Message from the Head

I will serve as a head of the Institute of Philosophy & Human Values from October 1st, 2016. Walking up and down the campus on Mt. Uryu, I gradually have become used to its atmosphere.

The founding principle of this university is “a future based on the arts.” Through this ideal, we focus on education for the abolition of “nuclear power” and world peace. Based on the strong will of the school's founder, and first Chairperson, Shochoku Tokuyama, the institute was established on October 27th, 2012. This day is the anniversary of the death of Shoin Yoshida (1830-1859), whom Mr. Tokuyama loved and respected. Shoin Yoshida founded a private school and cultivated pioneering figures in the Meiji period.

While this institute is small in scale, we have been entrusted with grand intentions. In my interpretation of the school’s founding principle and the mission statement of the institute, I believe being “anti nuclear power” and valuing “humanism” are central tenets, and, through the intersection of art and academia, we can materialize Liberty, equality, fraternity, which are principles that all humans have in common. Also based on this ideal, we can cultivate young people who can have a tender perspective to all things in the universe.

As a new project, we have started the “Philosophy & Human Values Seminar”. In its first installment, we invited Zen Buddhist priest, Sogen Yamakawa, followed by Takao Doi, who experienced a manned space flight, as lecturers. Also, the project “ART meets SCIENCE” is being planned to serve as a meeting place between art and science.As before, we are aiming to promote the new fields of research called art and peace studies and art and cognitive science. Please find more information on our website. We would be most grateful for your continued cooperation.

April 8th, 2017

A Drop of Ink

Having been invited the university President, Kazuo Oike, I take over as the Head of the Institute of Philosophy & Human Values at Kyoto University of Art and Design from October 1st. I will strive to do my very best.

The founding principle of this university is “a future based on the arts.” Through this ideal, we focus on education for the abolition of “nuclear power” and world peace. Based on the strong will of the school's founder, and first Chairperson, Shochoku Tokuyama, the institute was established on October 27th, 2012. This day is the anniversary of the death of Shoin Yoshida (1830-1859), whom Mr. Tokuyama loved and respected. Shoin Yoshida founded a private school and cultivated pioneering figures in the Meiji period. With the development of humankind termed civilization, there is both a bright and dark side. One can say our mission at this institute is to create a philosophy which can sublate both sides of civilization rebelling against each other.

This institute, which has the abbreviation “Buntetsuken” in Japanese, was jointly-founded with the research institute at our sister school, Tohoku University of Art and Design. On September 1st, 2015, however, the institute made a fresh start as an independent research institute attached to Kyoto University of Art and Design. In four years from its establishment, I became the second head of the institute after the first head, Koji Ihara, and the acting head Kazuo Oike, the school president. Up to now, the institute has been active in organizing the Peace Civilization Conference (research conference by specialists), creating of a lecture series for local residents, and establishing the field of Art and Peace Studies.

While this institute is small in scale, we have been entrusted with grand intentions. In my interpretation of the school’s founding principle and the mission statement of the institute, I believe being “anti nuclear power” and valuing “humanism” are central tenets, and, through the intersection of art and academia, we can materialize Liberty, equality, fraternity, which are principles that all humans have in common. Also based on this ideal, we can cultivate young people who can have a tender perspective to all things in the universe.

The logo of Kyoto University of Art and Design is a drop of ink. There is a collection of essays called “A Drop of Ink” (published by Iwanami) by Shiki Masaoka (1865-1902). The school president Mr. Oike is also known as a Haiku poet, and, if I can speak personally, my hometown is Matsuyama in Ehime, the same as Shiki. At the end of his life, suffering from spinal tuberculosis, Shiki composed a poem, “A grape, as purple and deep as black.” If one views something deep enough, one can see the truth of the world even in a single grape. One grape, one grain, one drop of ink ― through my continual observation of such small things, I will move forward, one step a day, with my colleagues. We would be most grateful for your continued cooperation.

October 10th, 2016

Profile

Director Tetsuro Matsuzawa

http://www.matsuzawa.kyoto