Generating a cycle of knowledge from Creative Japanese Studies research results
Since July 2015, Tohoku University has been working on the initiative of “research which has an impact on society”. This forms a research base from which to solve serious issues, with a view to creating “a sustainable and spiritually rich society”. There are seven group themes which Tohoku University contributes in the search for solutions. One of these is “creating a country which is held in high regard by the world”. Within this, there is a project called Creative Japanese Studies, of which I am the leader.
In Creative Japanese Studies, we believe that the many problems which are happening around the world, such as the escalation of confrontation and wars, the growing trend of expelling others, and the destruction of the environment, basically arise from a collision of values. To solve these problems, it is necessary to create new values. The aim of Creative Japanese Studies is to devise new value from Japan’s cultural ground, and promote it to others.
The project name contains the subtitle “exploration of the creative value of Japanese culture to which the world can relate”. The most important part of this is “to which the world can relate”. We want the people of the world to relate to the new value promoted from Japan as something which is good. Through this, people around the world will become spiritually rich. This grand idea lies at the heart of this project.
For the university, research and education are inseparable. In Creative Japanese Studies, we progress with the latest research, and return the results to the place of education. The recipient of this can be said to be the newly created International Graduate Program in Japanese Studies. We do not bring conventional Japanese Studies to this program, rather, we bring new creative value through Creative Japanese Studies. By doing so, a cycle of knowledge is created between both parties. This is another aim of ours.