system) in the community so that it can continue to the end of life in order to support the dignity of the elderly, autonomous/self-organized life and quality of life in a familiar community as much as possible. It is important for the nature of pharmacists in the futureto collaborate with other medical occupations based on professionalism expertise and the ability to find and solve the clinical problems for patients using medical information. Therefore, "Pharmacist Specialist Training Program (H20-H24)" and "Super-generalist Pharmacist Training Program (H25-)" had been developed by the cooperation of the related departments as pharmacist educational program of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Tohoku University with supported by special expenses of MEXT. In the community settings, pharmacists called “Kakaritsuke (family) pharmacists” are expected to play an active role, and it is also important to train pharmacist candidates to be kakaritsuke. In this presentation, I would like to introduce the current status of the development of educational program at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Tohoku University, and discuss future ways to train pharmacists who can be active in the community.
Nagai, Akira (Mr Prof , Sociology, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University:firstname.lastname@example.org):
The Aging Japanese Society and the Formation of the Community Care System
The purpose of my report is to clarify the relationship between the ongoing aging of Japanese society and the formation of a community care system. A community care system is a social network that provides necessary services for elderly people and their families in a certain area. This system consists of administrative agencies, medical institutions, welfare facilities, and community organizations.To understand the formation of the community care system in Japan, it is necessary to pay attention to several events. (1) several medical institutions started home care in the 1980s. (2) In the 1990s, municipalities were positioned as responsible organizations for nursing care policies. (3) Efforts to improve the quality of elderly care increased around 2000. (4) Long-term care benefits were suppressed and community-based integrated care system policies were established in the 2000s.
Chair: Ozaki, Akiko, Ms Prof, School of Medicine, Tohoku University
A Survey on the Actual Situation of Pain Management Performed by Home-Visiting Nurses for Geriatric Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Dementia
The aim of this study was to investigate the actual situation of pain management performed by home-visiting nurses who work in Japan for geriatric patients with moderate-to-severe dementia. The study also aimed to identify issues that need to be addressed in relation to such pain management.
A cross-sectional design was used to collect data between March and April 2019. A questionnaire was sent by post to nursing managers at 1037 visiting nursing stations in Japan. Respondents were visiting nurses who had experience with pain management for elderly adults with dementia. The questionnaire contained questions on the following aspects: the use of assessment scales, confidence in pain management, necessity for training, and 18 relevant knowledge items. The study was approved by the ethics review board at the Tohoku University.
In total, 1,037 questionnaires were distributed to visiting nurses in the initial survey, of which 230 were returned (response rate: 22.8%). In terms of the use of assessment scales in cases in which it is difficult to have a conversation with the patient, 74 (34.7%) a face rating scale; 17 respondents (8.0%) indicated that they adopt a numerical rating scale ; and only 9 respondents (4.2%) of the total indicated that they use observational pain tools (OPTs). Meanwhile, 158 respondents (68.7%) indicated that they are not confident to appropriately perform pain management, whereas 222 (96.5%) indicated that they require a certain kind of training. Additionally, Cronbach's alpha for the 18 knowledge items was .68. Particularly, the rates of correct answers were lower than 60% for the following items: “Pain is not associated with aging” (correct answer rate: 56.1 %); “It is recommended that the patient be administered medications on a regular basis rather than on an as-required basis” (correct answer rate:30.4 %); “Acetaminophen is the first-line medication” (correct answer rate:45.7%). Moreover, there was a significant difference in the total scores for knowledge and the degree of confidence.
We will consider developing a pamphlet that addresses knowledge items for which correct answer rates were low in this study, and that shows the methods of using OPTs. We will also examine education programs that cover these aspects. Moreover, preceding studies have found that it is highly important for nurses to have confidence in practicing nursing. Going forward, we will further analyze and elucidate confidence-related factors and apply findings from such studies to education programs.
Predictive factors of quality of life in family carers of people with dementia
Dementia affects millions worldwide with East Asia including Japan having the highest prevalence of dementia. Studies conducted in different parts of the world show that family carers often experience lower levels of Quality of Life (QoL). However, the support provided to family carers within medical and social care services is often very limited due to the availability of resources (e.g., support for patients are often prioritised and psychological impacts of caregiving on families are overlooked). Therefore, it is important to identify modifiable factors that predict carer QoL in order to develop the targeted intervention which can directly impact carer QoL and be delivered with the limited resources available.
A previous comprehensive meta-analysis led by Contreras suggested that care recipient’s neuropsychiatric symptoms, carer’s mental healthand burdenare likely to have an impact on family carer’s generic QoL (e.g., feeling satisfied with own health). To further build the evidence base, the current empirical study aimed to investigate the impact of care recipient’s neuropsychiatric symptoms and key carer factors such as depression, anxiety and objective burden on more old age-specific QoL (e.g., feeling valued in the community, enjoyment) considering the increasing age of the carer population.
