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International Japanese Studies Institute
(Master’s Program, Doctoral Program)

“Interdisciplinary” and “International”—learning across disciplines, promoting interaction across borders

The precision of Japanese arts and handicrafts and the spirit expressed therein; the kindness towards others depicted in Japanese literature as well as in manga and anime; the appreciation of nature evident in Japanese cities and homes; the dynamism and laughter of Japanese popular culture; the diverse integration of various cultures, from Okinawans in the south to the indigenous Ainu in the north, as well as the vast array of foreign residents of Japan. These and many other factors have an impact on Japanese government and corporate activities, and even on products made in Japan. There is significant value in sharing aspects of Japan with the world, including social structures and management styles that have been shaped within the context of Japanese history and various genres of art, artistic sensibilities, and the products they have inspired.
As we move into the 21st century, Hosei University has created two new structures for studying these aspects of culture and society, and for sharing relevant findings with the rest of the world. The first is a research facility, the Research Center for International Japanese Studies, while the second is an educational institution, the International Japanese Studies Institute.
The International Japanese Studies Institute was established in 2003, but was reorganized in 2011 into a graduate school offering interdisciplinary studies across the various programs of the Graduate School of Humanities. It offers a diverse curriculum that covers Japanese literature, history, and geography, without limiting students to the conventional framework of program specializations. Students conduct research in seminars managed by academic advisors. To emphasize the comparison related to Japan from the perspectives of foreign countries, the institute hires many instructors from other countries and accepts many international students. Instructors have thus far come from five different countries, while students come from as many as 13 countries.

Distinctive Features

  1. Students are able to select new approaches and research methods that go beyond the frameworks of traditional disciplines like literature and history. Even students whose interests might have made their enrollment in a conventional graduate school program difficult can enter this institute. They are able to develop their international sensibilities by interacting with international students—who account for nearly half of the institute’s student body—and seeking advice from numerous international instructors.
  2. Enrollees participate in one of 10 or more seminars, and can take a diverse approach to their studies. They can also take various courses offered by Hosei University graduate schools.
  3. Students can create a curriculum that includes joint seminars for all students and opportunities to practice their academic communication skills in both English and Japanese. While striving to ensure their freedom of choice, the institute provides guidance to ensure that students develop a certain level of academic ability.
  4. Students in the institute’s doctoral program become academic researchers in the Research Center for International Japanese Studies, where they are given opportunities to present their research findings and participate in interdisciplinary conferences.


  1. To cultivate specialists who study the diverse cultures that have developed on the Japanese archipelago, and to offer working adults an advanced education
  2. To provide guidance and advice to working adults who are conducting research as their life’s work, and others who are pursuing some formal education to support the pursuit of their own interests
  3. As an institute of higher education, to cultivate and refresh the skills and knowledge of specialists in Japanese-language education and education related to Japanese culture

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