Founded in 1948, the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Sciences is involved in research activities covering the full range of humanities and social sciences. It also plays a major role in promoting interdisciplinary joint studies. By making optimal use of the university's comprehensive research strengths, the institute is able to conduct research into contemporary and global themes such as "Re-thinking Japanese Society" and "Exploring 'Publicness' in the Humanities and Social Sciences." Research is carried out from multiple viewpoints and is based on progressive concepts. Results are presented through a range of methods. The institute is also active in joint study programs that examine social problems affecting groups ranging from regional communities to the entire globe.
“Globalization and Publicity”
[Chief Researcher: Takeshi SHINODA (College of Social Sciences)]
(1)Globalization is one of the dominant trends of our time. Although there is no consensus on what is meant by this concept, we recognize globalization process has been encouraged by neo-liberalism and it is going on as regionalization. This research project is concerned with the broader issues that globalization is producing and their effects on state and society. On the one hand, globalization that has been led by neo-liberalism forces state to focus on giving capital the competitive power in the global market rather than maintaining the corporatist structure that were designed to produce policy consensus and it, on the other hand, impacts on governance at the country-level. Neo-liberal state (‘competition state’) is raising various social problems like reemergence of poverty, income differentials, social polarization and so forth. Governance power of state that resolves such social problems, however, is weakening. Democratic governance is needed to deal with them not only in each country but also in regional and world level.
(2)This research project centers on three related themes:
1. To research what social problems are emerging under globalization, specially comparing Japan with Korea, China and Taiwan, bringing EU in view
2. To develop the possibilities of global democracy, in special them of regional democracy in Asia, comparing them of EU region.
3. To research reality and issues of economic interaction in Asia.
4. To develop the theory of Civil Society in East Asia.
1. Publication: Two books were published named ‘Transformation of state under Globalization’ (Yoshikazu Nakatani and Shigeki Nakajima, Ochanomizu-Shobo,Tokyo,2009) and ‘Globalization and Regionalism’ (Takeshi Shinoda, Kiyokatu Nishiguchi,and Kiyoshi Matsushita, Ochanomizu-Shobo,Tokyo,2009)
2. International Symposium: International Symposium is held in each country in turn once a year. So for it was held at Lancaster University(the UK), at Ritsumeikan University(Japan) and JiNan University(China) and it shall be held at Chung-Ang University(Korea) this year. We have strong and intimate relationships in research among 4 universities. This joint research project will be extended other countries.
“Globalization and Tourism [in] Asia"
[Chief Researcher: Masami FUJIMAKI (College of Letters)]
Tourism, along with labor migration, has become a crucial research theme in the contemporary globalized world. Since tourism and labor migration are comprehensive human phenomena, a number of studies have been conducted in relation to diverse domains such as economics, business management, sociology, cultural anthropology and geography. International tourism seeks to generate ‘tourism spaces’ and ‘interfaces between foreign tourists, local people and foreign workers’ engaged in tourism industry—all having different cultural backgrounds and values. Therefore, it is a worthy field to research in the area of humanities and human sciences. “Globalization and Tourism [in] Asia” is a research platform for “Interdisciplinary and Comprehensive Studies on the Production Process of Tourism Spaces in Asia and the Transnational Transfer of People”. This research project succeeds to the former research project of “Culture of Poverty and Tourism” focused on ‘the socially deprived and self-reliance through tourism’ leaded by Prof. Nobukiyo Eguchi in the past three years from 2006.
(1)International Workshop and Seminar: We held an international workshop on “Production Process of Tourism Spaces and Interface between Local People, Foreign Tourists and Foreign Workers in Asia” on November 7, 2009. We are preparing for holding an international seminar entitled of “Progress in Tourism Studies: Comparative Study on Asian Countries” on May 8, 2010. In this seminar reviews of tourism studies on/ in China, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan shall be reported and discussed.
(2)Publications: One book was published titled “Globalization and Tourism [in] Asia” (Masami FUJIMAKI and Nobukiyo Eguchi eds., Kyoto: Nakanishiya-Shuppan, May 2009). And another book shall be published named “Overcoming Poverty and Tourism” (Nobukiyo Eguchi and Masami FUJIMAKI eds., Tokyo: Akashi-Shoten, March 2010) and the special Issue of “Tourism in Asia: Trends and Challenges” also shall be appeared in Journal of Ritsumeikan Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.2, March 2010.
“Research Society for the History of Modern Japanese Thought"
[Chief Researcher: Shiro AKAZAWA (College of Law)]
The Society originated as the "Research Society for the History of Meiji and Taisho Thought," organized by the late Shinichi Funayama (professor of Humanities) in 1959 as a collaborative research society of the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Sciences at Ristumeikan University. Since then, the Society has been preserved and developed by Tadakuma Iwai (former professor of Humanities), now reaching his 88th year in 2010, the late Yasushi Got? (former professor of Economics), and the late Sh?ichi Fujii (former professor of Industrial Sociology).
