Waseda University’s Global Japanese Studies are intended to serve as a hub for an international network of research and to promote wide-ranging research and education relating to Japanese culture that span domains of study—of which Japanese literature is the starting point, extending into theater, cinema, media, history, and beyond—that are colored by Waseda’s unique traditions and characteristics.
In the 2008 academic year, Waseda University’s Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences established a double degree program with Columbia University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. The graduates of this program are beginning to thrive on the world stage, conducting cutting–edge research. We are now further developing the program while extending its reach into fields other than literature. With the addition of UCLA’s Department of Asian Languages & Cultures and Stanford University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures to form our primary hub for cooperation among what is now four universities, we have developed and shown the entire world a new global standard for a research and education model through numerous initiatives, including symposiums and workshops, as well as the production of digital content and the publication of our research findings.
The Waseda University Global Japanese Studies Model Unit, part of the Japanese government’s Top Global Universities Project, has established new educational programs linked with its mission: in 2017, the Global Studies in Japanese Cultures Program (JCulP) within the School of Culture, Media and Society; in 2018, a doctoral program for Global Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies (Global-J) within the Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences; and in the 2021 academic year, a Global-J master’s program.
These educational programs aim to create a new form of global Japanese studies and to build an expanding track record by bringing together the methodologies and outcomes of Japanese literary and cultural studies that have been developed in both Japan and other regions of the world to conduct interdisciplinary education and research activities in both English and Japanese under the guidance of leading researchers active at the forefront of education worldwide. Through the programs, we are fostering the researchers and educators who will be the driving forces of the future of Japanese studies on the global stage, as well as talented individuals who will leverage advanced linguistic abilities and specialized Japanese studies knowledge and techniques in their roles at companies and international institutions.