Dean’s message

Human Survivability Studies for People – it is significant now more than ever.

April 2020
Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability
(GSAIS = Shishu-kan), Kyoto University
Dean, Prof. Kaoru Takara

On 23rd March 2020, we organized the graduation ceremony at our school (Shishu-kan), though the Kyoto University Graduation Ceremony was cancelled due to the outbreak of the novel corona virus (COVID-19). We are proud to announce the graduation of six doctoral students and twelve master’s students who duly received their graduation certificates at the ceremony.
Congratulations to all our graduates! As you step into your future, I hope, we have prepared you and given you the confidence and knowledge to understand the challenges that lie ahead of you and face them with new possibilities for improvement.
During the course of their studies, our Ph.D. students have continued growing in terms of both humanity and ability with various experiences including the Overseas Fieldwork so-called Kaigai-Musha-Shugyo.
Recognizing yourself with your remarkable progress, I hope, you keep learning further to contribute to the world and people in the society. I would like to encourage other students who obtained Ph.M. (Master of Philosophy) to further their studies to achieve a Ph.D. in due course.
Congratulations also go to the newcomers who joined our school in April 2020!
The Entrance Ceremony was unfortunately cancelled because of the COVID-19. We noticed that a couple of international students are not able to join us before the beginning of the first semester. The university, in its precautionary measures, is preparing on-line lecture systems to take place prior to the start of classes for the semester.
As you know, our school name is Human Survivability Studies. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China around the end of December 2019, it has spread out to other countries within a span of three months.
As of the 2nd April 2020, according to the APF (L’Agence France-Presse), there are 1,000,036 cases around the world with 51,718 deaths (in Japan, 2,793 cases with 73 deaths, according to NHK).
This is an infectious disease disaster directly related to human survivability. It is spread due to human behaviour in the global age. If movement of people were very less, the epidemic would have remained domestic and would have prevented the spread to rest of the world. Nowadays, with modern free overseas travels unfortunately made the spread so wide and so quick.
A local risk, in which we should fight against the invisible enemy, has been realized as a pandemic. Many national governments were caught unaware, and were not able to take effective countermeasures against this risky situation. In some countries, medical and healthcare systems are collapsing due to the huge demand of victims. People in major affected countries are prohibited to come out and confined to their homes. Some countries have started to provide financial support to people who had to stop their businesses and lost jobs. Sooner or later Japan should also do the same, I guess.
As I told students at the graduation ceremony, those who learned Human Survivability Studies in this school should consider how to cope with this severe situation from the viewpoint of their own research areas or from the standpoint of human survivability studies.
It is the time to fully recognize the significance of the Human Survivability Studies as one of the key research areas for people in the society.
I wish you all the very best in your future endeavours.