The name of the Society was changed to the current "Research Society for the History of Modern Japanese Thought" in 1985; Tadakuma Iwai, Ryo Suzuki (former professor of Industrial Sociology) and Shir? Akazawa (professor of Law) have all taken turns as research delegates until the present day. During that time, the Society has had many members from within the University, such as the late Sh?z? Okuda (former professor of Industrial Sociology), Hiroshi Ueda (former professor of Humanities), Takeo It? (former professor of Industrial Sociology), the late Yukio Kobayashi (former professor of Economics), the late Fukuji Nakamura (former professor of Economics), Shigeki Nakajima (professor of Law) and Motoaki Ozeki (professor of Humanities), combined with graduate students and members from outside the university, with very positive discussions unfolding.
The awareness and interests of members are widespread; however, the theme of the Society has always been to establish something new every year, such as, "Imported Ideas and Traditional Thought in the Formation Process of Modern Japanese Thought," "A Comprehensive Study on the Influence of the First World War on Japanese Thought and Expression," "Research on Liberal Thought in Modern Kyoto," "Modern Japanese War and Cultural/Social Groups," "A Comprehensive Study on Control, Integration and Resistance in the Kyoto Region in the 1930s - 1940s" "The Constitution Debate During Occupation: Centering on Coping with Journalism in the Central Region" and "The 1950s Constitution Debate: Centering on Regional Journalism." Many of these received a Grant in Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The theme of the Society, as established above, extends its scope to the emperor system, modern Japanese thought and modern Japanese society, reflecting the contemporary era; however, it could be said that the issues in question have been more or less consistent in investigating the relationship between Japanese ideology, scholarship and current thinking, and the structure and trends of society at the time.
In recent years, the Society has been endeavoring to collect newspaper archives held by the National Diet Library, the Prange Collection, newspaper libraries and various public libraries in order to shed light on how regional journalism reported Japan's constitution during the occupation.
[Chief Researcher: Toru TANI (College of Letters)]
“The Research Center for Intercultural Phenomenology” is a research center that deals with the problems occurring in intercultural encounter, from the viewpoint of phenomenology. Founded in 2009, its main members are professors and graduate students of Ritsumeikan University.
We are now confronted with interculturality from the “global” to the “everyday” levels of our experience. Problems concerning interculturality, including problems of mutual understanding, transformation and also conflict, have been studied, for example, by cultural anthropology, cultural studies and so on. Phenomenology is distinctive in that it always begins from the viewpoint of “now,” “here” and the “I”; thus, the concepts of “own” and “foreign” are central in a phenomenological treatment of interculturality. It is impossible to observe cultural problems from a “natural” (in the sense of non-cultural or culturally neutral) position, because we are already and always influenced by our “own” culture. A “natural” person who has not been “educated” and is without culture would be incapable of understanding culture in general. Cultural determinedness is, paradoxically, the reason for the difficulty of understanding foreign cultures, but also a necessary condition for the possibility of understanding them. In this framework we ask: How do we encounter foreign cultures? How do we understand foreign cultures and our own culture? How do we experience cultural friction and conflict? How can we co-exist in the very intercultural “experience” of the world today? We investigate the structure and problems of intercultural experience in terms of five spheres: “language,” “encounter,” “spirit,” “coexistence” and “time”.
We have links with foreign fellow-centers in China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, and the U.S.A. Collaborating with them, we have conducted several conferences. Well-known scholars we have invited thus far include Chan-Fai Cheung, Nam-In Lee, Bin Kimura, Yoshihiro Nitta, Bernhard Waldenfels, Klaus Held, Anthony Steinbock, Rosemary Lerner, Liangkang Ni, Karel Novotny, and others. We are planning a conference concerning “spirit” in (academic year) 2010.
“The Recovery of Human-Being from Violence"
[Chief Researcher: Takashi KAKUNI (College of Letters)]
“The Research Project for the Recovery of Human-Being from Violence” is an inter-disciplinary project, which involves major fields of the humanities such as philosophy, pedagogy, psychology, literature and cultural studies.
This project investigates human-being through many aspects of human activities with a goal of finding out how it is possible for victims of violence to recover from the damage mentally and psychologically. In modern time, as it was true in the past, huge numbers of people still suffer and are grief-stricken in many parts of the world. It is needless to say that they are deeply hurt not only physically but mentally and psychologically as well. We, scholars of humanities, must not ignore the fact, and have to obtain a key to open the door to recovery for the victims of violence.
In this project, the members search in different cultures and various histories for the illuminating human knowledge about how people have recovered from violence. We consider such knowledge to be the treasure, which is usually deeply buried and accumulated in the memory of peoples. Thus, this project is based on international networks of scholars who are interested in this particular academic topic.
The major project members are professors and graduate students of Ritsumeikan University. These members have had more than several study meetings and seminars since 2008. Along with the regular meetings, three lecture conferences were held in 2008; the invited key speakers were, Prof. Konomi ARA (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan), Prof. Jack Santino (Bowling Green University, USA), and Dr.Elke Hahn (Berlin University Germany).