Sixty-six family carers with a first-degree relationship with a person with dementia (Mean age=70.06, SD=12.40; 66.70% female) were recruited in the UK. Most of the participants were looking after a spouse (66.70%) with Alzheimer’s (39.40%) or mixed dementia (24.20%).A multiple regression analysis was conducted with QoL measure specific for older people as a dependent variable. Neuropsychiatric symptoms, objective burden, depression and anxiety were entered to the model as independent variables. Anxiety was the only significant predictor of age-specific QoL (β=-.39).
These findings suggested that improving carer’s anxiety may be particularly important in promoting their old age-specific QoL. In this presentation, the moderating role of carer’s psychological flexibility, self-compassion and their knowledge about dementia on the relationship between anxiety and QoL will also be discussed. These results will help to understand which modifiable moderators are critical for explaining the relationship between anxiety and QoL and thus should be targeted in the intervention to achieve the desired result of improving carer QoL. The clinical implication of the findings will be discussed in a wider context including dementia care in the UK and Japan.
Mioshi, Eneida (Ms Prof, School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) - Applied Research Collaboration East of England (ARC EoE)):
Maintaining independence in dementia: addressing the interaction of clinical, psychosocial and family issues
Dementia is a global issue. While pathological brain changes and clinical symptoms are relatively well described across dementia subtypes, the interaction of these various symptoms with psychosocial and family issues has been less explored. This is particularly evident in relation to losing independence, one of the most worrying and costly issues in dementia as it affects productivity, safety, family support, living situation and public services.
This presentation will briefly outline a research programme addressing the interaction of functional decline with clinical symptoms (cognitive deficits; behavioural symptoms) of different dementias, the role of family management styles and the home environment on everyday function. In addition, the talk will also present research studies investigating loss of independence in relation to dementia stages and family carer burden.
Maintaining independence remains a critical goal in dementia management. Loss of independence seems to be best managed with non-pharmacological interventions involving family support, as well as community-based initiatives and some everyday technology. For this reason, the talk will also briefly discuss a novel non-pharmacological intervention to support independence in dementia that aims to address the complex interaction of clinical, psychosocial and family issues – and which could be tailored for different cultural contexts. As such, this talk will also present as an opportunity to create learning and collaborative opportunities between the UK and Japan.
Shimizu, Megumi (Ms Dr, Department of Gerontological and Home Healthcare Nursing, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine):
Availability of government statistical data of self-reported surveys regarding living conditions for evaluating quality of life for people with cancer
In an aging society, cancer has become a more common disease. Continuously monitoring the quality of life of community dwelling patients with cancer at the population level is important but challenging.
The Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions is a nationwide population-based random-sampling survey conducted every three years by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Health-related questions such as subjective symptoms, hospital visits, adversities in ones daily life and mental health are found within the questionnaire. We can identify people with cancer through self-reporting when patients visit hospitals for diagnosis and treatment. Although the primary aim of the survey is to examine general aspects of living conditions and to obtain data that may be required for planning and management for the health, labour and welfare administration, it is meaningful to discuss whether we could use this existing data for evaluating the quality of life for people with cancer. Therefore, we examined the availability of data for evaluating the quality of life for people with cancer using this information.
We acquired the data of Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions conducted in 2004, 2007 and 2010 from the database of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
We analyzed the data and divided the information into the following age groups: under 65, 65-75, over 75 years of age.
Unfortunately, the rate of patients with cancer that we identified from the data was very low compared to the rate of cancer patients in Japan according to national statistics. We will continue to explore various ways to examine and utilize this existing government statistical data.
Sato, Emiko (Ms Dr, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University: email@example.com):
Muscle wasting syndrome in renal failure
The main function of the kidney is to excrete of waste products and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed though the urine. The kidney function decreases with aging, and waste products accumulate in the circulation. A part of the retention products is directly or indirectly show toxicity, and are called “uremic toxins”. Uremic toxins accumulate in the circulation during the course of progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD). In Japan, it is estimated that there are more than 13.3 million patients with CKD, and the CKD patient population is aging with super-aging of Japanese society. Sarcopenia is a muscle wasting syndrome characterized by progressive loss of generalized skeletal muscle mass and strength with a risk of physical disability and poor quality of life. In CKD patients, sarcopenia is prevalent and particularly prominent among elderly patients. Sarcopenia in CKD, which is called “uremic sarcopenia”, is an important problem in the management of CKD patients in super-aging society, because it is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. However, pathogenic and progression mechanisms of uremic sarcopenia remain unclear. Recently, we found that the representative uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate contributes to the pathogenesis of uremic sarcopenia. Indoxyl sulfate accumulates in muscle tissue and induces metabolic alterations, and the intracellular metabolic alterations contribute to uremic sarcopenia. In addition, we found that indoxyl sulfate accumulates not only in circulation but also in whole-body organs in CKD conditions.AST-120 is an orally administrated intestinal sorbent, and has been proposed in clinics for CKD patients for improvement of uremic symptoms. The AST-120 treatment prevented some tissue accumulation of indoxyl sulfate, and ameliorated uremic sarcopenia. Our recent data suggested that intramuscular metabolic alterations by indoxyl sulfate will be a therapeutic target for uremic sarcopenia.
