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Outline

Research Activities

There are currently 33 research members at the institute who are involved in both independent and joint research : a list of research groups and topics are listed.

Outline

Director's Welcome

The Institute of Buraku Studies was established at our university in 1974. This Institute was the first of its kind among private universities and the second among all in Japan where a wide range of issues on human rights and discrimination were researched. It was reorganized in 1985 to become what is known today as the Institute of Human Rights Studies.
Needless to say, human rights conception is not unchanged but prevailed and deepened while a lot of people have been addressing protection and establishment of human rights. Our institute consists of more than 20 researchers and 8 contract researchers from outside. We are tackling diversified and intensified human rights issues. I wish our research will lead to the solution of human rights problems.

April 1, 2018
Kansai University Institute of Human Rights Studies
Keiko Kano (Director)

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Outline

The Institute of Buraku Studies (established in April 1974) was subsequently reorganised and renamed the Institute of Human Rights Studies in June 1985. This current research institute conducts research in a variety of areas dealing with the discrimination of human rights: Buraku, People with disabilities, Ethnicity and race and Gender. It is committed to establishing human rights both within and outside the university; it aims to contribute towards making people aware of human rights and to make advancements in the realm of research.
The chairman of the institute and commissioned members are involved in both individual and combined research / fieldwork in the various areas mentioned above.
Research findings are reported in publications such as “Bulletin of the Institute of Human Rights Studies” which is circulated within Japan to related institutions. In addition, the activities and data of the institute are outlined in the “Institute of Human Rights Studies Newsletter”.
There is a collection of materials dealing with human rights issues held in the institute which can be accessed by all staff and students of the university.
Furthermore, it is our endeavor to put our research findings into use both within and outside the university campus; our university is committed to raising peoples' awareness of human rights issues on a wide scale. To achieve this, public lectures are held which are open to students, teaching staff and the general public.

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List of Research Members

  Name Title Research Group
Director Keiko Kano Professor of Sociology Disability Study
Secretary Ken Wakatsuki Professor of Letters Buraku
Secretary Yotaro Miyamoto Professor of Letters Ethnicity and race
Secretary Yoko Kado Professor of Letters Disability Study
Secretary Naoko Mori Professor of Sociology Gender studies
Research member Norio Yoshida Professor of Law Buraku
Research member Hiroko Sato Professor of Letters Ethnicity and race
Research member Futoshi Taga Professor of Letters Gender studies
Research member Yuko Yamanouchi Professor of Letters Ethnicity and race
Research member Satoko Itani Associate Professor of Letters Gender studies
Research member Kiyohide Ishimoto Professor of Sociology Gender studies Buraku
Research member Sigeru Satomi Professor of Sociology Buraku
Research member Shuji Matsui Professor of Sociology Buraku
Research member Chie Sakai Associate Professor of Sociology Gender studies
Research member Noriyuki Asano Professor of Policy Studies Disability Study
Research member Akiyasu Kumatani Professor of Foreign Language Studies Ethnicity and race
Research member Myongyun Koh Professor of Foreign Language Studies Ethnicity and race
Research member Kayoko Hazama Professor of Health and Well-being Disability Study
Research member Tadaaki Wakui Professor of Health and Well-being Disability Study
Research member Nishikawa Tomoyuki Associate Professor of Health and Well-being Disability Study
Research member Junichi Kurata Associate Professor of Engineering Science Disability Study
Commissioned member Kosuke Okamoto Social entrepreneur Buraku
Commissioned member Arikazu Fujiwara Sessional Lecturer Buraku
Commissioned member Yuichi Hida Director of Kobe Student Youth Center Ethnicity and race
Commissioned member Kenji Murashima Research Fellow of Institute for Advanced Social Research, KwanseiGakuin University Ethnicity and Race
Commissioned member Park Koo Kang Representative of Facilities of Services and Supports for People with Disabilities People with disabilities
Commissioned member Megumi Matsunami Sessional Lecturer People with disabilities
Commissioned member Keiko Nakama Sessional Lecturer Gender studies
Commissioned member Chikako Miyamae Sessional Lecturer Gender studies

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Research Activities

Buraku studies research group

Research Topics (2018.4.1~2020.3.31)
  • The history of Buraku suffering and discrimination / The ideology of liberation
    • Collection of Mori Sugio historical data
    • Religion and Buraku issues
  • Current state of Buraku discrimination / practical approaches to existing problems
    • Current Buraku discrimination and educational enlightenment
    • privacy protection
    • False charge
    • Buraku liberation movement and community development
    • Dowa and human rights education on higher education

The wide range of themes of our research group have fundamentally remained the same since the initial opening of the Institute of Buraku Studies. All research has an historical and theoretical foundation, as well as having a solid practical base. A wide range of research of an historical and theoretical nature is being undertaken with the collaboration of people from various areas. Such research consists of investigating the origins of discrimination and suffering experienced by the poor and by the Buraku during the Middle Ages; the liberation movement, discrimination policies and the system for the poor during the Modern Ages; and, harmony in the workplace and the history of the liberation movement in present times.

Research of an applied nature tackles the analysis of the actual conditions of Buraku from the city and country; the current state of buraku industry and its problems; perceptions towards Buraku issues; the reexamination of education on liberation and enlightenment; and the mass media and race. Through our multi-angled researches, we aim to grasp the current state of Buraku discrimination and suffering, as well as to discover the way toward overcoming such discrimination.

