Regular Feature

Greetings from the Outskirts of Kyoto vol.11

INOUE Shōichi (Director-General)
August 30, 2021

Nichibunken accepts ten or more foreign scholars every year as Visiting Research Scholars. They stay with us for up to a year. For the duration, they can forget the troublesome administrative tasks that weigh down all academics. The idea behind the scheme is to have them engage in research to their hearts’ content.

However, since 2020, on account of the pandemic, it has become difficult to invite scholars over. True, some foreign scholars have made it to Nichibunken, but they are having a rather tough time of it, it seems.

Out of fear of the pandemic, we have embraced “remote work” via personal computers. The situation is pretty much the same across the world, I am sure. Lectures and conferences at universities everywhere have gone on-line; that is now normal. In brief, foreign scholars here at Nichibunken can now be called upon at any moment by the universities to which they belong. They can now be made to engage remotely in all manner of administrative tasks.

Computers are convenient to be sure, but how frustrating this must be! Nichibunken may soon cease to be a paradise for foreign scholars. This calls for action!


Illustration by Inoue Shōichi