Out of Respect for Their Age: The Former Siberian Internees in the Postwar History of the Japanese Society
When the Soviet Union defeated the Japanese Kwantung Army in northeast Asia in August1945, many of the more than 600,000 Japanese servicemen it took captive and transported into its labor camps were young men. Interned in the vast system of Soviet forced labor camps for POWs, these men spent between a few months to eleven years —the best years of their lives — in Siberia before finally being allowed to return home. Despite the ordeal of Siberian captivity, where they were exploited for their labor in avariety of industries, kept in overcrowded barracks and given food that did not replenish the strength of their bodies, many of these men survived the life in camps and returned alive to Japan. They contributed to the economic revival and development of their motherland, despite being denied compensation for the suffering they endured in Soviet captivity for most of the Cold War period.
At present, around 10,000 of these men are still alive, having witnessed the Second World War, the Soviet camps, and the postwar economic miracle. Their rich experiences are slowly becoming a treasure trove for historians writing the history of twentieth-century Japan. Their average age is ninety-five. Japanese longevity, good healthcare and social welfare policies mean that so many of them are still alive, while the overwhelming majority of World War II veterans in most other countries have already passed away. Perhaps because of their advanced age, the former “Siberian internees” (shiberia yokuryūsha) have finally received the care and attention of both the Japanese state, and of the broader society; in 2010, the then ruling Democratic Party government adopted the Postwar Forced Internees Special Law (Sengo kyōsei yokuryūsha tokubetsu sochi hō), which prescribed symbolic “consolation payments” to all survivors. However, for decades during the Cold War, the former internees’ efforts to receive any form of compensation were largely unsuccessful. In this presentation I consider the connection between the ageing of the former victims of the Second World War — on the example of the Siberian internees —and the government and societal attitudes to their welfare.
Ageing Society and National Security in Japan
The ageing of society is currently one of the most serious issues facing so-called developed countries. However, this is typically understood as a socioeconomic problem and rarely addressed as in terms of 'national security'. As the country with arguably the most serious aging crisis on the planet, this paper interrogates how, in the Japanese case, the intensified aging of society affects multiple levels of security. Specifically, examines how the weakening of social, economic and human security may impact upon national security. This includes areas such as military recruitment and operation, but also questions the ability of a highly aged society to sustain the levels of productivity, flexibility and robustness needed to support a relatively stable and powerful economy, without which geo-strategic defence also becomes highly problematic.
The goal of the paper is, therefore, to fill a gap in the current literature by gaining a nuanced understanding of the significance of ageing society to national security in extreme cases such as Japan. It thereby also sheds light upon why the relationship between ageing society and security has thus far been underestimated or under-addressed, and offer paths to related future research. Specifically, the paper concludes that Japan is likely to need to further expand its immigrant workforce in order to sustain an economy that can support its current levels of national defence spending, but that doing so will in itself create the potential for additional security risks.
Chair: Godart, Clinton, Mr Prof, School of International Cultural Studies, Tohoku University
Mahatthanadull, Sanu (Mr Dr, International Buddhist Studies College (IBSC), Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Modern Buddhism in Thailand from the Emergence of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in the late 19th Century to the World Buddhist University in Modern Times
This paper probes Modern Buddhism in Thailand from the first emergence of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in the late 19th century to the world Buddhist University in nowadays. It demonstrates underlined historical evidences stating the establishment of the first Buddhist University in Thailand during the reign of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn the great. The article also discusses on important changes occurring under those mentioned periods. This was a big change in education was to instill the Buddhist livelihoods into Thai people. Living is an important issue that Buddhism attaches to it as a continuing education process throughout life. Firstly in the Buddha’s period, the Saṅgha administration was governed by the Buddha himself. Later on, after the demise of the Exalted One, he has bestowed power on his monk disciples. Thus the monks have self-governing characteristics. Until this modern era, the Saṅgha Act plays a crucial role as a constitution of the monk’s life in Thailand. Therefore the Act of Education and Saṅgha Act are also need to be discussed in this paper as well. All of the above images, when combined, exhibit a jigsaw puzzle showing the importance of Buddhist University from the past to the present, at the turning point of becoming a world Buddhist university, a new mission to announce to the world what is the real identity of Buddhism. At the end, the author will also compare the Thai cases with modern Buddhism in Japan.
