Primary Areas of Education

Division of Regional Cultural Studies

Department of European and American Studies

Focusing on regional studies of Europe and America, the Department of European and American Studies consists of faculty from a wide array of disciplines including French literature, literature of Americas, American history and Latin American anthropology. From a historical point of view, Europe and America are two regions in which various ethnic groups, races and languages have coexisted with each other for centuries, if not millennia. They are also the two regions that functioned as the major economical driving force of the world throughout the 20th century. As we enter an age of increasing globalization in the 21st century, it is necessary to reevaluate the roles of such crucial regions as Europe and America with complex histories from a more relative perspective. Our department aims to examine the unique and diverse cultures and societies of Europe and America by educating students in a wide range of subjects provided by our faculty of diverse professional backgrounds. Classes are divided into European and American studies; however, through close cooperation between both branches of the department, all of our students will be given the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of European and American culture. It is the goal of our department to train highly skilled individuals capable of flourishing in the global era by equipping students with a broad range of knowledge and perspectives on world cultures.

  • Professor Naruhiko TERAMOTO
  • Professor Toyoshi OBARA
  • Professor Keisuke NOMURA
  • Associate Professor Shigeto YOSHIDA
  • Associate Professor Ryo YAMAUCHI

Department of Asian and African Studies

The Asian and African Studies Department was established with the purpose of promoting research on two major regions: the Islamic world, which covers a wide range of countries from Southeast Asia to North Africa; and China, which in recent years has established its position as a global superpower. In modern times, the Islamic world has played a major role in maintaining ties between Asia and Africa. At the same time, however, this region has also become the center of much cultural friction. Given such current trends, the need of empirical studies on Islam and the Islamic world is stronger now than ever. Turning to the Far East, China’s rise as a superpower can only be properly understood by thoroughly examining Chinese history and culture as well as China’s presence in Asia and Africa in the 21st century. It is the goal of the Department of Asian and African Studies to equip students with the knowledge and skills they require to pursue academic and professional careers in Islamic and Chinese studies. Students will be given the chance to not only study the history and culture of each of these regions, but to also study Arabic and Chinese, both of which are recognized as official languages of the United Nations. Our department consists of three faculty members specializing in West Asia, North Africa and China, who are eager to provide the guidance necessary for students to thoroughly acquire the academic skills they need.

  • Professor Minoru KATSUYAMA
  • Professor Tomoki OKAWARA
  • Associate Professor Lin ZHU

Department of Global Japanese Studies

The Global Japanese Studies Department consists of faculty members from various disciplines such as Literature, Comparative Culture, Japanese Intellectual History and Archeology. This department was formed by gathering faculty members across five of our previous departments, prior to the restructuring of the graduate school, all specializing in Japanese Studies. The field of Japanese studies has seen much progress in the modern era. Traditionally, there has been a tendency for the field of Japanese studies to be closed off from the rest of the world. Likewise, while the reception and influence of foreign culture in Japan has been a major area of study, the influence of Japanese culture on the rest of the world has been largely ignored. These days, however, Japanese culture is penetrating the world, with subcultures such as manga, anime and video games gaining major recognition. In such an environment, it is necessary to reevaluate Japanese studies not only from the viewpoint of how Japan is influenced by foreign culture, but also from the viewpoint of how Japan is influencing the world. One of the defining features of our department is the wide range of historical periods, from ancient to modern and contemporary times, that our faculty members and students work on. Students may choose to conduct a diachronic study on one aspect of Japanese culture throughout multiple periods of history or choose to explore a social phenomenon of a specific period. The Global Japanese Studies Department provides a forum for academic discourse and exchange of ideas for those who have a strong interest in Japan and its relationship with the world.

  • Professor Michio SUZUKI
  • Professor Masato SANO
  • Associate Professor Orion KLAUTAU
  • Associate Professor Shinobu MYOKI
  • Associate Professor Clinton GODART

Division of Global Societal Studies

Department of International Politics and Economy

In the modern global society, international politics and international economy have become increasingly intertwined with each other, reaching the point at which they are now inseparable. The link between politics and economy can only be properly understood by a complex perspective that goes beyond the framework of traditional political science and economics. In the Department of International Politics and Economy, we attempt to tackle political and economic issues from such a complex perspective, focusing on the globalization of Japan and Asia as well as political and economic relations between Japan, Asia and the Western world. The Department of International Politics and Economy seeks to carry out education and research on the close international connections between politics and economics. Our department offers courses dealing with political relations in the global environment surrounding Japan in areas such as national security, regional conflicts and nationalism. We also offer courses that analyze international economic relations, including competition among the various industries of the global market, international trade and finance, regional economic integration and the global economic system. In our department, we offer educational programs that train students to gain the insight necessary to look into the various phenomena related to international politics and economics. We strive to develop human resources with a wide range of knowledge and analytical skills, capable of tackling the complex and diverse issues of international society. This is achieved by applying knowledge of various subjects in the social sciences, such as international relations, political science and economics.

