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Message from the Dean
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Publicness Life Socio-Cultural Symbiosis Representation

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Message from the Dean

Twentieth-century science and technology raised living standards, increased life spans and broadened knowledge of many aspects of our world, from the ultramicroscopic to the cosmic. However, it also left us with a negative legacy, exemplified, for example, by the destruction of the environment, exhaustion of natural resources and the digital divide. The questions facing us now are: How can we build a society that will engender fairer and fuller human relationships, as befitting a new century? How are we to build a culture capable of deep sympathy for and mutual acceptance of differences?
Aspiring towards a new era, Ritsumeikan University has developed the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences as a hub of activity in the search for and acquisition of wisdom.. In seeking solutions to universal problems, the graduate students of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences consider the manner of society and culture, the way of living, needed to make change.
Students participate in research projects, in which they focus on problems that span fields of thought and delve for answers "on-site" in their respective areas of research in accordance with individually tailored research plans. Students work in collaboration with researchers and planners on the cutting edge of academic activity in the fields of the natural sciences, social sciences, and human sciences.
Dean, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences
Masahiko Nishi


Theme: Publicness

Graduate students who belong to this theme come from various backgrounds and situations. Some are doing their research while working and living far from Kyoto. Some join our graduate school as D3 students after receiving a master's degree at other universities. Our students do their research on a wide range of themes-for example, social security, basic income, income security and the position of labor, medical assistance for developing countries, Arabism, social movement under globalization, part-time workers, barrier free society, handicapped people and the media, hemophiliacs, the history of a social movement of handicapped people in Osaka, social assistance for people with obstinate diseases, the education and medical care of people with hearing defects.. By working with students with such a diversity of research interests, exchanging ideas and critically analyzing each other, I think that we are able to produce interesting things.
The majors of the three faculty members in this theme are different. Prof. Goto specializes in economics, Prof. Nishikawa in comparative research/comparative culture and Prof. Tateiwa in sociology. I believe, however, that our research fields share some common aspects. I strongly hope that both the faculty members and graduate students pursue interesting arguments and that each individual does a good job. The time at graduate school is very precious. I would like the students to experience various kinds of challenges during their stay at the graduate school, since it is a time when they are building their futures. For further information, please contact Tateiwa.
(Written by Shinya Tateiwa)



Life is a big theme, a broad and deep theme. There were many discoveries, inventions and incidents concerning life in the second half of the twentieth century. This trend is accelerating in the twenty-first century, producing a swirl of anxiety and expectation.. From where does life come and to where will it? How should we respond to political, economical, social and ethical problems concerning life? What kind of situation will this response produce? And what kind of theories, ethics, ideas should we develop? There are many things we should or can do.
Until now, research concerning life has been segmented by academic boundaries and dispersed into already established study areas . Life has been discussed from many academic perspectives: life ethics (clinical ethics, medical ethics), life-science technology (biomedical technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology), the history of science, the theory of science, science and technology studies, biology, agriculture, ecology, conservation biology, various environmental studies (environmental ethics, environmental engineering, environmental economics, environmental sociology), bio-pouvoir and bio-politics, publicness theory (public policy, welfare state, public economics), health science, health studies, neuroscience, life theory (the theories of self-organization, complexity, chaos, autopoiesis), the various logics of evolution (new general theory, sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary economics), genetic sciences, medical anthropology, medical health sociology, historical studies, the study of the history of learning, the study of the history of thought, cultural studies and the study of representative culture (literature theory, cinema theory, science fiction theory).
Now, however, in contrast to the present academic situation, we require a comprehensive research field for the study of life, one that synthesizes humanity, society and nature, using individual, historical and systematic perspectives, in the consideration of frontier science and technology.
We have been working on projects within a comprehensive project called "Life as an Issue" (We introduced some parts of the projects in a book published by Jinbun Shoin. The title, "Seimei-no Rinkai ,", means "Criticality of Life" in English ). Graduate students also pursue their own research. We look forward to working with and start doing new things with various graduate students with various research interests and majors, various workplace experiences and various living places..
(Written by Yoshiyuki Koizumi)


Theme:Socio-Cultural Symbiosis

Hearing the word "socio-cultural symbiosis", some may regard it as the slogan of an ideal society. If the phrase really meant so, everyone would be happy. However, in reality, the phrase reminds us of the history and reality of the conflicts and oppression around the world, of the cities, the homes and schools around us that seem as if they are nightmares. First of all, to what extent can we directly face the scene of this nightmare? To what extent can we confront ourselves without looking away? This is a problem we have to solve.
Our theme has three faculty members-Dr. Paul Dumouchel (political philosophy), Dr. Watanabe (cultural anthropology) and Prof. Nishi (comparative literature). Each of us has examined both the overconfidence committed by language in the past and the way that smooth human relations are disturbed by language, though we truly hope that language will play a big role in the future of humanity. It can be said that through the right retrospection of human history, we are now in the process of pursuing effective language use in our individual research practices. Therefore, we would like to introduce graduate students to the same theme.
Graduate students in this theme have various research interests: Filipinos living in Japan, Native Americans, Islam in Indonesia, Research through Fieldwork, labor in the apparel industry, writers using Japanese in Taiwan under the the Japanese colonial administration, the novelist Joseph Conrad,, scholars or writers on the assimilation of the Ainu or sufferers of Minamata mercury poisoning, the activities of folk guerrillas during the 1960s, correlations between game culture and novels, and establishing peace between Israel and Palestine. By sharing an awareness of each other's issues, we would like to produce excellent project research concerning, in the end, the possibilities and limitations in socio-cultural symbiosis..
I would like graduate students who can share their awareness of issues to provide their own awareness of the world and history. Surely, the process has a long way to go, but let's sharpen our expressions with each other in order to confirm to what extent language can speak by itself.
(Written by Masahiko Nishi)



, Gutenberg's invention of type printing was a major historical turning point that led to the age of letter-based culture. Now, we are witnessing another turning point, the coming of, the age of image-based culture. The research theme of representation has been established in order to handle this new image dominated era.
Research in this theme focuses on images in the fields of the social phenomenon and cultural phenomenon in which we live. Images or representation can be analyzed from various perspectives such as visual representation, auditory representation and physical representation interacting with space. Our investigations pursue the most advanced research in the field of representation.. Research in the theme of representation consists of three aspects. The first part is the theory of representative culture, in other words, the analysis, through both theory and practice, of the structure of current society, in which people are tied each other by images and signs. The second is the theory of traditional culture, which tries to preserve and do research on traditional arts and performing arts by the use of digital archives. The third is the theory of art representation. We accept various kinds of research related to art. Those who are interested are encouraged to take a look at the homepage to confirm what kinds of research we have done. Now I am personally interested in the "Modern Age in Art" and "Asia in Art", but you do not have to stick to those themes at all. Together with the graduate students here, I would like to develop a form of art research which goes beyond ages, genre and established frameworks of art.
(Written by Tsunemichi Kambayashi)


Our Diversified Admission Examinations

To cultivate a new breed of researchers with individualized research strategies, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences has prepared a variety of avenues for admission. We recommend you consult your own research schedule and take on the challenge that fits you best. For detailed information about our entrance examinations, please consult the staff at the Administrative Office, Inter-Faculty Graduate Schools at Ritsumeikan University.

General Admission Examination
•Self-Recommendation Admission Examination
•Self-Recommendation Admission Examination for Working Adults
•Internal Admission Examination
•Admission Examination for Foreign Students
•Admission Examination Entering as D3


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