Modern German Literature and Literary Theory. Media Studies
I do research on German literature and German theoretical thinking from the viewpoint of the media history. Media are a historical a priori for writing and thinking. Media history from printing by way of analog media to digital media changed the relationship of time and space immensely. I try to observe and describe the influences media history has exerted on literary and theoretical discourses.
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.
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.
German Romanticism, History of the German Science Fiction
My research focuses on German romanticism, especially E. T. A. Hoffmann, who was known for his unusual ideas, which lead to modern fantasy and horror stories. For a long time I have been involved with the scientific and technical fantasies of literary text from the 19th and 20th centuries. Recently I have been interested in the literature of the German-national poets, which German philology cannot endure. How do young nationalists from poor families develop dreams of being "German" and building up a united Germany? This question, of which the Germans are still afraid, remains for us foreign Germanists to discuss.
German Linguistics, Language Theory
I conduct linguistic research on the German language.
All natural languages share an amazing universality in that they use mechanisms which combine dozens of sounds to represent infinite things. This universality possess structural aspects as well as functionally set properties: humans are naturally endowed with kernels of language, but for what purpose? I am particularly interested in the latter, the functional aspects of language, and try to make new discoveries through comparative linguistics of German, Japanese, and other languages.
Theatre Studies/Research on German Theatre
The focus of my research is analyzing the European, German, and Japanese theatre with the methodology of Theatre Studies, which has been developed with its own discipline in the last two decades in Europe/Germany. The theme of my research in recent years has been reviewing the theatrical aspects of presence and absence, the tragedy theory, and the relationship between theatre, as well as the transcultural elements between theatre and politics. The elements of theatre, such as gesture, body, playfulness, and direction, are related to the “theatricality” in our life, especially in a media society in which self-direction, face-to-face communication (as the binary opposition of media), eventuality, and the spectatorship of events take on a crucial role. This kind of theatricality, which has been discussed not only in theatre studies but also in philosophy, political science, and sociology, is another theme of my long-term research.
My actual research focus is on the aesthetic interdependence of Japanese and Western film, especially the work of Yasujirô Ozu. Other research interests include the visualisation of time in film (slow motion and time lapse). My theoretical background is the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, the works of Walter Benjamin, and comparative aesthetics.
Modern German Literature and Culture Studies
Literature and culture research develop in tandem with one another. I take this position and apply the social theories of cultural studies and Bourdieu to observe modern and contemporary German literature, with a focus on the relationships between culture, society, and media. I have a particular interest in the pivotal years of 1945 and 1989.