Formation of an Academic and International Center
for Research into The Tale of Genji

Project Content

Internal Implementation System

Made up of the president, vice-president, deans, heads of related departments and others, the University Council makes decisions on important matters and coordinates the overall project. Members of the University Council include trustees in charge of research and advertising who, under the leadership of the president, formulate plans for research activities and branding strategies, and, when necessary, ask for the cooperation of related sections and departments to promote university-wide implementation of the project.

System for Conducting Research Activities

With the growing international interest in Japanese culture in recent years, and according to statistics from the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of foreign visitors to Japan in the ten years up to 2016 increased by approximately 16.7 million, a number that is expected to continue to grow with the advent of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Moreover, the spread of services such as social media spurred by the growth of the Internet has facilitated the gathering and transmission of information by individuals that goes beyond national borders. The resulting increase in opportunities for communication with other countries has given rise to advocation of the need for more proactive transmission of information to other countries with a full understanding of the value Japanese culture by Japanese people themselves in an increasingly globalized social landscape. (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology White Paper FY2014, etc.)
As one of the world’s oldest full-length novel written by a woman that stands at the pinnacle of Japanese classical works of literature, The Tale of Genji continues to have a major influence on all kinds of literary fields including poetry, essays and plays. Not only that, but a great many items such as paintings, accessories and handicrafts with The Tale of Genji as their motif have been produced, justifying its ranking as the fountainhead of Japanese culture. As mentioned above, in terms of the need to transmit Japanese culture, conducting research on the Tale of Genji, a work that can said to symbolic of Japanese culture, is an extremely significant undertaking. Thus, deepening research on The Tale of Genji requires the creation of an interdisciplinary research center that integrates not only the literary perspective, but also a wide range of cultural, social and other aspects.
The Tale of Genji has also won high international acclaim. Translated into 33 languages as of the present and widely circulated, the work generated a great deal of international interest at the Millennium of the Tale of Genji in 2008, contributing to a growing enthusiasm for research overseas. In the midst of such developments, the creation of an international research center in collaboration with research institutes and researchers from countries across the globe and the continued implementation of the project will serve to further advance research on the Tale of Genji.

Implementation System for Branding Strategy

A system has been established for the promotion of the university’s advertising activities in collaboration with the trustee in charge of advertising, who is the supervisory manager, and Management Planning Department which overseas university-wide advertising. In collaboration with the Research Activities Promotion Organization, which coordinates research activities, the Management Planning Department also plays the central role in the branding strategy for this project and implements branding strategies relating to research activities each fiscal year with the focus on the goals of the overall project.

Self-monitoring, Evaluation and Third-party Evaluation System
(Linked to PDCA Functions)

Research Activities PDCA Cycle: Research Promotion Organization Council

The evaluation of research activities and PDCA cycle is mainly conducted by the Research Promotion Organization Council (hereinafter referred to as “the Organization Council”), which is the decision making organization formed under the Research Activities Promotion Organization. Made up of the president, vice-president, deans, heads of the research department and others, every month, the Organization Council discusses, organizes, and inspects research activities of the university. Research projects of the university must report progress and results to the Organization Council. With regard to the implementation and progress of this project as well, the Bungei Material Laboratory and Research Promotion office reports to the Organization Council twice a year and conducts discussions and evaluations. Based on these results, the Organization Council gives guidance and advice to the Bungei Material Laboratory and Research Promotion Office. The Research Activities Promotion Organization prepares a status report on research activities at the end of the fiscal year for submission to the University Council.

Branding Strategy PDCA Cycle: Regular of Meeting of the Trustees in Charge of Advertising

The evaluation of brand strategy and PDCA cycle is mainly conducted by the Regular of Meeting of the Trustees in Charge of Advertising (hereinafter referred to as “the Regular Advertising Meeting”), which is responsible for university-wide advertising strategies. With members in attendance including the trustee responsible for advertising, the head of the Management Planning Department and teaching staff from the Management Planning Department, the organ in charge of advertising, every month, the Regular Advertising Meeting deliberates on a wide range of issues from advertising strategies and policy formulation to the sharing of information on a practical business level. With regard to this project, the Regular Advertising Meeting formulates branding implementation strategies based on elements such as the results and status of implementation of research activities. In addition, the Management Planning Department reports matters including the state and degree of achievement of branding implementation to the Regular Advertising Meeting for evaluation every fiscal year. Based on these results, the trustee in charge of advertising gives guidance and advice to the various relevant sections and departments. The Management Planning Department prepares a branding strategy implementation status report at the end of the fiscal year for submission to the University Council.

