Institute for Japanese Studies at Seoul National University was established in 2004 in order to enliven Japanese Studies and also to promote mutual understanding between Korea and Japan. IJS inherits the developmental efforts that have been accumulated since the establishment of the Center for Japanese Studies under Regional Research Institute in 1995. We have received long-time supports from Japan Foundation, Toyota Motors, and Korea Foundation as we steadily structured the basis for a comprehensive institute for the Japanese Studies. In the second half of 2008, IJS was selected as the HK Overseas Research Institute by Korea Research Foundation, which brought us another step forward.
As our research activities focus mainly on Japan’s present rather than on its past, it is our attempted focus to carry out the researches that weigh heavily on the current situation, within which the interdisciplinary studies of both humanities and social science bind the past and the present. In particular, HK projects have intensively quested for the “life-world of contemporary Japan” through experimental researches over a course of a long period of time, upon which established was the IJS’s objective to build up a system that would lead the academic discourse on Japan.
Since its establishment, Institute for Japanese Studies has promoted a wide range of projects including the resource acquisition, international academic conference, scholarly activities project, formulation of information networks, training the future Japan specialists, etc., all of which contribute to our ultimate purpose to construct an academic infrastructure for the mid- and long-term expansion of the Japanese Studies. We are also keenly aware of the practicality of the IJS projects; we have poured efforts into social educational activities not only to nurture the prospective Japanese specialists but also to a variety of audience within the society, who could conduct the formation of the Japanese discourse that would draw us closer to the ideal situation for the social communication as well as for Korea-Japan relations. Upon such achievements and the cornerstone, we are determined to live out our vision to leap forward, both in name and in reality, as a global center of research institute based on an original perspective as well as on a unique paradigm of IJS. We believe it is only achievable by promoting both national and international research exchanges, and also by establishing the communality of our research through the communication of both academic and social worlds that go across borders.