The Japan in East Asia Program (JEA) is an undergraduate program based at Komaba Campus, University of Tokyo. This program is designed to allow students to gain critical insight into Japanese & East Asian politics, economy, history, society and culture, in an international context. JEA includes a set of liberal arts courses in the senior division of Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK) where all classes are conducted in English. After completion of the first two years of junior division courses, students are expected to matriculate into JEA to acquire specialized knowledge and academic research skills in their area of interest. The graduation thesis in the final year is an opportunity to further explore and produce original research on that topic.
Students are offered the following three research streams in order to improve their understanding of Japan and East Asia:
Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies Stream: This stream uses comparative methodologies for interpreting cultural phenomena, such as the aesthetic or socio-cultural conditions of the transition from the pre-modern to modernity. Students will have the opportunity to explore such themes through many academic disciplines, including cultural anthropology, philosophy, ethics, arts, literature, and linguistics. Cultural studies is cross-cutting in nature and thus necessitates a comparative and interdisciplinary attitude towards various cultural manifestations.
Historical and Area Studies Stream: This stream is shaped by a critical approach to regional histories, including the geographical and ethnographical contextualization of societies as well as interrogating the socio-political concept of the nation-state. The aim is to utilize various types of histories (e.g. social, cultural, military, labor, etc.) to explore the past as well as to inform students of contemporary issues not only in East Asia, but also in other regions of the world. A cosmopolitan point of view is encouraged in order to illustrate intra-/inter-regional exchange, transnational influence, and a diversity of worldviews.
Social Sciences Stream: This stream is rooted in contemporary theories, empirical discussions, and widely acknowledged methodologies in the fields of social sciences, including politics, international relations, economics, sociology, and studies of law. By learning these intellectual concepts and frameworks, students are expected to develop their own, holistic standpoints, and handle systematic investigations of complex social phenomena and issues in Japan and East Asian societies.
JEA expects students to obtain a high level of Japanese during their studies. This will enable them to widen the scope of their academic research by making use of a variety of literature and primary sources within the University of Tokyo library system. These language skills will be necessary when writing the graduate thesis which must be submitted in their final year to fullfill the requirements for the bachelor degree.
More information is available on the websites below:
PEAK general website
PEAK Senior Division website