Aesthetic Science, Cognitive Neuroscience, Experimental Psychology
I am studying the psychology of the subjective and aesthetic experience and its association with brain mechanisms. I am mostly interested in the psychological and neurobiological aspects of beauty, the appearance of attractiveness in faces and bodies, social attributions, and human perception. My main methodological techniques are psychophysical experiments with fMRI, EEG, eye-tracking, and motion capture. Human subjectivity is vague and easily influenced. We are pursuing applied research that will elucidate mind and brain functions concerned with the relationship and causality of these factors.
Western Medieval History
I am an agnostic who wondered and still wonders at the Christian believers. My main interest is what and why the medieval Europeans believed what they did. Reading especially the writings of the medieval religious, I want to understand their frame of their mind. Also what interests me is how a modern way of thinking emerged out of the theocentric solution at the close of the middle ages.
Library and Information Science
I am interested in the theory and technology of information retrieval, especially statistical techniques for enhancing retrieval performance. More specifically, I have proposed some algorithms for cross-language information retrieval in which the language of a search query is different from that used in the documents being searched. Automatic clustering of documents is another one of my research topics. For example, I have recently conducted experiments using clustering algorithms that generate a tree structure from a large-scale document collection.
Medical Anthropology, History of Psychiatry
I am a medical anthropologist with interests encompassing the anthropology of science, biomedicine and psychiatry; depression and suicide; aging and dementia; and global health and preventive medicine. My book Depression in Japan (Princeton Univ. Press, 2012) examines the rise of depression and the emergence of psychiatry as a force of social transformation in Japan. My current project on dementia investigates the changing landscape of aging in the genomic age and the global psychiatrization of the life cycle.
My research interest lies in the semantic-pragmatic interface (conditional, metaphor, proverb, anaphora, implicature, etc.), with special reference to the French literary language. My account has been developed within the Theory of Semantic Blocks, a framework advocated by Marion Carel, which incorporates the key insights of Oswald Ducrot's argumentation-based semantics.
I studied Wako (Japanese pirates), Ebune (sea nomads of Japan), and the history and the culture of sea people in Japan. I have studied the transformation of the family in modern South Korea and studied education and identity of the Koreans residing in Japan. I am interested in not only the memory of the war, but also the recent food culture and food education of Asia.
Library and Information Science
I am conducting issue analysis concerning the quality and international distribution of metadata created in libraries and other information centers with the aim of making it easier for people to obtain information thoroughly and efficiently. My current research is particularly concerned with metadata of Chinese classics.
Goethe's Way of Science, History of Science, History of Sports, Popular Music Studies, and Monster Films
German poet Jahann Wolfgang von Goethe was also an excellent nature seeker. His literature was invented from his view of nature, and he kept sounding the alarm to modern civilization from his point of view, into which he incorporated the natural sciences. I’m working with an interdisciplinary study group, by which Goethe's way of thinking suggests its starting point. The purpose of my study is, in cooperation with researchers in various areas, to kindle an interdisciplinary discussion for modern civilization from multiple angles, and to explore the teaching of civilization theory to better manage the future of human society.
The embryos and larvae of the blue bat star (patiria pectinifera) are good materials for microsurgical experiments because they are transparent and have simple structures. I use these unique characteristics to analyze the roles of larval organs in the developmental and physiological processes.
Library and Information Science
Scholarly Communication, Library and Information Science
My research subject is scholarly communication in the construction of scientific knowledge through the role of information media. I am especially interested in the transformation of scholarly communication in the digital age, open access movements of research achievement, and the placement of research platforms in the era of open science.
My research deals with the courtlife, in particular the buildings of the inner palace and the system by which empresses were chosen, of Heian-period literature, mainly the Tale of the Hollow Tree and the Tale of Genji. I am interested in how narratives incorporated historical facts.
My main area of research is in medieval German culture and thought. I'm working on various, diverse research projects on the social, historical background of the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart. I'm also interested in European mythology and ancient literature.
Physical Anthropology, Human Evolution
I am interested in the evolutionary history of humankind and have been tackling this huge theme by investigating the morphology of dentition, especially molars, of extant humans, hominoids, and their fossil relatives. By doing this, I also have learned how to acquire and handle digital 3D data of natural objects such as bones and teeth. With this skill I am participating in various collaborative research.
English and American Literature
Intercultural Communication, Acculturation Psychology
My research interests are in intercultural communication, acculturation psychology, and intercultural education. I aim to facilitate positive intercultural contact both in Japan and abroad and to advance theoretical research by developing new ways of conceptualizing the acculturation process and its outcomes.
Sinitic Literature (kanbun) in Early Modern and Modern Japan (17 – 19th Century)
The purpose of my research is to explore dynamic movements in Sinitic literature (i.e. Classical Chinese literature), in early modern and modern Japan from various methodologies. In my monograph entitled Studies on Sinitic Prose and Poetry written by Japanese in Bakumatsu and Meiji Periods (2014), I have examined the changes in roles and representation of Sinitic literature during the course of political and cultural modernization of Japan. My most recent interest includes the formation of the canon of Sinitic poetry written by Japanese during Edo and Meiji periods and its relation with contemporary education.
Aesthetics and Science of Arts
Western Art History
My research interests are modern German art, architecture, and gardens. I am seeking new cross-disciplinary ways to investigate multi-layered relationship between gardens, architecture, and art in the modernist movement. Art history, theory of art, and plant ecology are regarded as important disciplines for my research methodology, so-called "Gartenkunstwissenschaft."
Experimental Psychology, Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Decision Making
Quantitative analysis on the processes of acquisition, modification and maintenance of behavior from the framework of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
Spanish Language and Literature
My primary research area is 20th-century Spanish literature, in particular the avant-garde movement called "Ultraísmo". I am specifically interested in its socio-cultural aspects and its relationship to other arts.
Anthropology, African Area Studies
I have conducted anthropological research on conflict and peace issues. My main research questions are: Why do people take part in the war, what type of experiences do people have in the battlefield, and how do people build and maintain peace in conflict-ridden areas? Currently, I am also researching how large-scale development projects have influenced the livelihood of local people in Africa.
Archaeology and Ethnology
In order to decipher the history of the relationship between humans and nature, I have conducted extensive research on and analyzed animal remains unearthed from archaeological sites. I have focused my research on a comprehensive view of culture and nature and surveyed the history of the Quaternary Period, and I have considerable field-work experience at sites in Hokkaido, northern Honshu and Siberia.
Sinology in Early Japan
I research the question of how Chinese culture was received in Japan, with a focus on the Heian and Kamakura periods. In recent years I have been especially engaged with research on the Heian genre of “topic poetry” (kudaishi). I am also producing annotated editions of texts such as Honchō zoku monzui, Chōya gunsai, Shijoshū, and Chūyūki burui shihai kanshishū.