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Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies, Kansai University

Graduate School

The features of the Cultural Interaction Studies Major

Abundant academic resources

    Kansai University boasts one of the best comprehensive libraries in Japan. In particular, private collections dedicated to issues relevant to Asia such as the Hakuen, Naito and Wataru Masuda collections are the envy of researchers both at home and abroad.
    Also, the Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies, established in 1951 with the goal of carrying out research in Occidental and Oriental cultural relations research and comparative culture, has a profound tradition spanning more than half a century. Such notable Asian Studies scholars as Juntaro Ishihama, Katushi Fujimoto, and Osamu Ooba have led its research activities as institute heads over the years. Continuously published research works such as The Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies Series and periodical collections of research data continue to receive high praise from within Japan and abroad.
    Furthermore, the Chinese research section of the Institute was specialized in 2005 to become the Kansai University Asian Cultural Relations Research Center, and it was chosen as an Academic Frontier Stronghold as a part of the Private University Research Upgrade Promotion Project of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Along with presenting significant research achievements, it also functions as a global researcher network hub.
The Cultural Interaction Studies Major enjoys an environment with nearby access to such abundant academic resources.

Distinctive core curriculum

  Cultural Interaction Studies Theory (lecture): Multiple supervising teachers cite specific examples illustrating how their research to date has developed as cultural interaction studies research and explore methods and potential of cultural interaction studies.
    East Asia Region Research (lecture): This course lays out the four regions of North East Asia, Costal Asia, Inland Asia, and Outer Asia, and discusses the state of cultural interaction for each region and their positioning in the whole of East Asia.
    Peripheral-Area Project (lecture + on site survey): In the Cultural Interaction Studies Major, one location is selected each year as an appropriate spot to experience cultural interaction in East Asia, and a one- to two-week on-site survey is conducted. In this class students will learn the fundamental methods of fieldwork, consider the content for actual on site surveys, and create survey reports.
    Foreign Language Skill Improvement Program: This is a foreign language training curriculum designed for academic information presentation such as oral presentation, debates, and academic paper writing in languages other than the mother language. Classes organized by proficiency level (one to four students per class) are arranged, and proficiency in English + two Asian languages (out of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean) is targeted at a level facilitating research activity.
    International Collaborative Research (lecture): This is an international class conducted through linkages with major Asian universities via the Internet. The languages used are those of the partner countries. This class provides an arena for strengthening foreign language presentation skills, and allows students to form networks with foreign researchers of similar ages.
    East Asian Cultural Interaction Studies (lecture): This course provides research guidance focusing on the creation of academic papers. It uses a supervising teacher group system made up of one supervisor and multiple assistant supervisors, and provides support for the pursuance of research from a variety of angles.

ICIS Peripheral Project The Historical, Geographical and Anthropological Research School of Thanh Ha in the Outer Port of Hue, Vietnam

Research environment
  A specialized joint research space is provided for Cultural Interaction Studies Major students. In addition to assigning carrels and bookshelves to each doctoral student, all students are employed as COE-RAs (research assistants), and are supplied with a 160 thousand yen monthly research stipend and a 150 thousand yen annual research stipend. Moreover, a financial aid system exists for trips abroad to attend academic presentations and symposia.

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Cultural Interaction Studies Major, Graduate School of Letters, Kansai University

  East Asian Cultural Interaction Studies Course, Cultural Interaction Studies Major was established to aim for developing new human resources which can meet the society of the 21st century. We conduct researches about various aspects of cultural interaction in the East Asian world. By understanding situations of their cultural contacts, conflicts, and their transfigurations, we make comprehensive humanities researches which may break from the "one country centered" research traditions and deal with cultural interaction in East Asia as a whole. Based on our own curriculums, we also aim to conduct new researches which can be internationally accepted. By cooperating with each course of the General Humanities major, we can develop students’ presentation skills through multi languages, Japanese, English, Chinese, or Korean.

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Types of Professional Researchers Envisioned for the Cultural Interaction Studies Major

Young researchers adept in multi-language presentation

   A weakness in international presentation skills is continuously cited as one of the weak points in fields related to humanities research in Japan. Excellent research, in order for it to be properly evaluated by international standards, needs to be delivered in one or more foreign languages. The Cultural Interaction Studies major requires acquisition of information presentation skills in multiple languages, including the native tongue. In particular, the doctoral course requires English plus two Asian languages (out of Chinese, Korean, or Japanese) as languages for the presentation of academic information. Classes are kept small in order to promote development of foreign language skills.

