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HOME > The International Master’s Program and The International Doctorate in Japanese Humanities


The International Master’s Program (IMAP) in Japanese Humanities (founded 2011) and the International Doctorate (IDOC) in Japanese Humanities (founded 2017) are the only two graduate programs conducted in English within Kyushu University’s Graduate School of Humanities. Both programs are MEXT-certified and each enrolls a select group of international and Japanese students. All students have full access to the educational strengths and facilities of a worldclass Japanese university and benefit from the rich array of academic resources it offers.

Both MA and PhD candidates study with specialists in Japanese history, ar t history and visual culture, literature, premodern languages, religion, geography, and other facets of the humanities. Students enroll in rigorous seminars on general and specialist topics—many of which incorporate study at cultural and historical sites within Japan.

The IMAP and IDOC in Japanese Humanities are characterized by closely supervised instruction and small seminars customized to meet the long-term academic goals of each student. Seminars taught by primary faculty generally emphasize premodern Japan and its relationship to East Asia; these are supplemented by courses offered by affiliated and guest faculty in topics ranging from Japanese film to archaeology. There are also courses in field-specific methodologies, research methods, and premodern Japanese (kobun and kanbun).

Among other requirements, all IMAP and IDOC students are required to write a thesis in English under the guidance of primary and secondary academic advisors. Depending on their Japaneselanguage proficiency, MA candidates may select additional courses from the Graduate School of Humanities or other graduate schools within the university; PhD candidates are required to enroll in graduate courses taught in Japanese.

In the past seven years, students have come to the program from all over the world, including the UK, Belgium, Spain, China, Jamaica, Bahrain, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Slovakia, Latvia, Mexico, the USA, and from within Japan. Every year the program also hosts a number of “courtesy students” who may join selected seminars and activities. These include exchange students from partner universities (advanced undergraduate and graduate students) as well as research students (students supported by MEXT and other organizations, or self-funded). This rich mix of backgrounds and cultures distinguishes the IMAP and IDOC programs. As Japanese students study alongside international students, non-native English speakers hone their skills in academic English writing and reading, while others enhance their Japanese language skills—with all students focused on graduate-level Japanese humanities research. MA recipients might continue their study at the PhD level in Japan and overseas, or secure employment in journalism, public ser vice, teaching and research positions, tourism, and information technology. PhD candidates will typically seek academic or research positions.

The IMAP and IDOC in Japanese Humanities offer many activities and opportunities to their students such as research excursions and interactions with scholars from around the world. Visiting faculty give intensive courses or special lectures as part of the “IMAP/IDOC Distinguished Lecture Series” or the “Symposium on Pre-Modern Japanese Culture.” These visiting scholars from institutions in the USA, Europe, Australia, and Asia rank among world experts in their fields; they are chosen to enhance the curriculum or to support the research pursued by a particular student or students. Students also assist in planning and implementing these important gatherings and benefit from the vast expertise, curricular variety, and the network of introductions to the world of Japan Studies scholarship that these visitors provide. Lectures and courses frequently include field trips to historic sites, museums, and other cultural activities (films, theater). These may be in Fukuoka or nearby Dazaifu, or we may travel to more distant destinations. Excursions or multi-day trips have included the study of history and sites on the islands of Ōshima and Tsushima; ceramics studios and Nagoya castle in Karatsu; temples and shrines on the Kunisaki peninsula; Usa Hachimangū shrine; Hosokawa clan history in Kumamoto; Nagasaki with visits to the Atomic Bomb Museum, Chinese Ōbaku sect temples, Dejima, and Japan’s Christian legacy; and many other places in Kyushu or nearby Busan (Republic of Korea).

IMAP/IDOC faculty also oversees the English-language Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q). JAH-Q is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal published by the Faculty of Humanities since 2016. It features scholarly essays and reviews in all fields of the humanities in Asia from scholars around the world, with occasional contributions from IMAP and IDOC graduate students.

  1. Cynthea BOGEL シンシア・ボーゲル 広人文学コース/教授
  2. 専門 日本美術史、アジア仏教視覚文化
  3. Bogel’s interests are diverse. Her published research features the icons of Buddhist temples and shrines in Japan ca. 700–1000. It highlights the functions and reception of statues and paintings, and the exchange of iconography and ideas across Asia. She has also published on woodblock prints (ukiyoe), art historiography, cultural exchange, and aesthetics. She was a professor of art history in the USA for 18 years and served as Curator of Asian Art and Ethnography at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Museum of Art before moving to Kyūdai in 2012. Her course topics range from Buddhist art to East Asian cultural trade to museum studies.
  4. 主要業績
    - Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q), “Envisioning History.” Editor and Guest Editor, vol. 1 (March 2016), 61 pages.
    - Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q). Editor, vol. 2 (March 2017), 150 pages.
    - With a Single Glance: Buddhist Icon and Early Mikkyō Vision (University of Washington Press, 2009).
    - Hiroshige: Birds and Flowers, with Israel Goldman (George Braziller, 1988). Published in German as Blumen und Vögel: Farbholzschnitte aus der Rockefeller Collection of Japanese Prints im Museum of Art der Rhode Island School of Design (Prestel, 1988).
    - “Buddhist Aesthetics,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (Oxford University Press, 2014), 48–57.
    - “The Tōji Lecture Hall Statue Mandala and the Choreography of Mikkyō,” in Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia, vol. 3, Japan (Brill, 2010), 936–81.
    - “Situating Moving Objects: A Sino-Japanese Catalogue of Imported Items, 800 CE to the Present,” Chapter Six in What’s the Use of Art?: Asian Visual and Material Culture in Context (University of Hawaii Press, 2007), 142–76.
    - “Canonizing Kannon: The Ninth-Century Esoteric Buddhist Altar at Kanshinji,” The Ar t Bulletin (March 2002), 30–64.