Engaged Buddhism in Thailand and Japan: "Development Monks" and Disaster Relief
“Engaged Buddhism” is the terminology used by social advocates and scholars who have found out monks’ engagement in public sphere since 1960s. So far Max Weber’s negative image, social renouncer in monastery and traditional Buddhism patronaged under monarchy and aristocracy system, had been so strong that resistant monks against tyrant administration and reliever from poverty and social problems were deemed as social reformers. Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia, edited by Queen, Christopher S. and King, Sallie B. in 1996 SUNY, typically shows such perspectives.
In Thailand Scholars and NGO/NPO workers used the term development monks as a term for Thai monks engage in community development. I focused on development monks twenty years ago, and wrote one monograph, Development Monks in Northeastern Thailand (Sakurai, 2008 Hokkaido University Press in Japanese). Since then I have considered how Theravada Buddhism has influenced the construction of social ethics in Thailand from the theoretical perspective of social capital, and edited another volume, Thai Theravada Buddhism and Social Inclusion (Sakurai, 2013 Hokkaido University Press in Japanese).
This paper first theorized the typology of religious engagement in public sphere. Second brief history of development monks in previous researches and findings in my researches will be illustrated. In sum there were various types of monks and their various activities among self-described development monks and monks who were described this way by others. I observed the monks who cooperated with official policy, used of magical powers, traditional Thai medical treatments of Thailand, and collaboration with NPO. They did not make the binary decision between whether policy or alternative theories. The projects desired in those regions, were put into practice as a result of monks’ leadership among villagers, bargaining ability with administrators, information gathering power, and the powers of innovation and imagination.
Finally, through comparingengaged Buddhism in Thailand with Japanese Buddhism in the case of recent disaster, the author demonstrates the gap between the discourse of engaged Buddhism and citizens’ actual expectation for monks and temples in their historical and social context.
Chair: Adachi, Hiroaki, Mr Prof, School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
Gerlini, Edoardo (Mr Dr, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellow, Waseda University: email@example.com):
World Literature and World Heritage: Meaning and Issues of culture sharing
Literature is unquestionably part of the cultural heritage of humanity, as well as a necessary element for the consolidation and negotiation of local and national identities around the world.
But if we look at the most authoritative lists of cultural heritage, namely the three UNESCO lists of World Heritage, Memory of the World, and Intangible Cultural Heritage, we hardly found items that can be considered “literature” in a traditional sense, like works and masterpieces usually included in anthologies and textbooks of Literature.
What do makes literature unsuitable for the present distinction between tangible and intangible heritage? How the criteria stated in many declarations by UNESCO, like the “outstanding universal value”, the “representativeness”, or the “cultural diversity” can be applied to the case of literary production? Has the “world” in World Heritage the same issues and implication of the “world” in “World literature”? Why a masterpiece of World literature as the “Tale of Genji” cannot become World Heritage? Can classical literatures and languages like Latin or Classical Chinese (kanbun) be considered “cultural heritage of mankind”?
With this paper I want to rethink the problem of valorization, reproduction, and use of “literature of the past” from the point of view of the so called “critical heritage studies”, through the analysis of examples of creative appropriation and heritagization of past cultures, like the various textual and intertextual processes of quoting, allusion, collection and rewriting.
Arai, Misaki (Ms, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Categorization of Japanese Native Speakers ’ Kyarakuta and Kyarakuta Forming processes: the SCAT analysis of the interviews with Japanese Native Speakers
In modern Japanese society , Kyarakuta , which is a situation based self (Sadanobu, is one of the important communicative competences because Kyarakuta can simplify Japanese various identities However, though Kyarakuta is used in daily Japanese communications, communications with Kyarakuta are criticized by many researchers because deviant behavior from their Kyarakuta cannot allowed and Kyarakuta is static and superficial to weaken human relationships . I t is not clear that Kyarakuta can restrict individuals behavior and weaken human relationships because there are few previous studies about properties and functions of Kyarakuta and Kyarakuta forming processes, so it is necessary to investigate them . Here we show properties and functions of Japanese native speakers Kyarakuta and Kyarakuta forming processe by surveying by a SCAT analysis of interviews with 10 Japanese native speakers This analysis showed that Kyarakuta has three fundamental properties (possibility of intentional management, (human relationship /situation dependency (management difficulty, and selective properties (1) performance/ non performance, (playfulness/practicality (ordinary non ordinary , (common use/temporary use, (signicity/ distinctiveness and that Kyarakuta has four functions (1) simplifying personalities, (facilitating communications, (securing places where ones belong in their communities, (distinguishing between individuals . Also, it proved that Kyarakuta was clarified (1) substantial, (2) ideal, (subjective, (social , (5) (6) impression, (7) ideal image, (8) objective Kyarakuta accordance with these properties , and that Kyarakuta w as formed by si x forming processes (1) complete passive type, (2) passive adjust type, (3) active sustention type, (4) active adjust type, (5) ideal seeking type, (6) self analysis type T hese results suggested that it is difficult to make a synchronic change in Kyarakuta because of its properties, while Kyarakuta can make a diachronic change in accordance with age s , relationships and communities . I propose that it is necessary to introduce Kyarakuta involving in properties and functions into Japanese education in order to solve problems about forming static or dynamic Kyarakut a like bullying.