  • Professor Ryo IKEDA
  • adjunct professor Jeongsoo YU > link
  • Associate Professor Hiro KATSUMATA > link

Department of International Environment and Resources Policy

In the modern world, there is a strong demand for resolutions that will solve global environmental problems such as resource depletion and environmental protection. The Department of International Environmental Resources Policy consists of six faculty members, all specializing in fields related to developing the knowledge and human resources necessary to resolve global environmental problems. The goals of our department can be highlighted by the following three focuses: (1) an emphasis on practicality; (2) an emphasis on using the scientific method; and (3) an emphasis on looking at problems from an international perspective. There may be many approaches to a problem, but in our department, the final goal is always the resolution of the problems. Therefore, in our department, we strive to provide students with a deep knowledge of public policies and social conditions, taking a field-oriented approach to research and education. This is where our emphasis on practicality comes into play. Environmental problems typically take complex shapes and even the same problem can take different shapes depending on cultural or economic situations. Therefore, it is necessary to make full use of knowledge in subjects such as environmental engineering, social engineering, economics, environmental psychology and statistics, utilizing the scientific method to tackle difficult problems. Finally, many of the environmental issues that the world faces can be said to be deeply connected to increasing globalization. Therefore, it is necessary to properly understand the situation of not only Japan, but foreign countries as well and consider measures for improving environmental issues from an international perspective.

  • Professor Jeongsoo YU > link
  • Professor Dinil PUSHPALAL
  • Professor Toshiaki AOKI > link
  • Associate Professor Masahiro SATO
  • Associate Professor Takako IZUMI
  • Associate Professor Okubo Kazuaki

Department of Multiculturalism

In modern society, the opportunity of contact between multiple diverse peoples and cultures has greatly increased along with the steady progression of globalization. Now, there is not a day when we do not talk about different cultures in our everyday life. Under such circumstances, global issues, such as ethnic and cultural friction caused by contact between people of different cultural backgrounds, are commonplace. Solving these problems and building a society in which people with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds can coexist in harmony is a challenge that cannot be avoided, internationally as well as domestically. In the Department of multiculturalism, we aim to make a society in which the coexistence of multiple ethnic groups and cultures is a reality through interdisciplinary research and comparative studies on various cultural and ethnic groups. Our department is comprised of four faculty members, each with a different specialization. The methodologies used by our faculty members are wide and diverse, including philosophy, literature, history and geographic studies of Asia and Europe; however, the terms ‘plurality’ and ‘coexistence’ can be seen as common keywords between all faculty members. In the Department of Multiculturalism, faculty members provide instruction in a diverse range of specialized areas such as multicultural exchange, multicultural ideology and multi-ethnic societal studies. We hope that through providing students with a comprehensive knowledge of multicultural societies, they will gain the skills necessary to help realize a future society that is inclusive of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

  • Professor Kyoko FUJITA >link
  • Professor Toru SATO
  • Professor Koji SAKAMAKI
  • Associate Professor Yukino SATO

Division of Language Studies

Department of Theoretical Linguistics

The Department of Theoretical Linguistics boasts a diverse body of faculty members specializing in a wide array of linguistic fields such as syntax, morphology, phonology, pragmatics, language contact, historical linguistics, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics and language education. We carry out comparative studies of not only Japanese and English but numerous other world languages, clarifying the similarities and differences that exist between languages. The goal of our department is to clarify the nature of language and its usage as well as its acquisition and processing. Through close cooperation with the Department of Applied Linguistics, we apply the results obtained from theoretical research on language acquisition and education, providing a broad range of research and learning opportunities for students. Furthermore, by working together with the Research Center for Language, Brain and Cognition, students are given the chance to empirically validate the results of their research from a psychological and neuroscientific perspective. We look forward to greeting enthusiastic applicants who are curious about how languages function and interested in discovering and analyzing the similarities and differences between world languages. Together, we hope to work together to clarify the many unsolved questions of linguistics, making valuable new discoveries along the way.

  • Professor Naoyuki ONO
  • Professor Hiroyuki ETO
  • Professor Daiko TAKAHASHI
  • Professor Satoshi UEHARA
  • Professor Kensaku SOEJIMA
  • Associate Professor Takeshi NAKAMOTO
  • Associate Professor Mariko NAKAYAMA
  • Associate Professor Matthew ZISK

Department of Applied Linguistics

In the Department of Applied Linguistics, faculty and students research language through the medium of science and technology and apply their research results to language education. As can be seen in the name of the department, ‘application’ is a keyword in our research. Rather than focusing on theoretical studies, we place a strong emphasis on real-life application and this trend can be seen in all stages of our research. The research interests of our faculty members include Japanese, English, German, second language acquisition, bilingual education and neurolinguistics. All of our faculty members are also foreign language instructors at Tohoku University. Languages taught by our faculty members include Japanese, English, Spanish and German. Our faculty members regularly apply the results of their research to their foreign language classes to gain valuable feedback from their students. Through close collaboration of research and education, our department opens up a new horizon for applied linguistic research.

  • Professor Kensuke SUGIURA
  • Professor Yoshio KITAHARA
  • Professor Natsue SUGAYA
  • Associate Professor Peter John WANNER
  • Associate Professor Wataru NAKAMURA
  • Associate Professor Hyeonjeong JEONG