Young researchers capable of providing international leadership

   An independent researcher is someone who, in addition to conducting research as an individual, is capable of designing and heading research projects. In today’s age of expanding globalization, it is necessary for researchers to create international networks and to provide leadership there. In the Cultural Interaction Studies Major, young researchers are able to create international networks during their junior years by holding their own international academic forums each year. Students will have opportunities to meet researchers of similar ages who can be expected to lead the academic world of the future overseas.

Young researchers mastering multifaceted approaches

   Students entering the Cultural Interaction Studies Major have received education within various academic fields of the humanities in different countries, while the Major at our institution demands transcendence of both national and academic field boundaries. These two backgrounds do not necessarily contradict each other. Students are required to firmly establish their own research field as a core, but they are not limited to that core. Students will become aware of the possibility of improving their skills through conscious contact with researchers in other fields. This is the multifaceted approach we require our students to master.

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Curriculum of Cultural Interaction Studies

D-East Asian Cultural Interaction Studies
D-East Asia Region Research (North East Asia)
D-East Asia Region Research (Costal Asia)
D-East Asia Region Research (Inland Asia)
D-East Asia Region Research (Outer Asia)
D-Academic Chinese Ⅰ
D-Academic Chinese Ⅱ
D-Academic English Ⅰ
D-Academic English Ⅱ
D-Academic Korean Ⅰ
D-Academic Korean Ⅱ
D-Academic Japanese Ⅰ
D-Academic Japanese Ⅱ
D-Peripheral-area Project Ⅰ
D-Peripheral-area Project Ⅱ
D-International Collaborative Research Ⅰ
D-International Collaborative Research Ⅱ
D-Cultural Interaction Studies Theory Ⅰ
D-Cultural Interaction Studies Theory Ⅱ
D-Sponsored Lecture (Shibusawa Eichi Memorial Foundation, Sino-Japanese Relation and East Asia)
M-East Asian Cultural Interaction Studies
M-Cultural Interaction Studies Theory Ⅰ
M-Cultural Interaction Studies Theory Ⅱ

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Young researchers Supporting System (aimed at Doctoral and Master’s degree program students)

    Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies (ICIS) and Cultural Interaction Studies major, Graduate School of Letters were selected as “Global COE Program” which was offered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in the year of 2007. ICIS and Cultural Interaction Studies major were established to create the internationally excelling educational and research institution.
    Considering these aims of COE program, we set the following supporting systems for graduate students of Cultural Interaction Studies.

1.Global COE Scholarship
  Graduate students of Cultural Interaction Studies (except for the Japanese Government Scholarship students and others) can receive scholarship as follows

   (1)Doctoral degree program students can receive total amount of the tuition fee and KYOIKU JYUJITSU HI(教育充実費). (hereinafter the total amount refer to as “School Fees”)
   (2)Master’s degree program students can receive half amount of School Fees

(Note 1) Enrollment fees is not included in “School Fees”
(Note 2) Scholarship will be paid in the late May and October, these are same period of paying “School Fees”.
(Note 3) Scholarship will not be awarded for applicants who are receiving scholarship which is equivalent to “School Fees” from Japanese government or other institutions.

2.Employed as COE Research Assistant (COE-RA)
     All doctoral program students of Cultural Interaction Studies will be hired as COE-RA, and salary will be paid to them.
     As a member of Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies, they will have opportunities to attend and present at symposiums and seminars. And, they can also have opportunities to write and help publishing for news letters and journal, and work for research activities of young researchers.
     Monthly salary of 160,000yen will be paid. For those who have outstanding ability and performance, raising their salary can be approved.
     Japanese Government Scholarship students and Research Fellows of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science cannot receive monthly salary as RA.

3.Grant-in-aid for Young Researchers 【Aimed at COE-RA】
   COE-RA may apply for a research grant of up to 150,000yen.

4.Employed as COE Junior Assistant (COE-JA)
   Some of master’s program students of Cultural Interaction Studies with strong desire to go on the doctoral program can be hired as COE-JA. Monthly salary of up to 123,200yen will be paid to COE-JA.Actual numbers of hiring and amount of salary will depend on the numbers of applicants and the condition of employment. (In Spring 08, eight students were hired and they receive 60,000yen/month till the end of fiscal 08.)

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