OutlineMessage from the Director

Actively facing the issues in contemporary society, through education and research which transcends disciplines and regions

As a designated national university, Tohoku University places importance on the establishment of the nine International Joint Graduate Programs, which implement education collaboratively through strong alliances with leading overseas universities, and transcend the framework of the conventional education system. One part of this is the International Joint Graduate Program in Japanese Studies (GPJS). In particular, the program utilizes the characteristics and strengths of the Humanities, and in collaboration with overseas education and research institutions (Hasekura League), plans the construction of a Japanese Studies platform as a new interdisciplinary field. This is an active challenge, which considers the role of Humanities and Social Science in solving the issues facing contemporary society.

The Tohoku University Japanese Studies program involves researchers in fields which have not normally been included, such as Western Studies. Through the inclusion of similar and differing elements, we aim to depart for the frontier of knowledge. To do so, a new compass is required. In other words, our Japanese Studies does not preserve the traditional academic areas and explore fields in a vertical direction (diachronia), but deconstructs the existing framework, placing importance on education and research which crosses disciplines and regions horizontally (synchronicity). We are exploring a new method which is not constrained by words being the primary verification, but which involves boldly using images and data, subjecting them to scrutiny and analysis, uses imaginative power to the fullest, and is not afraid to make great strides. We hope you join us on our journey into the unknown, based on the motto of “It always seems impossible until it succeeds”.

Professor, Faculty of Arts and Letters
Program Director, GPJS
OZAKI Akihiro