School of Letters, Graduate School of Humanities, Faculty of Humanities, Kyushu University
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 world-class Japanese university and benefit from the rich array of academic resources it offers.

Both MA and PhD candidates study with specialists in Japanese history, art 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 Japanese-language 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.

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 Premodern Japanese Culture. These visiting scholars from institutions in the US, Europe, Oceania, 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 that these visitors provide.

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, including 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. 専門分野 Bogel’s research interests are diverse. They focus primarily on Buddhist and other religious visual cultures of Japan, especially the functions and reception of icons in the temple and society, and relationships between religious icons, institutions, and practice in Japan and East Asia. She has published on Buddhist visual culture, ukiyoe, art historiography, and aesthetics, and has experience as a museum curator (at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum of Art in the US). Her courses cover topics in Japanese and East Asian art history, museum studies, and methodologies of visual culture.
  4. 主要業績
    -Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q), Theme: Envisioning History. Guest Editor, vol. 1 (March 2016), 61 pages. (Kyushu University, a peer-reviewed journal).
    -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).
    -“Buddhist Aesthetics” (Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, Oxford University Press, 2014).
    -“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)
    -“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).
    -“Canonizing Kannon: The Ninth-Century Esoteric Buddhist Altar at Kanshinji,” Art Bulletin (March 2002).

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, particularly on the layout of Chinese-style 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 the presence of “four beast”-related 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” (Dispositifs et notions de la spatialité japonaise, Presses Polytechniques Universitaires Romandes, 2014).
    -“The Four Directional Animals in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis” (Feng Shui (Kan Yu) and Architecture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2011).

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’s research focuses on performance and literature in medieval Japan, particularly folk performance cultures and their relationship to social order and elite authority in the late Heian period. His broader interests include oral literature, performance studies, and historiography. He is currently working on a monograph, High/Low: Symbolic Inversion in Early Medieval Japan, which draws on textual and visual media to highlight the power of folk performance to create charged spaces of interclass contact and articulate new forms of expressive culture. Other projects include an English translation of the twelfth-century collection of folk songs Ryōjin hishō, a study of the disciplinary emergence of performance history (geinōshi) in the early twentieth century, and an essay on Tomita Isao’s electronic arrangements of the classical music canon. Prior to coming to Kyudai, Lazarus taught world literature at the University of Chicago.
  4. 主要業績
    -“Envisioning Difference: 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).
    -“Retelling the Story of a Song: Devotion and Accomplishment in Shakkyōka and Imayō” (Waka Workshop, Yale University, 2013).

Contact Information

Gakusei Dai-Ichi Kakari (the Student Affairs Section)
Graduate School of Humanities
Kyushu University
6-19-1, Hakozaki, Higashi-ku Fukuoka, 812-8581 JAPAN
FAX: +81(0)92-642-3165
E-mail (to faculty members): (Replace -at- with at mark)

  • Google Map
  • Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q)