Faculty member

  1. Anton SCHWEIZER アントン・シュヴァイツァー 広人文学コース/教授
  2. 専門 日本美術史・建築史、美術・芸術でおける国際交流
  3. 専門分野 At the center of Schweizer’s research is the deployment of artifacts in space, especially site planning and interior decoration in the widest sense during the late medieval and early modern periods. This focus is accompanied by a strong interest in issues of materiality, manufacturing technologies, and temporality. A second area of interest comprises manifestations of otherness (depictions of Asian, African, and European foreigners; courtesans; and samurai), transcultural picture migration, and export ar t (especially lacquer).
  4. 主要業績
    - Ōsaki Hachiman: Architecture, Materiality, and Samurai Power in Seventeenth-Century Japan (Reimer, 2016).
    - Japanische Lackkunst für Bayerns Fürsten: Die Japanischen Lackmöbel der Staatlichen Münzsammlung München, co-edited with Martin Hirsch and Dietrich O. A. Klose (Staatliche Münzsammlung München, 2011).
    - “Translating Visions: A Japanese Lacquer Plaque of the Haram of Mecca in the L. A. Mayer Memorial Museum, Jerusalem,” with Avinoam Shalem, Ars Orientalis 39 (2010), 148–73.
    - Zwi schen Nostal gie und Exoti smus: Die Gestaltungsmoden an japanischen Rüstungen des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts (Ars et Unitas, 2003).

Faculty member

  1. Ellen VAN GOETHEM エレン・ヴァン=フーテム 広人文学コース/准教授
  2. 専門 日本古代史、思想史
  3. 専門分野 Van Goethem’s research focuses on the Asuka, Nara, and Heian periods, par ticularly on the layout of Japan’s ancient capital cities, on religious and philosophical thought underpinning the construction of these cities, and on inscribed wooden tablets (mokkan). More recently, her research has centered on site divination in East Asia and the presence of Chinese cosmological symbolism and practices in Shinto shrines. She teaches courses in premodern Japanese history, material culture, and thought; research methods; and East-West encounters.
  4. 主要業績
    - Nagaoka, Japan’s Forgotten Capital (Brill, 2008).
    - “Of Trees and Beasts: Site Selection in Premodern East Asia,” Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q) 1 (2016), 1–7.
    - “Interroger le paysage: À la recherche des quatre divinités protégeant les capitales japonaises de style chinois,” in Dispositif s et notions de la spatialité japonaise (Presses Polytechniques Universitaires Romandes, 2014), 80–100.
    - “Feng Shui Symbolism in Japan: The Four Divine Beasts,” in Theory and Reality of Feng Shui in Architecture and Landscape Art (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2013), 35–48.
    - “The Four Directional Animals in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis,” in Feng Shui (Kan Yu) and Architecture (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2011), 201–16.
    - Book review of Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan’s Premodern Capital by Matthew Stavros, Monumenta Nipponica 71.2 (2016), 318–24.

Faculty member

  1. Ashton LAZARUS アシュトン・ラザラス 広人文学コース/講師 (from September 2017)
  2. 専門 日本中世文学・芸能
  3. 専門分野 Lazarus researches medieval literature, broadly construed, with a par ticular focus on folk performance cultures and their relationship with elite writing and authority. His wider interests include oral literature, translation, performativity, and historiography. Current projects include a monograph on folk performance and transgression in the 11th and 12th centuries, a study of the disciplinary emergence of performance history (geinōshi), and an exploration of Tomita Isao’s electronic arrangements of the classical music canon. He teaches courses on Japanese literature and per formance, as well as literary Sinitic (kanbun) and literary Japanese (bungo). Prior to coming to Kyūdai, Lazarus taught world literature at the University of Chicago.
  4. 主要業績
    - “Folk Performance as Transgression: The Great Dengaku of 1096,” The Journal of Japanese Studies 44.1 (2018), 1–23.
    - “Envisioning Dif ference: Social Typology and Exhaustive Listing in Fujiwara no Akihira’s An Account of the New Monkey Music,” Proceedings of the Association of Japanese Literary Studies (2014), 89–101.

Faculty member

  1. Caleb CARTER ケイレブ・カーター 広人文学コース/講師
  2. 専門 日本中世文学・芸能
  3. 専門分野 Car ter specializes in the religious history of Japan and East Asia with a focus on the historical formation of Shugendō. He is currently revising his first book manuscript, titled Narrating Tradition and Place: Shugendō and the Mountain of the Veiled Entry, which explores the role of narrative and story in the premodern development of Shugendō and the site of Mount Togakushi (Nagano Prefecture). More recently, he has also begun investigating contemporary shrine practices, particularly those associated with the ‘power spot’ (pawāsupotto) phenomenon. His teaching and research revolve around a variety of issues that include space and place, narrative and folklore, women and gender, and ecology.
  4. 主要業績
    - “Constructing a Place, Fracturing a Geography: The Case of the Japanese Tendai Cleric Jōin,” History of Religions 56.3 (2017), 289–310.
    -「乗因の作り変えた山王一実神道―戸隠山の位置をめぐって」(季刊日本思想史82 (2017), 90–106).
    - “Power Spots and the Charged Landscape of Shinto,” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 45.1 (2018).

Contact Information

Kyomu Dai-Ichi Kakari (the Student Affairs Section)
Graduate School of Humanities
Kyushu University
744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395 JAPAN
FAX: +81(0)92-802-6369
E-mail (to faculty members): (Replace -at- with at mark)

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