The Cross-Cultural Interchange & Research Institute was established as an internal organization of the Faculty of Humanities in 1997. With the twin goals of implementing cross-cultural exchanges and carrying out research on foreign cultures, it consists of a Cross-Cultural Interchange Department and a Research Department. These two departments implement and promote cross-cultural exchanges, carry out research and study, publish periodicals and hold lectures.
Results are reported in the Cross-Cultural Interchange & Research Institute Newsletter (launched in April 1999) and Cross-Cultural Studies (launched in March 2007). Besides these two, the Institute has also produced publications such as The State of World Languages in the Latter Half of the 21st Century (September 2005), the proceedings of a symposium related to a research project Looking Ahead to the Latter Half of the 21st Century (established in 1998) mainly by younger teaching staff.
While the Institute remains a small organization within the Faculty, it serves to transcend the various cultural and generational differences as well as the borders of the University and Japan. Through interchanges between a diverse group of individuals, cultures and academic fields, it helps contribute to the creation of a richer, more diverse world.
The Research Department
With the goal of encouraging research on foreign cultures by the Faculty’s staff, the Research Department is currently engaged in two main activities.
The first activity is the publication of a journal, Cross-Cultural Studies. From its inaugural issue in 2007 until its third volume in 2009, papers, essays and lecture transcripts from a diverse range of authors both within and outside the university were featured.
The main features of each volume are as follows.
Volume 1 Searching for Feasibility in Cross-Cultural Studies
Volume 2 Feature I Trials in the Area of Translation Studies
Feature II The Pluralistic Nature of Translation
Volume 3 Searching for a Means to Promote Cultural Exchanges and Create Peace Between Japan, China and Taiwan
Beginning with its fourth volume, the journal set forth an editorial policy that focuses on reporting the research activities of the Faculty of Humanities. Subsequent volumes are planned to continue in the same way.
The second activity is the publication of the Cross-Cultural Interchange & Research Institute Newsletter. It contains a Guide to Cross-Cultural Studies, as well as reports on overseas lectures and training, the opinions of exchange students, introductions to the teaching staff of the Faculty and reports on lectures on foreign cultures held by the Cross-Cultural Interchange Department, amongst other topics.
The Cross-Cultural Interchange Department
The Institute’s lecture series has already seen eighteen events held, with the 19th and 20th lectures planned (as of 2009). Together with cross-cultural studies, these lecture activities serve as an important mainstay of the Institute. All sorts of scholars are invited to Yamaguchi University and from the two standpoints of research and foreign culture, they help in no small way to promote an interdisciplinary and international exchange with the audience which includes members from outside the university. For local residents these lectures are especially significant in that they represent an opportunity for a “hands-on” experience of research and foreign cultures. The lectures thus represent an important aspect of the Faculty of Humanities’ work. The content of these lectures appears in Cross-Cultural Studies, edited by the Institute.
While students, staff and members of the public may only experience one of these lectures, they are sure never to forget the atmosphere of the event and its cross-cultural richness. Though quiet events by their nature, the lectures help to stoke new ideas and insights, and raise the quality of our scholarship.
This cross-cultural event started with staff of the Faculty of Humanities requesting their acquaintances as well as scholars they met abroad to come and give lectures. While slightly removed from everyday classes, and perhaps therefore not at the top of all students’ priorities, it is our hope that students will take advantage of the opportunities presented by scholars’ visits to the university to experience first-hand their wealth of knowledge in their particular research fields.