Reference: Sadanobu, Toshiyuki 2015: “Characters in Japanese Communication and Language: An Overview”, Acta Linguistica Asiatica , 5(2), pp. 9-28.
Takahashi, Yuka (Ms, Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, Tohoku University: email@example.com):
Takaaki Yoshimoto’s perspectivein aging
Takaaki Yoshimoto(1924-2012) is one of the most prominent thinkers in Japan. During the war, he wrote sentences and poetry to glorify the war in response to the social trends drifted to the right. After Japan’s defeat in World War II, he has doubts about his perception of Japanese society and introspected on his standpoint during the war. At the same point, he also criticized Japanese intellectuals who changed ideological standpoints from communism to extreme nationalism and extreme nationalism to democratism during and after the war, respectively. In the campaign against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in 1960’s, he was enthusiastically accepted by new left-wing youth group as an ideological leader. After that, he wrote commentaries on Japanese subculture and wear Comme des Garçon clothes on fashion magazines in order to grasp the latest aspects of Japanese society.
Taken together, he was always trying to absorb cutting-edge information in each event to get a glimpse of social landscape in Japan from the above actions.
On the other hand, he was aware of his aging as he published some books written about records of a daily occurrence and how he dealt with and exposed his aging since 2002 until he died in 2012 at 87 years old. In present study, I will look an overview of his biography and discuss how he accepted his aging in the pursuit of fashion of each period and whether he perceived his aging as degeneration or maturity.
Okhlopkova, Kiya (Ms, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Comparative analysis of the image of the "Peculiar Lover" in Japanese culture (on the example of Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Reconciliation” and other works)
From ancient times, literary works around the world recorded stories about the mysterious continuity of death and love, resulting in a reunion with a beloved one who passed away (so-called “peculiar lover”). One of those stories is Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Reconciliation”, which was published in the Shadowings and a Japanese Miscellany in 1900. It is the ninth of Hearn's fifteen collections of Japanese works and was published ten years after his arrival in Japan.
It talks about a samurai from Kyoto, who abandoned his wife to seek success in a faraway province. He then remarried to another woman from a wealthy family but eventually started regretting leaving his first wife and returned to Kyoto to find her. She was still there, waiting for him through all those years and greeting him with nothing, but love and forgiveness. Happily reconciled, they spent the night together, but in the morning he woke up next to her corpse. He discovered that she died a while ago and that it was her spirit appearing that night in their old house.
This story has been retold a few times before and after Hearn, and the image of the “peculiar lover” (samurai’s first wife) kept changing with time flow. The roots of the story are known to be in Chinese folklore, but in Japanese literature, it was first recorded as one of the Konjaku Monogatari tales during the Heian period. Later during the Edo period, Ueda Akinari used it as a base for “House Amid the Thickets” (“Asaji ga Yado”) - one of the stories included in the Tales of Moonlight and Rain ( Ugetsu Monogatari ), which was published in 1776. Lafcadio Hearn retold the story under the title “The Reconciliation” during the Meiji period. And lastly, after WWII Masaki Kobayashi directed a horror movie anthology Kwaidan which was based on Hearn’s works. The movie was released in 1965 and one of the four-film parts “Black Hair” was based on “The Reconciliation”.
In this presentation, I would like to trace the changes in the image of the “peculiar lover” in retrospection through the comparative analysis of Hearn’s “The Reconciliation” and the original story from Konjaku Monogatari , Ueda Akinari’s “House Amid the Thickets” and the “Black Hair” movie piece of Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan . I believe that the results of this analysis can contribute to a clearer understanding of the development of Japanese culture from ancient times to nowadays.
Nappi, Pierluigi (Mr, Università degli Studi di Napoli "L'Orientale" and Kobe University: email@example.com):
Low and high skilled immigration programs in Japan and their challenges: the Technical Intern Training Program and the JET program
Japan’s difficulty to open itself to the “foreigner” has been a topic widely discussed by scholars and politicians alike and has been often connected to other issues related to Japanese society, like its aging population, the low birth rate and the labor shortages in some sectors of its economy. But some programs and policies implemented by the government during have tried to propose attainable solutions to such issues. In particular, I will focus on the Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) and the JET program.
The training program was implemented in 1993 and greatly helped Japan after the bubble burst, supplying workers that could help to counter the labor shortage. Significantly, starting from April 2019, Japan has introduced important changes to its immigration policy, introducing two specified skills Visas and welcoming about 350 thousands foreign workers in 14 different sectors.
