What is TCJS?
UTokyo Center for Contemporary Japanese Studies (TCJS) is an organization established in July 2020 to serve the entire University of Tokyo community. The mission of TCJS is, in short, to build a new field of inquiry that uncovers solutions to many global challenges by studying Japan from diverse perspectives. Using the touchstone of “Contemporary Japan,” we have created a platform through which a wide variety of researchers and graduate students at the University of Tokyo are able to connect and freely exchange ideas.
Currently, the following fifteen schools/centers at the university are engaged with this platform, and working with TCJS to convene international research seminars that spotlight the work of next-generation scholars:
Graduate School for Law and Politics
Graduate School of Economics
Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology
Graduate School of Education
Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Graduate School of Engineering
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences
Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies
Graduate School of Public Policy
Institute of Social Science
Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology
Institute of Industrial Science
In order to extend our activities abroad, TCJS has also engaged an International Advisory Board consisting of top scholars from Harvard University; Columbia University; the University of Oxford; the University of California, Berkeley; Princeton University; and Seoul National University. In this way, TCJS promotes research from a global and comparative perspective, and broadcasts the findings in various forms.
The driving sentiment behind the establishment of TCJS was a desire to give voice to unique ideas (regardless of national origin or discipline) that address challenges facing contemporary Japanese society, and in doing so to contribute to addressing those challenges on a global level.
We are well aware that Japan often does too little to share its work with the outside world. At TCJS, we strive to broadcast cutting-edge and trans-disciplinary research to the rest of the world by creating a launching pad for the success of next-generation researchers and graduate students.
To be sure: we are a small center. We begin our work amidst the great social instability, economic chaos, and personal anxieties unleashed on Japan and the wider world by the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, by cultivating a space for the free exchange of ideas, we hope to set in motion a dynamic and positive movement for our world.