Graduate School of Humanities, Osaka University

About Graduate School of Humanities



Toward the Realization of
a True Society 5.0

Graduate School of Humanities, Osaka University Yoichi Miyamoto

 The Graduate School of Humanities, Osaka University was formed in April 2022 with a merger between two organizations: the Graduate School of Letters, with its roots in Kaitokudo, a merchant academy established in the 18th period, established in 1948 as a graduate school attached to the Faculty of Law and Letters; and, the Graduate School of Language and Culture, which was established as an independent graduate school because of the dissolution and reorganization of the Faculty of Language and Culture in 1989 and later expanded due to the merger with Osaka University of Foreign Studies in 2007. The foundational purpose of the Graduate School of Humanities is to address the many challenges faced by contemporary society.

 Under the concept of Society 5.0 and AI Strategy 2021, technology has made remarkable progress in our increasingly globalized world and has no doubt improved our standard of living in terms of healthcare, technology, and other related areas. However, the true Society 5.0 we are aspiring to is not an AI- or robot-centered society but is a human-centered one. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to resume classes by teleconferencing, but this represents a mode of communication that is totally different from in-person classes. Furthermore, anyone who has heard a robot talk can intuitively understand that pattern recognition-based robotic speech is only a string of words and not the same as human speech. These two examples clearly show that further technological developments cannot be made without revisiting the "human" aspects of life from a humanities perspective. Modern society is now "standing at a crossroads," in the sense of the double quoted phrase the former Dean of the Graduate School of Letters, Satoshi Kinsui, used in his 2017 graduation and completion ceremony speech. Currently, more than ever, we need to gather wisdom in the humanities by building on the principles and features of the Graduate School of Letters and Graduate School of Language and Culture, in order to develop a deeper understanding of language, art, philosophy, history, and other related academic fields in the humanities created through human endeavor, and combine our knowledge in those fields. Among other current challenges facing our society, we must capitalize on knowledge gained through interdisciplinary research, and let our imagination run free across the boundaries of the humanities and sciences in order to address issues targeted by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Only then will we be able to achieve the human-centered society envisaged by Society 5.0.

 Aiming to achieve the above goals, the Graduate School of Humanities has been formed with five divisions--Division of Humanities, Division of Language and Culture, Division of Foreign Studies, Division of Japanese Studies, Division of Arts Studies--that work closely with other university departments in the conducting of research and education. Furthermore, we have established a Disciplinary Network in Humanities in order to promote cross-division exchange between academic staff and students from different fields, which in turn contribute to the development of new academic fields tailored to the needs of a globalized world. We have also established Digital Academia to promote active information sharing among not only Graduate School members but society in general. In addition to these new features, our educational program is designed to facilitate fusion of the humanities and sciences by, for example, offering basic subjects related to digital humanities. In leveraging these features, our aim is to develop a new kind of research and education organization in the humanities space through developing researchers and highly skilled professionals in various fields who are capable of determining the optimal combination of the virtual and real worlds as well as meeting social needs in the COVID and post-COVID world.

April 1, 2022

Dean of the Graduate School of Humanities, Osaka University Yoichi Miyamoto