JET Program stands for “Japan Exchange and Teaching Program” and was implemented in 1987. Through the program, young people from around the world are provided with the opportunities to teach languages, home countries’ culture, sports etc., in elementary, junior-high and high schools in Japan.
Despite belonging to two different realms of immigration (low skilled and high skilled) and the different stated goals (a solution to the labor shortage and improve Japan’s international connections), the two measures are interestingly similar for a number of reasons. First of all, both the JET program and the TITP have a time limit of five years. Secondly, the training program and the JET program request a certain degree of knowledge of the languages involved (Japanese the former and Japanese and English the latter). Lastly, the two programs, if not well implemented, can make it difficult for their participants to actually integrate in the Japanese society.
Therefore, by comparing the two abovementioned case studies, I will try to answer the following questions. Do policies like the JET program and the TITP effectively bring about changes to the structure of the Japanese society and to its stance toward immigration? If not, what are the foreseeable solutions to respond to such issues as aging population and labor shortage while at the same time creating a “foreigner-friendly” environment in which the immigrant can be able to access to long-term employment and so to satisfactorily integrate in the hosting society?
Chihō sōsei, the revitalisation of rural Japan
I began taking interest in rural depopulation after a road trip through Hokkaido in 2017. We often drove by villages and tourist spots, and I was taken aback by the emptiness and desolation that were present in some of these places. When looking at my travel pictures, I kept wondering why Hokkaido’s countryside was like this. Therefore, I decided to write my master thesis on the problem of population decline and the rural revitalization in Japan.
Rural depopulation is not only a problem in the Japanese countryside. European countries like France, Spain and Italy are facing the same challenge in certain areas. However, it is said that Japan is the first country where the population decline got so serious. There are countless examples of rural villages trying different things to revive themselves: focusing on modern art (Naoshima), developing winter tourism (Niseko), or even decorating the town with scarecrows (Nagoro). In my research, I looked at the towns Mannō and Motoyama in Shikoku.
In 2014, think tank Nihon Sōsei Kaigi published a report describing the urgency of the rural depopulation and giving ideas about what could to be done against it. A low birthrate combined with the excessive focus on Tōkyō would lead to a countryside with insufficient young people to keep the population stable. This tendency is irreversible, but things can be done to mitigate negative effects.
In the same year, the government launched a large set of measures called the Machi, hito, shigoto sōsei policy. It is not the first time the government takes action to address the problem of rural decline, but this is arguably the most ambitious plan. Whether it will be successful or not, is open for discussion. Besides the central government, local governments play a great role in the future of rural communities. I went to visit Mannō and Motoyama, to see what they are doing to attract new people to the town. Both are taking a different approach: Mannō received government subsidies and used these to set up a sunflower oil factory. Motoyama is a rice farmers community which tries to promote outdoor tourism in the area.
At the end of my thesis, I also emphasized the importance of akiya (empty houses). I concluded that it is not yet possible to judge whether the government strategy or the local initiatives of Mannō and Motoyama are effective. However, discussion about the direction of policies is possible and I will keep following the issue in the future.
Chair: Kabashima, Hiroshi, Mr Prof, School of Law, Tohoku University
A Comparative Study on the Convergence and Divergence of East Asian Welfare States — Focusing on Family Policy of Japan, Korea
Since Esping-Andersen put forward the typology of three worlds of welfare capitalism, the existence and the classification of East Asian type is on heated debate. In this issue, first, I will introduce and examine the classic hypothesis of East Asian welfare regimes, such as Oikonomic welfare state (Jones), Productivist welfare capitalism (Holliday) and Familialism welfare regime (Shinkawa). Although conclusion of whether a distinctive East Asian welfare regime exists is still on discussion, but there’s a common consensus that “family” plays a significant role as welfare provider in East Asian countries.
As the development of globalization, new social risks such as democratic ageing problem, the declining of birth rate, and fluidization of the labor market, have emerged. The realignment of welfare is an urgent issue for all the countries to establish these problems. Since the important role of “family” playing in the East Asia welfare states, the research of adjustment of family policy is crucial to the comparative welfare regime domain. Thus, this article takes on a comparison among Japan and Korea in an attempt to identify tendency of policy adjustment in these two welfare states. Facing the very serious aging problems, will they select the same strategy? I would like to clarify this question through comparative research focusing on family policies, especially on the pension and elderly care service of Japan and Korea. That is to say, by discussing the means they try to cope with the problem, this article aims to figure out whether their welfare policies converge or diverge especially in family policies.
This article briefs recent family policies development, such as pension and LTCI across the two countries. Through the comparison of family policies in these two countries, we found despite their familialism similarities, they have established diverse family policies to solve the risks initiated by the globalization. This discussion is supposed to lead to an understanding of welfare restructuring in East Asian countries.
