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Message from the Dean of Studies in Japanese Language and Culture

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Tetsuo Koyano, Dean of Studies in Japanese Language and Culture, Graduate School of Language and Culture

Studies in Japanese Language and Culture, Graduate School of Language and Culture, Osaka University, is the graduate school's third and newest program established on April 1, 2012. This originally started as the "Special Course for International Students" (current Center for Japanese Language and Culture) in Osaka University of Foreign Studies (OUFS) in 1954. In 1977, the Japanese Language master's program was launched in the Graduate School of Foreign Studies of OUFS, in close collaboration with the Special Course for International Students. Thereafter, in 1987, the Japanese Language Program was established in the Department of Foreign Studies in OUFS to create a direct connection between the department and the graduate school. In 2000, the Regional Language and Society master's program of the OUFS Graduate School, "Special Japanese Language and Culture Course" was accepted and set up as a graduate level program exclusively for international students, and recognized by the Japanese Government Scholarship Program. Two years after this, in 2002, a doctoral program was also established.
Following the consolidation with Osaka University in 2007, two courses were initiated: "Practical Japanese Language and Culture Course" (originally the "Japanese Language Program" that was changed to "Japanese Course of International Language and Society" ) to specialize in Japanese language and society, and "Special Japanese Language and Culture Course" to specialize in Japanese language and culture. Finally, our Studies in Japanese Language and Culture Program was established, absorbing and unifying these two courses. The purpose of this was to provide a more organic education, in an organization where all the teaching staff in the Japanese course of Studies in Language and Society, Research Institute for World Languages, and Center for Japanese Language and Culture could collaborate and cooperate more closely.
In Studies in Japanese Language and Culture, we aim at fostering the following kinds of individuals: (1) Researchers to conduct interdisciplinary research into the area of Japanese language and culture with the ability to compare it with other languages and cultures, (2) Teachers who can provide a solid education in Japanese language and culture to international students at the tertiary level based on his/her advanced knowledge in a specialized area, and (3) Internationally-minded and highly-specialized professionals who have a practical ability in planning, designing and conveying aspects of Japanese language and culture. In order to achieve this, we provide an education for students to acquire the following abilities: the ability to research from the viewpoint of comparison between Japanese language and culture and those of other countries; the ability to teach Japanese language and culture to those who have a different mother tongue and culture; and the ability to become a liaison between those of Japanese language and culture and those of other languages and cultures.
We have actually fostered such individuals with these abilities in our past graduate programs, but we are very happy with the newly established Studies in Japanese Language and Culture, as we believe it offers a stronger educational environment both for fostering individuals and enhancing levels of skills, through collaboration and cooperation between our academic staff and the staff at Center for Japanese Language and Culture. We are newly founded, but our programs are actually based on a long and successful history, and we sincerely hope for further development of the Studies in Japanese Language and Culture program.

April, 2013

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