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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Taga Seminar
~Debating “Peace”!

Shota Kuroda
4th year student at the School of Social Sciences

Professor Hidetoshi Taga

"Peace Studies Research" (better known as Taga seminar) takes place every week with second to fourth year students together. Second and third year students draw up a summary of their topic and give a presentation in each time. After a 30 minute presentation there is a question and answer session involving a lively debate between participants regardless of the age barrier. Afterwards, the professor gives comments regarding the presentation, and the presentation comes to an end.

What kind of study is "peace studies" in the first place? Don't people have their own definition of "peace"? There are many who probably will ask these questions. It is true that, in the Taga seminar, second year students learn about the international situation called "globalization" and basic knowledge of modern international society such as "poverty" and "war". But when they become third year students, they are free to set their own topics and attempt approaches toward "peace" starting from perspectives such as "energy issues", "the issue of Korean residents in Japan", or "animal diversity".

The title of my presentation the other day was "Music and Peace". Following my own personal interest, I examined the roles music has in the history of music in wartime Japan and in charity activities in modern times.

At first, I was anxious about what reaction I would receive after the presentation, but in the question and answer session that followed, a debate livelier than I could have hoped for developed, and we were able to hold a diverse discussion, which was not limited to music, and about cultural and expressive activities and peace. And with the professor's knowledge, which covers a range that a faculty student, such as me, could not possibly comprehend, he produced ideas relating to my presentation that I had never even thought about.

In this way, that depth of the Taga seminar makes it extremely attractive. The professor usually leaves the running of the seminar up to the students. While applying oneself with your everyday colleagues in an independent atmosphere, you can think about how to make the world better, and being able to encounter that kind of fulfilling environment while at university, has truly made me a happy person.

Study scene

Trip to Hiroshima for those interested last summer