International Communication Major

Master’s Programs, Doctoral Program, Research Topics

Master’s Program

This major is founded on the three pillars of linguistics: regional cultures, comparative culture theory, and communication studies. In the languages, students learn by starting with the basics of language functions and structures. For culture, which has a close relationship to language, students can conduct studies on comparative cultures or on various regional cultures in Europe, Asia, the United States, and other areas. They also learn theories in each area of international communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, and multicultural coexistence.

The major has three main characteristics. The first is that the curriculum is connected to the other majors, so students can study their research topics in an organic way, from both micro and macro perspectives. The second is the completeness of topics in both theoretical studies and empirical studies, with a particularly diverse range of course content related to research methods. The third characteristic is the full support available for thesis writing, including courses in drafting a research topic and in written expression.

This major includes not only general students, but also many people working at the front lines of business, government, language education, media, development aid, interpreting and translation, and international cooperation. After earning their degrees, many graduates demonstrate their advanced expertise in the workplace, or they engage in work as instructors at the university or junior college level.

International Communication Program

This major offers one program with three specializations (basic subjects, Group A, and development subjects, Group B) of language, culture, and communication, to allow students to broadly build specialized knowledge and skills in international communication. The advantage of a single-program system is that students can design their own course plan across the three areas based on their own interests. The results are that as they take courses in various subjects, students can flexibly change their research content or approach if they find their interest in a different area of research from the one they started with at matriculation. They can then choose an advising professor when writing their master’s thesis or research paper topic, depending on which of the three areas they want to focus on. Finally, we note that students can apply for certification as professional social researchers by completing the designated courses.

Degree Requirements

To complete the master’s program, students must attend the program for at least two years, obtain the required credits, receive necessary research guidance, earn certification in one foreign language, review their master’s thesis or special topics research results, and pass a final examination. Completion methods include (1) “Master Thesis Research” and (2) “Topical Studies.” The completion requirements differ for each method. For the “Master Thesis Research,” students must complete a master’s thesis under the guidance of their research advisor and pass a review of that thesis. For “Topical Studies,” students must report the results of their topical study and pass a review of that study.

Credits Required for the Degree

(1) Master Thesis Research

Completion requires 30 credits, distributed as follows. Mandatory courses: “Seminar I” (placed in Year 2), 2 credits; “Seminar II,” 6 credits. Selected mandatory courses: 12 credits from Group A or B. Elective courses: 10 credits from Groups A~C.

Mandatory Year 2 curriculum “Seminar I” 2 credits
“Seminar II” 6 credits
Selected Mandatory 12 credits from Group A or B
Electives Group A subjects 10 more credits
Group B subjects
Group C subjects
Total 30 credits
(2) Topical Studies

Completion requires 38 credits, distributed as follows. Mandatory courses: “Seminar I” (placed in Year 2), 2 credits; “Seminar II,” 6 credits. Selected mandatory courses: 18 credits from Group A or B; elective courses: 12 credits from Groups A~C.

Mandatory Year 2 curriculum “Seminar I” 2 credits
“Seminar II” 6 credits
Selected Mandatory 18 credits from Group A or B
Electives Group A subjects 12 more credits
Group B subjects
Group C subjects
Total 38 credits

