Voices of Current Graduate Students and Graduates

*Below are voices of graduate students who were enrolled in academic year 2014

Hidemitsu AOKI (Socio-Cultural Symbiosis Field)

How to capture the suffering of parents of children with schizophrenia?

Relatively a lot of research have been done on supporting schiophreniacs themselves, and their parents were merely perceived as supporters or the cause of sickness in history for a long time. Today, it is acknowledged that parents also need support, but family associations and psychoeducation cannot cover them. The research is done mostly based on understanding the parent’s experiences substantively and standardly, to support them by measuring the stress they feel. This way, it is difficult to grasp the suffering in everyday life of each and individual. I did a detailed life story interview to each one of them to understand the stress and agony that parents go through. Through this interview, I believe that what’s truly needed for better supporting the parents quality wise, will be found.

Hyosuk AHN (Publicness Field)

A Chance Meeting with the Academic Arena, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences

An encounter with Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, an arena of studies. I graduated department of creative writing in Korea, and worked in literary field publishing essays while taking care of my parents at home. I knew about Mr. Tateiwa at a seminar on euthanasia in 2009 at the National Assembly Building in Korea, and decided to study at here. Today, my research is on how ALS patients and their family live using the system, focusing on family care. I was curious about the diversity the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences holds, but at the same time, I had doubts on how those diversities are connected, before entering. However, through studying surrounded by that diversity, I came to understand the complex structure of society itself. Many students here, including myself, are working on themes that cannot be researched at other schools and I intend to pursue my research in a form that could be introduced to many people, while continuing to analyze the viewpoints and issues that I came across at Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences.

Deok Young LIM (Publicness Field)

Considering poverty today from the history of policy towards homelessness.

I majored in social welfare at a graduate school in Korea, and I did research focusing on the poor at Urban Research Center of Korea after completing my master’s degree. After coming to Japan, my study is about changes in political measures for the homeless in Korea from a historical viewpoint. In the case of Korea, there has always been an issue of “tramps” due to industrialization, and political measures are not only for social welfare but to keep public safety by forcing them into labor. Changes like this in political measures for the homeless is a historic movement common in many countries that are industrially growing. My goal is to reveal the common aspects and differences in political measures in Korea and other countries, and the features of East Asian countries, especially Korea where industry has grown rapidly. The variety of students and the academic policy of valuing interdisciplinary interaction at Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences encourages students who’s research is on history or political measures of minorities. Based on my current research, I hope to study about the social weakness of East Asia and the history of minorities from a comparative viewpoint after finishing my master’s degree.

Yoshie KUBOTA (Publicness Field)

Investigations into the history of “rehabilitation” at care facilities for children with severe disabilities from the point of view of nursing.

A study from a nursing viewpoint based on the history of “rehabilitation” at a facility for severely multiple handicapped children Severely multiple handicapped children is not a medical diagnosis but it is an administrational definition by Child Welfare Law; “children with both severe mental and physical disability.” Facilities for severely multiple handicapped children are run under Child Welfare Law and Medical Service Law practicing “rehabilitation” for children. There are so many backgrounds surrounding severely multiple handicapped children; the complexity of legislative system, diverse kinds and degrees of disabilities, wide age range from infant to elderly, the necessity of medical care, relationship with NICU, support for home care patients and so on. On the other hand, medical treatment and care for multiple handicapped children varies depending on each individual, making it difficult to generalize and lowly recognized among medical staff. I hope to find some clue for these issues by studying rehabilitation at facilities for severely multiple handicapped children, historically and analytically. I am enjoying my student life studying here with teachers from various fields, giving us detailed guidance.

Megumi SAKAI (Life Field)

Investigating the relationship between the history of spinal cord medicine, systems, lifestyle with leading medicine and patients.

A study on relationship between advanced medicine and patient through history of life, system and medical care of spinal cord injuries. Social expectation of clinical application of regenerative medicine has risen due to progress of stem cell research in Japan today. Regenerative research has become a national project, and the legislation and expansion of research budgets is proceeding in recent years. Patients with incurable diseases and disabilities such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS or spinal cord injury have now become subject patients for medical treatment research of stem cells. My focus is on spinal cord injury, researching the relationship between patient and medical care applying historical technique. Through considering implications of political measures on stem cell research and rolls required to patients, we can perceive the relations of country, medical care and patient. Currently, I am working on research on historical records and documents about hospital life and medical treatment for patients with spinal cord injury during the war, and to find out how patients with spinal cord injury have come to form an organization from the individual.

Tomohiro YASUDA (Life Field)

Seeking the true nature of contemporary society through studying ideology of Ivan Illich.