Hochreuther, Johannes (Mr, School of Law, Tohoku University, University Heidelberg: Hochreuther@protonmail.com):
Competition, Cooperation or Co-Optation: The Centers of Excellence Programs
The issue of globalization has, next to Japan’s demographic transition, been on the agenda of Japanese policymakers for at least the last three decades, and this counts for both higher education as well as research policy. The 21st Century Centers of Excellence Program (2002-2009) and the Global Centers of Excellence Program (2009-2014) were efforts to tackle the former issue, being competitive funding programs introduced by the Japanese government in order to increase the global visibility of Japanese universities.
Independent expert committees were in charge of the selection, mid-term evaluation and ex-post evaluation of the research projects. Despite some restrictions in terms of application eligibility, in theory the vast majority of Japanese universities was able to apply. In contrast, the outcome of the program’s selection was characterized by the relative majority of the funding being granted to a small number of Japanese top-class universities, in particular The University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. The presenter will therefore discuss the following research questions:
How were the various COE committees structurally composed?
How was the composition of the various COE committees related to the selection and evaluation process?
What are the theoretical implications?
Employing a combined Structure/Actor-centric model as a point of departure, the presenter will conduct a correlation analysis between the educational and professional background of committee members on the one hand and the research organizations taking part in the competition on the other. This will be complemented by a content analysis of the respective selection and evaluation documents.
Thereby, the presenter will be able to elaborate on the possible connection and even integration of applying research organizations in the policy formulation, selection and evaluation process as well as further implications for future competitive programs set up by governments worldwide.
Awumbila, Selma (Ms, GRIDCo - Ghana Grid Co. Ltd., School of Law, Tohoku University: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Energy Poverty Is Poverty: A Human Rights Based Approach To Energy Security In Ghana
There are close to three billion people living with little or no access to modern energy sources for household and productive uses. They primarily use traditional biomass fuels from local woodlands and fields – firewood, dung, agricultural residues, and charcoal. Recognizing the importance and magnitude of this problem, the UN Secretary-General launched a global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All by 2030.
Efficient, clean and reliable energy play a major role in the socio-economic development of every nation, however, close to three billion people live with little or no access to modern energy sources for household and productive uses. This is referred to as energy poverty. In Ghana, the energy poverty situation has had a toll on development in the last decade. With recurring energy crisis confronting the nation, affordability and reliability issues, this study examines the possible solutions to energy poverty in Ghana and the West African sub-region and proposes the application of the rights based approach to resolving the problem. Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the right to a standard of living that is adequate for health and wellbeing, energy is not specifically mentioned. The study will attempt to address the question “Is lack of adequate energy a human rights issue?”, examining both national and international law on the subject.
Lin, Chao-Chi and Yang, Wan-Ying (Ms Dr, Department of Political Science, National Chengchi University: email@example.com):
Electoral rules, nomination strategies, and women’s representation in Japan and Taiwan
Japan and Taiwan conducted similar electoral reforms in 1994 and 2005, changing the electoral rules from the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system to the mixed-member majoritarian (MMM) system. Following the change in the electoral rules, in the nominal tier, both Taiwan’s and Japan’s women’s representatives have increased, which contradicts the general expectation that women have a greater advantage under SNTV than under SMD. Moreover, despite similar elector rules, Japan and Taiwan have very different levels of women’s representation. What explains the increase in Japan’s and Taiwan’s women’s representation at the district level after the transition from SNTV to MMM, and variation between Japan and Taiwan? We argue that the key causal mechanism accounting for both Japan’s and Taiwan’s ever-changing women’s representation lies in the changing nomination strategies of their major parties induced by the changing party competition following the electoral reforms. This paper finds that, in the transition from SNTV to MMM, the party center’s power in selecting candidates has been strengthened. Despite different selection methods, incumbents are more likely to be nominated, and whether a woman is an incumbent or not is the key to her nomination. Moreover, given that Taiwan had more female representative under SNTV than Japan, this might explain the differences in the starting point for female representation between Taiwan and Japan when both switched to MMM.
Sun 15th Dec 2019, 10:00-12:00 Working Group 5: Progress Reports
Chair: Ono, Naoyukii, Mr Prof, Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, Tohoku University
Wu, Peiyao（Ms. Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, Tohoku University）: The Formation of “Faith” in Modern Japan: On the Intellectual Enterprise of Sakaino Kōyō
As described in several recent studies, the appropriation of the concept “religion” in modern Japan made “Buddhism” enter a transformation process that led, ultimately, to the reimagining of its very content: according to historian of religions Isomae Junichi, one of these elements was, for instance, an emphasis on “belief” to the detriment of “practice.” While this dichotomy of “belief” and “practice” need to be reconsidered, the construction of the concept of “faith (shinkō)” is of importance in modern Japanese Buddhism.