Past Research Topics

Master’s Theses

  • Achieving Work-Life Balance in Married Women’s Career Choices: A Qualitative Study Using a Trajectory Equifinality Approach
  • A Study of Chinese University Students’ Awareness and Motivations to Study in Japan: From a Perspective of National Identity
  • A Comparative Study of the Japanese and Korean Sense of Face Seen in University Students’ “Manner of Refusing”
  • The Role of Japanese-Vietnamese Medical Interpreters as Intercultural Facilitators
  • A Study of the Requirements of “Global Talent”
  • Young Gay Connections in Japan: A Focus on Real Society and Twitter
  • The Linguistic Ideology of Singapore’s “Founding Father” Lee Kuan Yew: Reflecting on the Positioning of Official Languages and Their Relationship to English Language Imperialism
  • FTAs High School Instructors Should Avoid
  • The Identity Formation Process of Young People with Roots in China: A Qualitative Study of Chinese Diaspora School Graduates
  • A Cognitive Linguistic Study of Korean Idiomatic Expressions Including “눈치(nunchi)”: A Comparison of Korean and Japanese “Conjecture” Methods
  • Confidence-Building Factors in Short-Term Overseas Experiences: A Comparison of Two Programs with Different Objectives
  • Japan-Russia Comparison of Plan Complexity: A Causal Model Study Using Multiple Group Structural Equation Modeling
  • Acceptance of Aoyama Gakuin University Foreign Exchange Students: Relationship between Exchange Students and Tutors
  • A Study of the New Generation of Chinese Youth’s Awareness of “Face”: Focus on “80 Go” Living in Japan
  • Antonym Juxtaposition: Focus on “Close Yet Far” in Japanese
  • Hydro-Hegemony: Hydropower Development in China and the Mekong Basin
  • A Study of Mutual Cooperative Group Differences in Japan: Examining with Multi-Level Analysis
  • Reconsidering Linguistic Expressions of Politeness and Studies of Gender Differences: A Comparative Study of Chinese and Japanese
  • Representations from Space to Time: Perspectives of the Concept of Time in Japanese
  • The Magic Number Three in Rhetoric: Differences in the Use of Triads and Two-Part Compositions in the Inaugural Addresses of President Obama and 43rd President Bush
  • An Analysis of “Unique” Languages Such as Japanese and Creole in Approaches of Principle and Parameters: A Proposal for a Modification to Fukui’s Theory
  • Building Korean Language Education Based on Intercultural Understanding: For Japanese People
  • Exploratory Study on the Japanese Response Style: Study Using Structural Equation Modeling
  • What Does It Mean to Release Yourself? A Study of Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Room With a View
  • Examining Cultural Values in Children’s Educational Television Programs in Japan and the US: A Mix-Method Study
  • Intercultural Adaptation Among the Retirement Set: Based on the Stories of Japanese People Living in Thailand Long-Term
  • Speakers of Regional Dialects Building a Linguistic Awareness: Based on the Stories of Transplants to Tokyo
  • One-Way Semantic Expansion: The Synonyms “May” and “Can”

Topical Studies

  • The UK Edinburgh Award: Graduate Experiences and Gaining Confidence
  • A Study on Enthusiastic Takarazuka Fans in the Management Strategy of the Takarazuka Revue
  • Preparing Training Programs for Shared House Managers to offer Hospitality to Japanese and Foreign Students
  • Changes in the Concept and Practice of Preschool Childrearing and Education in the People’s Republic of China: Interviews with Chinese Parents Born Around 1980
  • The Life Story of a Dentist Family From Taiwan that Went to a Japanese Village Lacking Doctors
  • Cultural Perceptions of Japanese and Americans Regarding Political Scandals: Morality vs. Law
  • Characteristics of Vietnamese Exchange Students Motivations to Learn Japanese
  • A Study of Differences in Languages with and without Classifiers: Correlation with or without D
  • Parallels between Second Language and Native Language Acquisition: Focus on the Absence of Functional Categories
  • Holden’s Difficulty Living and Allie’s Death: A Study of Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye (1952)
  • On the “True Flavor of Taiwan” Seen by Inosuke Nakanishi
  • Contradictory Views of Japan Held by Chinese Youth: In the Space Between Japanese Romance and the Effects of Patriotic Education
  • Intercultural Training Program Design: Proposal for an Intercultural Training Program for Long-Term Appointees in India
  • Exploratory Research on the Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in High School English Education: The State of Education for Developing Communication Skills
  • Chin Shunshin’s Understanding of History Based on Soushi Seika
  • The Structure of a Rakugo “Chat” Reflected in Our Hearts
  • The Syntactic Characteristics of Languages with Ending Particles: A Comparison of Japanese, Chinese, and English
  • Elizabeth’s Mental Maturity and True Kindness: How to Properly Embrace Self-Esteem in Pride and Prejudice
  • Japanese and Chinese Self-Disclosure in First Meeting Scenarios
  • The Transformation Process of Host Family Motivations in the Course of Accepting a Foreign Exchange Student
  • A Study on the Identity Formation Process in Second-Generation Japanese Corps
  • A Study of Communication between Vision-Impaired and Able-Bodied People from a Perspective of Communication Coordination Theory
  • Changes in the Social Status of Modern Women in China: Population Policy Changes and the “Shelved Woman” Phenomenon
  • Estimating the Elasticity of Substituting Full-Time and Part-Time Workers: Case Study of the Japanese Manufacturing Industry
  • A Comparative Study of Topic Syntax in Chinese and Japanese
  • A Study on the Interpretation of Questions in Chinese and Japanese
  • What Do Returnees’ Mothers Want? Based on the Mothers’ Stories
  • UN Stabilization Activities in the Republic of Haiti
  • The Non-Prototypical Nature of Passive Sentences in Japanese: From a Cognitive Linguistic Perspective
  • How Japan Can Attract More Chinese Tourists
  • Revolution to Revolution: Blending in Chinese-Japanese Translation and Liang Qichao
  • A Study of Chinese Syntax Based on the Omission of Elements
  • The History of French-Japanese Cultural Exchange Seen in Japanese Recipients of the Legion of Honour
  • Database of Machine Translation Use Cases by Social Domain
  • A Study of Cultural Identity Expression Methods Used by International Children of Japanese Descent in Virtual Spaces
  • Regarding Chinese word order, I have critically reviewed four major previous research papers, and based on that review, I have attempted to present an original analysis while comparing it with Japanese.
  • I will use semi-structured interviews to explore how female Taiwanese working holiday participants have changed from their experience.
  • A Study of Female Facial Attractiveness: Universalism vs. Relativism
  • Thomas More’s Image of Humanity in A Man for All Seasons
  • The Birth and Transformation of Hip-Hop Culture: Primarily Seen in Rap Music Expressing Individuality with Language
  • A Study of “Beauty” in Ying Ning
  • R.H. Blyth and Japanese Culture: Through His Contributions and Writings
  • China's Internet-Based Social Media
  • On the Translation of Film Titles from English to Chinese
  • Host and Guest Relations in Intercultural Communication: From the Stories of Japanese Ryokan Workers
  • Third-Country Permanent Residency Support: Aiming to Build Social Support for the Receiving Community: A Proposal for Intercultural Training for the Receiving Community
  • Thackeray and Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon: Different Interpretations of Human Nature
  • Analyzing the Needs and Developing a Syllabus for Senior English Learners: Practical Implementation of English Conversation Courses at Tachikawa Silver University
  • Parents’ View of Education and the Self as Understood by International Children of Japanese Descent
  • Designing Crisis Management Communication between Japanese and South Korean Companies (Focus on Apologies)
  • Haruki Murakami’s Approach to Translation in The Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby: Focus on Comparing Translations by Nozaki and Murakami
  • Differences in the Cultural Values of Japanese and Chinese People: A Study of Cases of Workplace Friction
  • Service Contributions of the Gross National Happiness Index to Development Theory
  • A Factor Analysis of Communication Friction between Japan and China Caused by Differences in Social Systems, Customs, Culture, and Language, from a Perspective of Intercultural Communication
  • A Study of English Vocabulary in China
  • Communication between Japanese People and Foreign Tourists in International Tourism in Japan: Case Study of Tsukiji Market
  • A Historical Examination of Language Awareness and Education from the UK
  • Japan-China Comparison of the Spirit of “Wa”: “Focus on the Seventeen-Article Constitution”
  • Factor Analysis of Friction Caused by Differences between Japanese Culture and Ethnic Chinese Culture: Cultural Assimilators and Critical Incidents

