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General View

About the GENSHA (Graduate School for Language and Society)

Roles and Resolutions - A Message from the Dean of the GENSHA

The Graduate School of Language and Society was established in 1996 as an independent graduate school, providing only Master's and doctoral courses, without an undergraduate program. It is the only graduate school with the mission of educational research based in the humanities at Hitotsubashi University, a university which specializes in the social sciences.

The wisdom of the human race, which is the essence of the humanities studies, supports the foundations of our knowledge without influence from current or past trends. In the modern era, academic research as an apparatus of ideology has been institutionalized—subdivided into various fields and distilled. However, no matter the precision of the research, if technical knowledge is pursued for selfish reasons, the knowledge therein gained will surely become a resource for anti-intellectualism. In other words, academic research must align itself with the interests of mankind; if research does not respond to the urgent questions of the world and society, it lacks the essence of utility. Knowing that there are things that one does not know—not only absurdly believing in knowledge but also constantly questioning the objectification of knowledge itself, and at times having the intellectual flexibility to question even these principles—has always been deeply emphasized in the study of the humanities. The Graduate School of Language and Society aims to realize this kind of educational research, which comes into contact with the true roots of knowledge.

While many voices have been heard lamenting the marginalization of the humanities recently, the decision to cut academics based on their usefulness is already ubiquitous; on occasion, the classics in particular have been said to be especially useless. However, the modern era is not one in which the value of the humanities has the privilege of self-evidence. One of the oldest uses of the word "humanities" appears in connection to astrology: "As we look to astrology to observe the passing of time, we look to the humanities to observe the creation of the world below." Thus, the study of mankind's written works has been part of the observations surrounding society's formation since the very beginning. In other words, "refusing the warmth of a smoking fire hurts only oneself." The Graduate School of Language and Society is constantly developing educational research activities, while continuing to remain conscious of their connections with real society. For example, providing training for highly skilled professionals is one of the educational objectives of this Graduate School; knowledge, fortified by the ample education and expertise cultivated by research in the humanities, will penetrate in a variety of ways to a variety of social classes, contributing to the beauty of the world's body of written work.

By incorporating aspects such as subjects related to curatorship qualification, practical employment experience, and teaching practices overseas into the second division of the curriculum, practical experience in both study and society are emphasized. Furthermore, the GENSHA aims to spread both interest in and the importance of the humanities through extensive activities open to the public, including lectures, symposiums, community collaboration projects, etc., based on the fundamentals of educational research institutions.

In addition to the humanities and the "place" known as the university, in an era when the system itself is in significant upheaval, the Graduate School of Language and Society aims to progress in the training of knowledge based in the humanities; this is accomplished by constructing a space that considers interpersonal relationships and the diversity of the real world to their full extent without catering to the tides of time.