Student Voice

Find out what students at ICU graduate school have to say about their experiences.

Master's Course, Education and Psychology Program

'Autonomy'is the keyword in my research into the philosophy of Paulo Freire.

My research centers on the philosophy of Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator and thinker. Freire considered education to be an opportunity for socially repressed people to understand and work towards changing their own conditions. In my Master's thesis, I particularly focused on the concept of 'autonomy' in my reading of Freire's work, and discussed the concept of autonomy in his philosophy.

Mr. Hajime AKIYAMA
Master's Course, Public Policy and Social Research Program, Peace Studies

The goal of my research is to leverage my area of concentration to contribute to other fields.

I am researching changes in the concept of the right to a nationality within international law. Many international documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, refer to nationality as a human right. I am interested in changes in that concept. I examine these changes not only in terms of international law and human rights but also from a political perspective, and this method enables me to think about the ways that a nation itself is changing. International law is my discipline, but I also want to employ a broad Peace Studies perspective in my research. In this way I hope to contribute to other academic fields as well.

Mr. JOHN, Joshua Dumenkosi
Master's Course/Natural Sciences Program / Material Science

I am studying Material Science with emphasis on photoconductive and photovoltaic applications. This program involves extensive research, experimental work and critical analysis of results. I am researching on the applications of Amorphous Selenium as a material for photovoltaic and photoconductive devices. Recent advances have shown that Amorphous Selenium can be doped with impurity materials through a simple process of electrolysis. This has the effect of significantly improving the performance of the material in photovoltaic and photoconductive applications. My aim is to optimize the electrolysis driven doping process. If successful, the results will open doors to advanced uses of Amorphous Selenium in photovoltaic and photoconductive applications. Being able to study at the ICU Graduate School is a huge privilege. For me, it is a great opportunity to study in an international environment where I get to meet people from all over the world and share together in an exciting learning experience. The Graduate School is staffed by a team of highly qualified and experienced, yet approachable and friendly world class professors, teaching staff and administrators. This team is always available to provide guidance and support when I need it, making my studies enriching and enjoyable.

Ms. Chihiro TAMURA
Master's Course, Comparative Culture Program

I examined a range of diverse artistic activities from a multi-faceted perspective.

I chose Joseph Beuys and Fluxus, an interdisciplinary artistic movement from the 1960s, as the themes of my research. Their artistic activities were related to both the histories of music and art, and cannot be contained within one single field. An important aspect of my research was to understand these themes from a social and historical perspective. At ICU, I was able to get advice from faculty in a range of different academic disciplines, and develop a multi-faceted perspective from which to carry out my research.

Ms. Reiko AIHARA
Natural Sciences Program, Life Science

I want to unlock the secrets of DNA maintenance.

My field of research is microbial genetics, in particular, the genetics of extremely thermophilic bacteria, which are microbes that live at high temperature of 70℃. All living organisms contain genetic information in the form of DNA. DNA encodes information such as eye color, physical features and enzymes, but is often damaged by interference such as UV light and other forms of radiation. This damage can cause mutation or cell death. Since heat is one factor that increases damage to DNA, my research focused on the question of how extremely thermophilic bacteria can maintain their DNA despite their 70℃ living environment.

Ms. Risa MAEDA
Doctoral Course, Arts and Sciences Program

Through fieldwork in a town with a nuclear power plant, I felt a shift in awareness after the 2011 Fukushima accident.

When I was writing my Master's thesis, I conducted fieldwork in Kashiwazaki City. I was motivated by the desire to find out in what context the people of this city, home to the world's biggest nuclear power plant, would interpret the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Some people expressed the opinion that we ourselves were forcing our fellow citizens, and the people in countries to which Japan exports nuclear power plants, to work exposed to dangerous radiation (11.24 Anti-Nuclear Action, 2014). I am interested to find out how this change in the awareness of a minority, who see ourselves as part of the issues of nuclear power, might have affected society in the wake of the Fukushima accident.

Doctoral Course/Arts and Sciences Program/Education Technology

ICU an elite and the finest university with the presence of highly experienced and renowned Professors with the optimum level of expertise is an educational landmark of Japan for Japanese and non-Japanese students of the world.

After graduating Master in Education from ICU, I am currently doing a Ph.D. in Educational Technology. My current research interest is "effective integration of ICT in education and teacher training" where I am also focusing on the cost-effectiveness strategy for the effective implementation of ICT in developing countries (in educational contexts). After enrolling at ICU, I have received several scholarships including, the one presently offered by Mitsubishi Corporation Japan. Beside this, I have been appointed as a graduate teaching assistant, research assistant for Global research network for liberal arts education project. Presently, I am also associated with the American Journal of Education Research as a reviewer and member of the Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asia Studies.

Ms. UJHAZY, Zsofia
Doctoral Course/Arts and Sciences Program/Japanese Culture Studies

After two years as a research student and another two years in the Master's Course, it is my fifth year at ICU now, having been enrolled in Doctoral Course, Arts and Science Program.

I've been studying the textile art of the Edo period in Japan since my undergraduate years in my home country, Hungary. Beginning with the study of dyeing and weaving methods and the symbolism of textile motifs, my research has moved on to the study urban women's fashion in the 18th century at the Kamigata (Kyoto and Osaka) region. The visual culture and publishing media had played an important role in the marketing of new trends and novel attires, which has led me to the analysis of ukiyo-e and illustrated books of the time. My present research is focusing on the illustrated works of Nishikawa Sukenobu (1671-1750). Leading painter, illustrator and ukiyo-e artist who were active in Kyoto. His minute and detailed depictions of women and their attire provide us with rich data for reconstructing the urban textile art and fashion culture in the 18th century Japan. I hope that my research adds new perspectives to the fields of fashion, textile art and ukiyo-e studies at an international level.

Mr. Naoki HATTA
Doctoral Course, Arts and Sciences Program

I aim to reform the environment for students' competitive sporting events.

In my research, I aim to implement an interventional program for students involved in competitive sports at private universities and evaluate its psychoeducational results. The goal of my research is to effect changes and improvements, not only amongst the individual students involved, but also on the level of the group and system in meeting challenges such as the compatibility of sports and study or work career after graduation. This research topic has been selected for Research Fellowship for Young Scientists program (DC2) by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and I am currently engaged in the research with the help of my academic advisor.

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