Doctoral Program

The Doctoral Program in International Communication offers students who have earned a master’s degree in a related field the opportunity to develop even more advanced research capabilities and a rich academic background.
This course places its focus on theoretical rather than practical aspects of international communication. As such, students will be asked to further delve into linguistics (linguistic science, sociolinguistics, etc.), regional cultures and comparative culture theory, and communication (international, intercultural, interpersonal) based on their research in each of these areas in the master’s program. To date, 14 people have earned doctoral degrees in this major.

Degree Requirements

To complete the program, students must be enrolled for the required period of study, be certified in one foreign language, pass a doctoral dissertation application review, and pass a final (oral) examination. For the majors of International Politics, International Economics, and International Communication, students must earn 4 credits in each major and 12 credits in research guidance seminars.

Course Subjects

International Communication Major First Semester Second Semester Total
Year 1 Theories of International Communication I (2 credits) Theories of International Communication II (2 credits) 4 credits

Research Guidance Seminars

International Communication Major First Semester Second Semester Total
Year 1 International Communication Research Guidance Seminar I A (2 credits) International Communication Research Guidance Seminar I B (2 credits) 4 credits
Year 2 International Communication Research Guidance Seminar II A (2 credits) International Communication Research Guidance Seminar II B (2 credits) 4 credits
Year 3 International Communication Research Guidance Seminar III A (2 credits) International Communication Research Guidance Seminar III B (2 credits) 4 credits

The term of study for the doctoral program is set at a standard of three years (Graduate School Regulations Article 10), but those who have produced outstanding research work may complete the degree in less than three years. If completing the degree in fewer than three years, students will need to complete the above number of credits within their term of study. However, the Graduate School has a set process for submitting doctoral dissertation applications, and these applications cannot be submitted except through this process.

Dissertation Application Submission Requirements and Process

Precautions before submitting a doctoral dissertation application

Students must pass the following exams to complete the program. Please note that the members of the research guidance committee, consisting of five faculty members, including a research advisor and assistant research advisor, must be decided before taking each of these exams. Be sure to check with the registrar’s office that the members of the research guidance committee have been finalized.

  • Doctoral dissertation research plan evaluation
  • Doctoral dissertation interim report (no pass/fail decision)
  • Final doctoral dissertation report
  • Final doctoral dissertation review