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Message from the Dean

Updated May 22, 2020
Dear Students,

May 22, 2020

The ongoing pandemic upended our life. Subsequently, Doshisha University reluctantly imposed restrictions on our students’ access to campus. It also quickly implemented measures designed to provide alternatives to the face-to-face class meetings. We, our faculty members and the administrative staff have endeavored to provide the online course work. While so doing, we have sought to ensure that the quality of education was also maintained. Overall, it is our hope, that your online learning experience has so far been going reasonably smoothly. However, we can say without any doubt, that the new reality is giving you a very stressful student life. And we understand.

The pandemic has immensely impacted us. All aspects of our life have been severely affected – economic, social and cultural. Our life has changed utterly. Even if the pandemic ends soon, there is some possibility that it will return. It will perhaps take five to ten years before normalcy is restored. We have been forced to realize that we cannot take anything for granted. We cannot access the things we have accessed always: going to university and enjoying the campus life; talking with our friends at a café; earning some extra-money by working part-time; and buying what we wanted to buy. We have been unexpectedly reminded that what we thought were always there for us and with us are not there anymore. At least it is no longer easy to have them.

Such is the grim reality we face today due to this pandemic. So, what is to be done? In situations like this fostering a new way of thinking and holding on to our common values become vitally important. We believe that the university can play an important role in this process of re-orientation. It is not so easy, however, to change the paradigm of our life. Surely, it will take time before we will be able to invent a new set of values for our future. Yet, I wonder if we cannot find some keys which will help us to reshape our thinking in a fundamental way. About a month ago, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ms. Jacinda Ardern, in a speech to the nation from her kitchen, said: “Please be strong and be kind.” She considered this way of life as one of the most fundamental principles that should guide our efforts to overcome the difficulty we have faced today. We are living in the situation where social distance should be kept; it can protect not only ourselves, but our families, our friends, and all other people around us. I feel that the validity of Prime Minister Ardern’s succinct message goes far beyond New Zealand. I think it is valid for the global society as a whole.

The Graduate School of Global Studies is physically located at Shikokan, Karasuma campus of Doshisha University, in Kyoto. Shikokan, in Japanese, literally means “the place where we have high spirits for learning.” Nowadays our campus is desolate and, with no student visible, looks very lonesome. I really hope that the time will come soon when you, our students, can, in pursuit of your studies, freely enter the campus once again. I do hope that there will be a way. Meantime, until then, it is my sincere wish that all of us can maintain our high spirits for learning. I look forward very much to seeing you again on campus.

Dean of Graduate School of Global Studies,
Hisae Nakanishi
001
Dear Students,

May 22, 2020

The ongoing pandemic upended our life. Subsequently, Doshisha University reluctantly imposed restrictions on our students’ access to campus. It also quickly implemented measures designed to provide alternatives to the face-to-face class meetings. We, our faculty members and the administrative staff have endeavored to provide the online course work. While so doing, we have sought to ensure that the quality of education was also maintained. Overall, it is our hope, that your online learning experience has so far been going reasonably smoothly. However, we can say without any doubt, that the new reality is giving you a very stressful student life. And we understand.

The pandemic has immensely impacted us. All aspects of our life have been severely affected – economic, social and cultural. Our life has changed utterly. Even if the pandemic ends soon, there is some possibility that it will return. It will perhaps take five to ten years before normalcy is restored. We have been forced to realize that we cannot take anything for granted. We cannot access the things we have accessed always: going to university and enjoying the campus life; talking with our friends at a café; earning some extra-money by working part-time; and buying what we wanted to buy. We have been unexpectedly reminded that what we thought were always there for us and with us are not there anymore. At least it is no longer easy to have them.

Such is the grim reality we face today due to this pandemic. So, what is to be done? In situations like this fostering a new way of thinking and holding on to our common values become vitally important. We believe that the university can play an important role in this process of re-orientation. It is not so easy, however, to change the paradigm of our life. Surely, it will take time before we will be able to invent a new set of values for our future. Yet, I wonder if we cannot find some keys which will help us to reshape our thinking in a fundamental way. About a month ago, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ms. Jacinda Ardern, in a speech to the nation from her kitchen, said: “Please be strong and be kind.” She considered this way of life as one of the most fundamental principles that should guide our efforts to overcome the difficulty we have faced today. We are living in the situation where social distance should be kept; it can protect not only ourselves, but our families, our friends, and all other people around us. I feel that the validity of Prime Minister Ardern’s succinct message goes far beyond New Zealand. I think it is valid for the global society as a whole.

The Graduate School of Global Studies is physically located at Shikokan, Karasuma campus of Doshisha University, in Kyoto. Shikokan, in Japanese, literally means “the place where we have high spirits for learning.” Nowadays our campus is desolate and, with no student visible, looks very lonesome. I really hope that the time will come soon when you, our students, can, in pursuit of your studies, freely enter the campus once again. I do hope that there will be a way. Meantime, until then, it is my sincere wish that all of us can maintain our high spirits for learning. I look forward very much to seeing you again on campus.

Dean of Graduate School of Global Studies,
Hisae Nakanishi