Overall Project PDCA Cycle: University Council, Self-monitoring and Evaluation Committee, Third-party Evaluation and Advisory Committee

After receiving the research activities and branding strategy implementation status report, the University Council requests evaluation by the Self-monitoring and Evaluation and Third-party Evaluation and Advisory Committee.
The Self-monitoring and Evaluation Committee is an organization headed by the president for the implementation of self-monitoring and evaluation of research activities in the university. The committee also carries out monitoring and evaluation based on the implementation status report to ensure that that research activities and branding the strategy function effectively in linkage with each other and that there are no problems with implementation methods, the system or the status of progress, and reports the results to the University Council.
Made up of members such as experts outside the university and university stakeholders, the Third-party Evaluation and Advisory Committee is an organization that performs checks of the overall management of the university from a third-party perspective. The committee plans a number of implementations every fiscal year and also schedules implementation of this project based on implementation status reports. Based on the results, the committee submits reports and suggestions on project implementation to the University Council.
After studying the content of implementation status reports and reports and suggestions from the Third-party Evaluation and Advisory Committee, the University Council evaluates the overall project. Based on the results, the results of evaluation are reported to the Organizational Meeting and Regular Advertising Meeting and instructions issued for improvements to be made if necessary. Accordingly, the Organizational Meeting and Regular Advertising Meeting performs a review of the implementation plan, which is reflected in the project content and reports the results in the implementation status report for the following fiscal year.

External Coordination System

Research Institutes, etc.

With the participation of a wide diversity of researchers in this project, setting up a cooperative system for collaboration with research institutes and researchers in Japan and overseas is essential to expand interdisciplinary international research on The Tale of Genji. With the university’s Bungei Material Laboratory already playing a central role in promoting academic coordination with outside entities, the university signed a partnership agreement with the National Institute of Japanese Literature in 2010 under which joint research and other undertakings are being implemented. Promotion of activities such as the global dissemination and databasing of the results of research on classical literature in collaboration the National Institute of Japanese Literature is further reinforcing the dissemination of achievements and information and driving branding strategies. Non-destructive examination of old copies and fragments of ancient calligraphy using techniques from the field of optics is also underway in collaboration with the Nara Institute of Science and Technology under the partnership agreement with the National Institute of Japanese Literature, making the application of cutting-edge technology possible.
As well as this, the university has forged collaborative structures with domestic research institutes with accumulated research on The Tale of Genji, including Kokugakuin University, Kansai University, Ryukoku University and Toyo Bunko, further advancing research by using their collections of materials. Furthermore, the university has formed cooperative relationships with research institutes overseas, including French School of the Far East in France, the British Museum, Myongji University (Korea), Seoul National University and Tunku Abdul Rahman University (Malaysia), all well known for their research on The Tale of Genji under which it accepts researchers and implements research projects.
In addition, in collaboration with academic societies and other such bodies, the university also coordinates with the Illustrated Book Society, an entity with its office in the Bungei Material Laboratory. The “Illustrated Book Workshop” organized by the Illustrated Book Society continually makes announcements on The Tale of Genji and, is an international symposium in which many researchers from the collaborative research institutes listed above participated in undertakings such as the symposium cosponsored with the Japanese Language and Literature Society of Korea in 2018.
This project promotes the formation of a center for research on The Tale of Genji through strengthening and expanding collaboration with outside research institutes such as these.

Local Authorities, etc.

To widely disseminate the results of this project to society, the university organizes events such as symposiums in collaboration with such entities as local authorities. The university has signed partnership agreements with Shibuya ward and the city of Hino where its campuses are situated and have built a system for the promotion of education, culture and academia. In Shibuya ward especially, an area where large numbers of tourists and workers from overseas gather, development of the Shibuya campus branding strategy contributes to the dissemination of achievements abroad.
In addition, the university plans to sign a partnership agreement with the “Classics Day Promotion Committee” in 2018. With many of the committee members from places such as Kyoto Prefecture and City where The Tale of Genji was written, dissemination of the achievements of this project will be promoted through collaboration with places such as Kyoto Prefecture and City, a place representative of Japanese culture.
The university will promote its branding strategy in collaboration with entities including the above local authorities and organizations.