OutlineMessage from the Director

Tackling the complex challenges of modern society, through spaces for practical dialogue originating in Japan

Tohoku University has established a group of nine International Joint Graduate Programs, which transcend the conventional framework of education to deliver collaborative education in partnership with leading overseas universities. One of these programs is the International Graduate Program in Japanese Studies (GPJS), which, in collaboration with overseas education and research institutions (the Hasekura League), combines th charcteristic features ad strengths of our humanities and social sciences departments in order to develop Japanese Studies as a new interdisciplinary field.

The term “Japanese Studies” here is imbued with the humble aspiration to create new spaces, from here in Japan, designed to facilitate practical dialogue across the humanities and social sciences. The aim in doing so is to tackle and break through the complex challenges of modern society. In pursuing “interdisciplinary” or “multifaceted” education and research—as it has long been described—we often come up against a very common-sense barrier: Dealing with subjects outside our “field of expertise” can often feel arduous. Sometimes, the harder we strive for dialogue, the higher this barrier seems to extend. Nevertheless, we still believe that the power of the humanities and social sciences to sustain the present and shape the future can be greatly enhanced through sustained dialogue between diverse contemporaries. To give shape to this belief, the Tohoku University International Graduate Program in Japanese Studies will consciously work to create spaces for dialogue, such as our Hasekura symposiums and international conferences. We hope you will join us in enjoying these spaces as we engage in dialogue and tackle the challenges of today.

Professor, Faculty of Arts and Letters
Program Director, GPJS
ONO Koji