Often considered the epitome of this “belief-centered” version of the dharma, the so-called New Buddhism Movement (shinbukkyō undō) that occurred in the turn of the century played a fundamental role in terms of establishing the concept of “faith.” There is, however, very little research in both Japan and elsewhere focusing on the intellectual development of its key-figures. In this presentation, I will attempt to explore the formation of “faith” in modern Japan by focusing on Sakaino Kōyō (1871-1933), a pioneer of Chinese Buddhist studies in Modern Japan and one of the main leaders of the Movement. In order to explore his intellectual enterprise as a whole, I will explore his ideas of shinkō, and how it was developed both in his reformist attempt and his historiographical narrative of Chinese Buddhism.
After providing a brief biographical overview, I will firstly discuss Sakaino’s idea of “Poetic Buddhism” (shiteki bukkyō) in the 1890s, a method he offered for interpreting scripture and consequently, for building “correct faith” rather than superstition. Secondly, I will turn to the 1900s, a period when shinkō came to be the key word among Buddhist intellectual, as pointed out by the religious studies scholar Hoshino Seiji. I will examine how, by advocating “a sound faith”, a central proposal in the Movement, Sakaino aimed at making a balance between religion and scientific knowledge. Last but not the least, I will analyze his discourse on Chinese Buddhism, which was constructed as “the other” to Japanese Buddhism and argue how it echoes with his idea of New Buddhism, including the central place of “faith”.
Kagami, Yoko（Ms. Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University）: A Study of Polite Form “desu/masu” in “kara” Clause in Japanese Language
In Japanese language, there are two styles: casual style and formal style. In formal style, we normally use polite forms “desu/masu” at the end of a clause or sentence. However, sometimes polite forms do not appear in clauses, even the whole sentences are written in formal style. In this presentation, I focus on one kind of those clauses with the particle “kara” and try to clarify what factors limit the appearance of polite forms.
In this study, I used the database of written Japanese language as research data. From this database, I picked up the sentences that include “kara” clauses written in formal style, and classified them according to whether polite forms appear in those clauses or not.
Results suggest that there may be two types of factors that limit the appearance of polite forms. One type is “syntactic factors” that relate to grammatical rules: polite forms do not appear in the “kara” clauses which are in indirect quotations (Ex.(1), [ ] shows an indirect quotation) or include “focus” showing which are main parts in the sentences (Ex.(2), [ ] shows a focus), because these clauses can’t be independent as a sentence.
The other type is “pragmatic factors” that relate to consideration for others: polite forms tend not to appear in the “kara” clauses that are in the context of fashion magazines(Ex.(3)) or in the sentences that recommend something(Ex.(4)), by reason of giving a sense of familiarity.
In summary, by comparing two different cases that polite forms appear in “kara” clauses or not, we found two types of factors (syntactic factors and pragmatic factors) that may limit the appearance of polite forms.
Wang, Yuling（Ms. Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University）: Foreign Tourists and Xenophobia in Japan
With the rapid increase of immigrants, xenophobia has also been rising in the world. On the one hand, the increasing number of immigrants are considered to trigger economic and cultural threats among local people, resulting in rising xenophobia, however rising number of immigrants also increases intergroup contact opportunities which are considered can reduce xenophobic attitudes. The perception of local people and interactions with immigrants involves complicated economic, cultural concerns, However, previous studies have been solely focused on the effect of long-term immigrants’ number on xenophobia. Under the background of globalization, foreign tourists have also been increasing all around the world and should also be considered. According to the group threat theory, people of the host country tend to see minorities as threatening competitors for finite material or symbolic resources, especially when the minority population becomes large in relation to the majority population. If locals can not distinguish foreign tourists from immigrants, the number of immigrants may be overestimated, resulting in an increase in xenophobia. Also, there remains another question of whether or not attitudes toward foreign tourists would remain unchanged if the residents of the host country were better able to distinguish immigrants from foreign tourists because foreign tourists have been suggested have both etiquette problem and economic contribution to Japanese society. This time, I used the “Opinion survey on internationalization and citizen’s political participation” survey data collected in 2017 to examine the role of foreign tourists played in Japan. The empirical results show that more foreign tourists do not contribute the overestimation of immigrants in Japan, also, no increasing threat perception because of foreign tourists. On the contrary, with an increase in foreign tourists, locals tend to have a positive evaluation of immigrants’ sociotropic contribution. Consequently, xenophobia is reduced. Compared to foreign tourists, objective immigrants’ number goes along with subjective immigrants’ number, also, subjective perceptions of larger immigrant groups are associated with higher threats, so xenophobia increases. Simultaneously, larger immigrants number bring more intergroup contact opportunities which reduce xenophobia, but in the aggregate, an increasing number in immigrants’ number goes along with higher xenophobia. More foreign tourists do not have a positive effect on contact opportunities, suggests the lack of interpersonal contact between locals and foreign tourists in Japanese inbound market. Lastly, Through the comparison of the two groups, I found sociotropic evaluation theory also holds on in the Japanese context.