Ivan Illich is an Austrian philosopher and a modern critic, wandering in various countries, mainly in Latin America, understanding the rapid transition of the world of modern times from his own experience. The main ideology of Illich was based on criticism of various civilizations brought by industrial society, but at the root of his idea, there always was “hope.” Illich sought the good of spirit of self-control and self-government from organic relationship between human and objects, based on medieval history. There is a sense of generosity for others in this study, free from currency, and a truly different life, free from specialization, rules, standards, and law. My study is to research how the spirit of self-control and self-government of Illich lead to generosity from ideological transition of the concept Illich applied.

Akiko NOJIMA (Socio-Cultural Symbiosis Field)

Designing a student communication skills training curriculum in university education

The necessity of communication skills training in school education and in society is rising in recent years. Because there was a notion that communication skills would be acquired while growing up, its definition, component and training method is not still not clear today. Communication skills are investigated in various fields, not to mention communication studies, sociolinguistics and pedagogy, and are subjects of this research. The semantic content of it will vary, naturally according to theoretical context of each field. In this research I limited the range within the discussion of communication education, which is attempted to be included in educational programs of universities and higher education faculties in Japan today. And by breaking down the outline of that limited frame by analyzing educational programs and curriculums in America, which has a longer history in communication education than Japan, I intend to offer proposals to adopting it to higher education in Japan.

Albertus-Thomas Mori (Socio-Cultural Symbiosis Field)

Constructing a new model for study on ethnic Chinese through research of transnational religious practice by ethnic Chinese Christians.

Among ethnic Chinese scattered all over the world that are originally from China, there are those whose history of migration goes back to 6th century AD. In so-called “ethnic Chinese diaspora” research, it is a tacit presupposition to perceive “ethnic Chinese” and their culture as extension and magnification of “Chineseness” without considering the essential and hegemonic viewpoint, real “China” or imaginary “China,” despite numerous verifications of the fact that “ethnic Chinese” have the strong tendency of blending into the context of their destination of migration. Viewpoints like such not only limits scholastic recognition but restrains “ethnic Chinese” to become a “native” in everyday life. This research focuses on Protestant out of various religions in ethnic Chinese society, which hardly unites with cultural tradition of Han race or Chinese society, when with out any intermediary. Its intention is to form a new model of ethnic Chinese research casting a light on antagonism between ethnic Chinese Christians and “Chinese hegemony,” applying anthropological techniques and through religious practice transgressing borders.

Taeko EDAKI (Representation Field)

Studying the reception of kimono from kimono from pre-war days of Showa era

This research is on the reception of kimono in pre-war days of the Showa period. The days from the late Taisho to early Showa periods were the days of transition from kimono to Western-style clothes, and eccentric items with the influence of Western culture, such as Modern Prints were sought in kimono. Because their data is well organized, most research of kimono in pre-war days of the Showa period has mainly focused on documents kept by department stores. In this research, I investigated existing kimonos from those days, and focused on sorts of kimonos that were actually made and accepted. Also, as a project of Ritsumeikan University, I worked on surveys of Kyo-yuzen artisans and the digital archive of yuzen patterns. Being able to study outside school is one of points of interest of the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences. I hope to combine the knowledge I obtained from my research and the project and deepen my insights.

Mei YANG (Representation Field)

Constructing “Ludology” containing features of play and game.

I was born in China and studied at Chung-ang University in Korea. I entered the Representation Field at Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences in hope for further research on digital games after graduation. My first research theme was “potentiality in digital game development of next generation,” but because I lacked knowledge on theory and research methods due to transferring from science and technology studies to humanities studies, I had a lot of trouble pursuing my research. Currently, I am working on a research on “Ludology” containing features of play and game —“Definition of Ludus” focused on the concept of ludus, which will be the foundation of my future research. Research by students at Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences has spread in many fields. No matter which field you choose, more than one supervisor is capable of giving you technical advice. This way, you can acquire guidance not only of your field of interest, but from other fields and add diversity to your research. After finishing my master’s, I plan to work at universities or research faculties as a game researcher, continuing my research on “ludus” while teaching, and contribute to the development of learning exchange of game research in Japan, China and Korea.

Ryutaro YAMAGUCHI (Representation Field)

Researching performance of Western artistic music based on the theory of Alfred Schütz

I majored in trombone at university, and studied musicology in the master’s course. My research starts from the question, “How is a musical performance built up?” especially when it’s done by several performers. This question and interest occurred to me during the many practices in undergraduate studies. Currently, my research is based on musical theory by Alfred Schütz whose theory about social relations in musical experiences and music. His ideology is known as phenomenological sociology, influenced by philosophers such as Bergson and Husserl. In order to understand how he perceived musical performance, it is necessary to comprehend his text in detail, and on the other hand, study the surrounding philosophical and sociological background. My goal is to get to the bottom of his musical theory and find its potentiality and its limit. I am working on my research here at Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, spreading my knowledge not only in fields of art and aesthetics, but in philosophy and sociology.