The Department of International Studies has six fields of concentration. The three fields of Peace, Environment and Multicultural Society are based on an interdisciplinary approach that is a unique quality of the Faculty of International Studies. The Department also offers a multi-disciplined approach to Regional Studies that combines lectures in the three concentrations of Cultural Studies, Economics and Political & Legal Studies.
I wrote a novel called “An” because I wanted to depict a universal meaning of human existence against the backdrop of Hansen’s disease.
Some publishers refused to print my manuscript, and I was told that nobody would want to read such books.
However, now this book has been read around the world. There are people who live on the boundaries of society. There is hope in adversity.
In this class, students will read novels about Hansen’s disease, Okinawan literature, and letters written by soldiers, and they will contemplate people’s real wishes and ultimate hopes.
This is the social science of hope, so to speak. This course will nurture specialists of hope in a world facing mounting challenges.
Foundations of Peace Studies 1
Peace Studies is an academic field that conceives of violence as “something that everyone believes is inimical to human life” and it attempts to reduce violence as much as possible.
Forms of violence vary in nature.
Violence includes situations arising from international and domestic politics (wars and terrorism, and so on), situations occurring in a region (e.g. riots), and situations arising in everyday life (poverty, bullying, and discrimination, etc.).
By focusing on the difficulties of life that each of us experience, students taking this course will conceive of how we are embedded in different mechanisms of violence and how we can disengage ourselves from it,.
Issues of Developed & Developing Countries
“Peace,” when written in kanji characters, is 平和. The second character wa (和) consists of nogi (禾), which represents grain, and kuchi (口) which means “mouth.” It can be said that when everyone can eat equally, a peaceful state will exist.
Poverty and ignorance are some of the causes of conflicts that occur around the world.
Fear of losing one’s job or a lack of future prospects can fuel intolerance towards others and social divisions. Through this course, students will explore issues surrounding globalization in terms of economics in both developing and developed countries.
Principles of Environmental Studies, Environmental Economics
Humans, who once centered their lives on agriculture, have achieved rapid industrialization in modern times.
Consequently, this has resulted in unprecedented material affluence, However, it has also created serious pollution and environmental problems, including Minamata disease and global warming.
Today, companies and countries are under increasing pressure to be environmentally friendly. In the process, they are required to address environmental issues in innovative ways.
Social finance (an approach for advancing money for social benefits) is one such effort.
Naturally, students will learn from the past, however, I will also develop lectures while looking 20 to 30 years into the future.
Students will trace social changes and societal evolution from a historical perspective to identify a “desirable” society.
They will study social governance and social activism in order to put into practice current policies and the social programs based on them.
In addition to examining economics and sociology, students will draw upon an environmental perspective to study the future of sustainable societies that will enable people to coexist with flora and fauna.
Students will also contemplate the positioning of a free economy and social regimentation within social structures,undergoing globalization and what our roles should be.
General Topography 1, 2
What does it mean to understand a “region”? You may have been convinced that “Seeing is believing” is a true axiom when you visit tourist sites.
However, a region’s natural and social environments can be damaged in the process of creating observation platforms and roads to show tourists beautiful landscapes and the building of hotels with external capital. Such areas are being forcefully changed for tourists’ viewing pleasure.
In this course, students will learn to look beyond such superficial scenery, and they develop a multifaceted and dynamic understanding of regionality.
Multicultural Society Concentration
Christianity has spread throughout the world over the past 2,000 years.
In the process, it has taken on very different (and at times contradictory) definitions informed by the local political, economic, and cultural contexts of each era and region.
In fact, there is no singular form of Christianity anymore, but multiple forms.
This course will focus on Christianity, which is a complex cultural phenomenon that incorporates social values and functions that vary by region and period.
We will discuss possibilities and issues related to religious culture that go beyond religion in a narrow sense.
History is not only a study of the past that simply reveals that past.
It is also a study of the present that can help us understand our surrounding community, as well as a study of the future that enables us to learn how we should live. What sort of community surrounds us? What kind of people live around you? Our communities may seem developed and peaceful at first glance, but numerous social issues exist.
I believe that history, which is “the study of the present and the future,” is an appropriate academic field for facing such social issues.
Today’s international community is so complicated that we cannot look at Japan and other countries as separate communities.
Aspects of many foreign countries are becoming part of Japan, and aspects of Japan are penetrating into the outside world.
Not only economics and culture but also people and information are crossing borders and becoming multi-layered. These changes are continually accelerating around the world.
Students will learn that these factors cannot be ignored even during the conduct of political diplomacy.
AREA STUDIES-West Asia
Where is “West Asia”? “West Asia” and the “Middle East” are almost interchangeable.
However, there is a difference in nuance between them. When speaking of “West Asia,” the romance of civilization’s history might come to mind.
On the other hand, “Middle East” might evoke images of conflict, terrorism, Islam, and so on. My research specialty is Islamic thought.
This course will explore West Asian and Middle Eastern cultures with a focus on Islam.
In doing so, the important key is the comparison between Islamic thought and Judaism, Christianity and Japanese culture.
This course aims to lay out the groundwork for an understanding of culture, and it explores multicultural coexistence through these regions.
American Culture and Society
The discovery of the New World by Columbus is an all-too-common fact of history.
However, Columbus did not discover a deserted land. Native tribes had already established diverse societies in the western hemisphere.
On the North American continent alone, there were over 500 groups of natives who spoke over 200 different languages.
In fact, the natives discovered Columbus. Through these lectures, students will learn the history of America from the standpoint of Native Americans.
Students will develop an ability to analyze history from multiple perspectives.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “Poison of Africa”? I may have been infected by this “poison,” and I have been spellbound by Africa for years.
Currently, I am enhancing my understanding of Africa in terms of economics, which are inseparable from everyone’s daily lives. However, in this course, I will cover culture, art, history, and politics in addition to economics. By learning about Africa, your former ways of seeing or thinking about that continent will begin to shift, and you will be able to further broaden your world.
Would you, too, like to taste the infectious poison of Africa?