Research members
Name Affiliation Speciality Remarks
Ken Wakatsuki Faculty of Letters Citizenship Education Secretary
Norio Yoshida Faculty of Law History of Japanese Law  
Kiyohide Ishimoto Faculty of Sociology Sociology Dual Focus
Sigeru Satomi Faculty of Sociology Video work(documentary)  
Shuji Matsui Faculty of Sociology Informaion law,Media law  
Kosuke Okamoto Commissioned researcher Social Welfare  
Arikazu Fujiwara Commissioned researcher Japanese Constitutional History  

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Ethnicity and race research group

Research Topics (2018.4.1~2020.3.31)
  • Studies on Koreans Residing in Japan: Past and Present
  • Studies on the Assimilation of and the Discrimination against Minorities
  • Studies on Immigrants, Refugees, and Multicultural Coexistence
  • Studies on Multilingualism
  • Studies on Poverty and the Homeless in Several Countries
  • Comparative Studies of History Textbooks from Several Countries

Japanese society nowadays faces cultural divergence with increasing foreign residents, while local governments and schools are struggling to take action. In the modern world, violations of human rights of refugees are hot issues. Considering these situations, this committee tries to study, through empirical research on the issues in Japan and other countries, the educational measures which make possible coexistence of ethnic minorities and host societies.

Textbooks used in formal education at school can, under certain circumstances, cause international friction between the countries concerned because they reflect each nation's unique perspective with regard to history, race, ethnicity, and other social conventions. This committee studies educational methods and the ways of textbook compilation appropriate to international understanding in the 21st century, with emphasis on textbook comparisons in Europe, Japan, China, and North and South Korea.

This committee also looks at various issues resulting from encounter between peoples from different ethnic backgrounds, such as those between Koreans and Japanese in Japan, and the minority, immigration, assimilation and discrimination problems encountered throughout the world, including those of poverty and homelessness.

Research members
Name Affiliation Speciality Remarks
Yotaro Miyamoto Faculty of Letters Comparative Religion Secretary
Hiroko Sato Faculty of Letters German Culture  
Yuko Yamanouchi Faculty of Letters Educational Anthropology  
Akiyasu Kumatani Faculty of Foreign Language Studies Sociolingustics  
Ko Myung-gyun Faculty of Foreign Language Studies Korean Language  
Yuichi Hida Commissioned member Korean History, History of Korean Residents in Japan  
Kenji Murashima Commissioned member Sociology、Taiwan Studies  

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Disability study group

Research Topics (2018.4.1~2020.3.31)
  • Rights and anti-discrimination regulations for people with disabilities and elderly people.
  • Advocacy and supports for people with disabilities and elderly people.
  • Community life and supports for people with disabilities and elderly people.
  • Social inclusion and employment of people with disabilities and elderly people.
  • Sports and culture of people with disabilities and elderly people.
  • Inclusive education
  • Barrier free and universal design
  • Care work and carers

We research a variety of issues on the rights and social services for people with disabilities. Researches are conducted on both theoretical and practical aspects: housing planning for disabled people (including the elderly), treatment and educational support for children with disabilities, social inclusion of people with disabilities, social education about disability issues, disability and gender issue, disability anti-discrimination regulations. Research team includes researchers with disabilities, creating an active atmosphere for research and discussion.

Research members
Name Affiliation Speciality Remarks
Yoko Kado Faculty of Letters Psychology of Children with Disabilities Secretary
Keiko Kano Faculty of Sociology Community Care Director
Noriyuki Asano Faculty of Policy Studies Social Science, Law, Asian Law  
Kayoko Hazama Faculty of Health and Well-being Social Work  
Tadaaki Wakui Faculty of Health and Well-being Sports Science,AppliedHealth Science,Recreation  
Tomoyuki Nishikawa Faculty of Health and Well-being Sociology  
Junichi Kurata Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Robotics  
Park Koo Kang Commissioned researcher Policy for People with Disabilities  
Megumi Matsunami Commissioned researcher Educational Sociology  

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Gender studies research group

Research Topics (2018.4.1~2020.3.31)
  • Survey on gender equality among university students
  • Sexuality and human rights
  • Research on intimate partner violence
  • Research on memory and recognition of war from the perspective of gender and nationalism

The Gender Studies Group focuses on human rights issues relating to gender and sexuality, using both theoretical and practical approaches. While members perform individual research based on their specialties, the group conducts qualitative and quantitative research on gender equality, sexuality, violence by intimate partners and war memories.

Research members
Name Affiliation Speciality Remarks
Naoko Mori Faculty of Sociology Sociology Secretary
Futoshi Taga Faculty of Letters Educational Sociology, Masculinity Research  
Satoko Itani Faculty of Letters Physical Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Postcolonial Theories, Queer Theories  
Kiyohide Ishimoto Faculty of Sociology Sociology  
Chie Sakai Faculty of Sociology Sociology  
Keiko Nakama Commissioned researcher Modern History of Okinawa  
Chikako Miyamae Commissioned researcher Japanese Modern History,Women's History  
Lily Miyata Adjunct researcher Educational Sociology,Gender and Sexuality Studies  

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