人文学部 国際英語学科 ニュース

GSE Thesis Presentations: Experiences, Hopes, and Advice (Part I)〜2020年度GSE卒業論文発表会〜

This has been an extraordinary year, and all throughout the university, fourth-year students have been working hard to finish their graduation theses. I think I can speak for all students and staff when I offer heartfelt congratulations to all of them for finishing their various projects under difficult circumstances. Today was an especially enjoyable day because the 4th year GSE students gave presentations about their theses. In this article, I'll speak to four of those students, and as you'll see, there was a diverse range of topics, and the presentations themselves were really interesting. I asked them all to share their ideas and experiences related to their research, and also to their feelings about graduating in general.


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The conference was held online, but thanks to the guests and speakers, it was fun, informative, and interactive.

First, I spoke with MI, who is soon to become a teacher.

In my thesis, I wrote about child poverty in Japan and in Vietnam. I investigated the unique characteristics of each context, as well as what policies and measures are being implemented at present. My main aim was to find better ways to solve these important problems. As I was writing, I came to understand again the human impact of poverty, and how it affects children. Poverty deprives innocent children of their freedom, hopes, and their futures. However small, I was determined to find some way to help to bring back their smiles. In researching and writing, I had to read and understand a lot of academic texts in English, and although never easy, I could do it thanks to the abilities I acquired over four years at university, as well as the support from teachers and friends. This experience will help me to work hard on other long-term projects when I graduate from university.


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MI: "I could do it thanks to the abilities I acquired over four years at university, as well as the support from teachers and friends"

Next up is MK, and as you'll see, she has a lot of interesting things to add.

I wrote my thesis on the topic of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), which is a global-scale problem, with a focus on the cases of Egypt and Indonesia. My main areas of inquiry were understanding why these countries have a comparatively much higher prevalence of FGM, what the unique characteristics of FGM in each country are, and understanding and improving upon the solutions being tried at present. This meant finding and analyzing information at the international, governmental, and local community levels. Currently, there are more than 30 countries, mainly in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where FGM is performed as an important part of the culture and/or religion of communities, amounting to a total of around 200 million women and girls. Through my research, I found that female genital mutilation is cruel, and that many international organizations, NGOs and NPOs are trying to eradicate it, seeing it as an inhumane act from the viewpoint of health and human rights. I understand this perspective, however, contrary to that thought, in the countries and regions where female genital mutilation is performed, it is deeply rooted in people's lives as a part of their religion and culture, and so understandably, they value it, and are quite often proud of it. The culture and understanding of female genital mutilation vary from country to country, and measures and solutions tailored to those differences are therefore needed. Both knowledge about and action against this problem are necessary. An important aspect is raising awareness because by ensuring as many people as possible understand the issue, we can begin to find solutions. Although I faced many challenges in researching and writing my graduation thesis, with the support of teachers, I was able to do it. I was mainly concerned about my lack of concentration, but with the encouragement of those around me, I was able to work hard. I am grateful to the people who helped me, especially my teacher.

(私は世界規模で行われている "FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)"、いわゆる「女性器切除」について、エジプトとインドネシアのケースを中心に卒業論文を書きました。なぜインドネシアとエジプトでは他の国より女性器切除が多くの少女に施されて来たのか、それぞれの国の「FGM」はどんな特徴があるのか、そして "FGM" という問題に対する改善策・解決策を国際レベル、政府や団体、地域コミュニティレベルで調査し、分析しました。女性器切除を国や宗教、地域の大切な文化として行っている国は現在、アフリカや中東、アジアを中心に30ヵ国以上あり、人数にして約2億人の女性や少女たちに実行されています。調査を進めていく上で、女性器切除が残酷なものであること、健康面や人権の観点からも多くの国際機関やNGO・NPO団体がそれを非人道的行為として根絶しようと試みていることが分かりました。しかしその思いとは裏腹に、女性器切除が行われている国や地域では宗教や文化として人々の生活に深く根付いていること、そして、それらの行為は彼女たちにとっては誇り高いことでもあることが分かってきました。国や地域によって女性器切除の文化や理解は異なり、それに応じた対策や解決策が必要です。そして、解決するためには私達がこの女性器切除問題を「知る」こと、「行動する」ことが大切です。一人でも多くの人がこの問題について知って、考えを拡散することによって、女性器切除への問題意識が高まり、解決へと導きます。卒業論文を進めていく上で、多くの困難がありましたが、先生の支えもあって書き上げることができました。私は主に集中力が続かないことに頭を抱えていましたが、周りの励ましもあってしっかり取り組むことができました。私のために力を貸してくれた人達、特に指導教員の先生に感謝しています。)

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MK with her thesis. Guests at her presentation expressed their surprise at how big a problem FGM/C is, and I think many of us were learning about this issue for the first time.

Next, I spoke with TK, who will actually be returning to HJU next academic year as one of our graduate school students.

I researched the topic of sex education policies in Japan. I investigated and talked about the pervasive view of sex and sexuality in Japan as a taboo, how it is rooted in the culture and society of Japan, and the various problems this causes. One aspect of my research is the difference in how certain things related to sex are viewed within and outside of Japan, and I was shocked by much of what I learned. This research, as with other times in my studies, made me reflect on the problems facing Japan, and what my generation can possibly do about them. 2020 has been a hellish year, since last year, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and I spent half of the year at home. As well as having to write my thesis, I had other problems at home, which was a challenge psychologically. However, thanks to the support from people around me, I was able to get back on track. I am grateful for the reassurance and empathy I received, and proud to have successfully completed my thesis.


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TK: "I am grateful for the reassurance and empathy I received". In a difficult time, the safe and friendly family atmosphere at HJU is a good place for students to be in.

In our final contribution of this first part, we hear from NM.

I wrote my graduation thesis on the subject of human trafficking in Cambodia and Myanmar. I explored the causes of trafficking in those countries, examined what types of trafficking take place, and what kind of people are deceived and harmed. My thesis also outlines how the trafficking problem should be addressed locally, nationally, and globally. When researching and writing about this topic, I realized the heartbreaking reality faced by those who cross borders, and also, the sad fact that this is a largely unacknowledged problem. I sincerely hope that as many people as possible will look at this reality, and hope that as many victims as possible can be saved in the future. Completing my graduation thesis among the storm of the new coronavirus was tough for me. I often went to cafes because it was difficult to work on the project at home, but I was stressed to go outside. However, I was able to experience the joy of reading and writing in English, and learning new things, as I proceeded with my graduation thesis. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to develop and grow.


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NM: "the sad fact [is] ... that this is a largely unacknowledged problem"-The audience learned a lot from NM's presentation.

Well, it's been fantastic to hear from these four students. In the second part of this article, we'll hear from the other 4th year GSE students. But, for now, many thanks to these four for sharing their research, talking about their experiences, and of course, their bright futures. If you're a current or future student at HJU and are thinking about your own thesis, don't miss the next article, because it will include some great advice from these students, as well as their classmates. Best of luck in the future guys!


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