Message from the President

Updated on Apr 01 2019

Kokugakuin University: Fostering the ability to question

 Kokugakuin University is a university modeled after the Imperial Court Research Institute (Koten Kokyusho). The Imperial Court Research Institute was established in 1882, during Japan’s period of modernization after the Meiji Restoration. Amid the tide of westernization of this era, it was founded as an educational institution for the study of the Shinto religion and Japanese classical literature to maintain reverence for Japanese thought and culture for the sake of the country’s future. The Kokugakuin Prospectus, published in July 1890, stated that it is necessary not only to study the core fields of Japanese history, literature, and law, but also to combine it with the comprehensive study of the knowledge of other countries in its totality. Through learning about our homeland’s and other countries’ cultures and re-examining our own ways, we can contribute to the country, local communities, and the international community, and also develop morally-spirited human resources.

Cultivating the spirit of questioning the essence of things

In this era of borderless relationships with people in every corner of the world, our environmental, population, and societal problems have become common issues shared by all of mankind. Kokugakuin University’s policies on research and education and human resource development are timeless and universal. They contribute to cultivating a spirit of questioning, forcing us to ask ourselves “What is the essence of the problems today’s society grapples with?” and “What is my raison d’etre?”


AI doesn’t have all the answers.

With the age of artificial intelligence (AI) upon us, it is inevitable that there will be changes in the structure of society and employment. For example, tasks that have conventionally been performed by human beings are now being taken over by machines with AI, and AI is being used to analyze large amounts of data instantaneously. However, AI doesn’t have all the answers; it may in fact present an opportunity to stimulate human thought to give rise to new ideas. Just because this is the age of artificial intelligence, we must not stop thinking and philosophizing, leave everything up to AI, and simply accept any analysis results. Rather, I hope that advances in AI will awaken our buried, subconscious desire for knowledge and help to build a human-centric society that encourages the creation of new ways of life.

Confront and question existing knowledge

​A university is a place for creating new knowledge and searching for the truth. When facing a question without a correct answer, we need to be able to seek out our own answers by analyzing and considering documents under the given conditions, and sometimes engaging in experiments or fieldwork. I want all of our students to develop the ability to confront and question existing knowledge that has conventionally been considered as correct.

Kokugakuin University is a place for each and every student to achieve their dreams. I want to support our students not only by constantly questioning existing knowledge while seeking and acquiring new knowledge, but also by striving to be a place that provides emotional support even after graduation, serving as their intellectual home.

President’s résumé


Name Masayuki Harimoto
Date of birth Decemberr 18, 1951
Specialization Heian period literature
Degree Doctor of Literature (Kokugakuin University, 2001)
Brief history March 1974:Graduated from the Department of Japanese Literature, Faculty of Letters, Kokugakuin University.
March 1979:Completed the doctoral course in the Graduate School of Literature, Kokugakuin University, and withdrew from the university.
April 1996:Associate Professor, Faculty of Letters, Kokugakuin University.
April 2000:Professor, Faculty of Letters, Kokugakuin University.
April 2009–March 25:Dean, Faculty of Letters, Kokugakuin University.
April 2011–March 31:Vice President, Kokugakuin University.
Current post Professor, Faculty of Letters, Kokugakuin University
President of Kokugakuin University (Term: 4 years; 1st term started April 1, 2019)
Director of Kokugakuin University
Research results, etc. See his faculty research activity page for details.


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