Sansai Gakurin

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About Sansai Gakurin

A civilization of global proportions has yet to exist in human history. Only by aiming at such an ideal, however, can global environmental studies develop as a new and integrated discipline.

Toshio Yokoyama, former Warden of Sansai Gakurin

Sansai Gakurin was established in 2002 to promote and support the activities of the new Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES) at Kyoto University, by facilitating the exchange of ideas across relevant disciplines, both inside and outside the university’s campuses. “Sansai” refers to the traditional East Asian triad of heaven, earth and humanity that embraces the phenomenal world. “Gakurin” means a grove of scholars. The 2001 mission statement of Kyoto University promulgated its intention ‘to pursue harmonious coexistence within the human and ecological community on this planet.’ In line with this, Sansai Gakurin proposes, through research and learning, to foster the ideal of a global civilization based upon a new civility that includes the non-human as well as human world. Sansai Gakurin strives to promote innovative research and education activities among the faculty and student body of GSGES. It also seeks to develop modes of communication capable of integrating the diverse fields of knowledge and experience that comprise global environmental studies. Sansai Gakurin pursues these goals through a wide range of activities which include:

1) Activities to integrate all academic disciplines relevant to global environmental studies and coordinate the outreach activities of GSGES.

Sansai Gakurin i) collates and publicizes information on all environment-related research activities being undertaken campus-wide at Kyoto University through the Kyoto University Global Environmental Studies Directory; ii) supports global environmental studies related workshops and symposia at the departmental, campus-wide, city-wide, national and international level (e.g., the Kyoto University Global Environmental Forum and the Hannari Kyoto Shimadai-juku, a public forum for university researchers and Kyoto citizens to come together to discuss issues relating to daily life and the global environment); and iii) hosts the monthly Global Environmental Studies Konwakai at which GSGES faculty exchange their views on their subjects with colleagues from diverse fields.

2) Activities to promote research.

Sansai Gakurin has annually published Sansai – an Environmental Journal for the Global Community since 2005. This peer-reviewed English language publication is also accessible online through the Kyoto University Research Information Repository. Other publications supported by Sansai Gakurin include the GSGES Asia Platform Annual Report, in publication since 2006, and the Asia Platform Newsletter published 5 times a year. Together, all these publications disseminate worldwide the research achievements of GSGES faculty and students.

3) Activities to support education.

Sansai Gakurin supports various ongoing international education programs at GSGES, including the ‘KU-PROFILE/ Global 30’ program, the Environmental Management Leader Program, and two Japanese government registered Global Centre of Excellence programs currently taking place in the Asian region.