What should we be proud of as individuals and as a nation? I believe this is a critical issue for contemporary Japanese society. Taking pride in the culture and history of one’s society is important, and it is wonderful to have things one can feel proud of. However, it is also important to ask which aspects of one’s culture and history deserve pride, and what shape that pride should take. Some people may never question their pride in a long national history and thriving economy, but why not look at the issue from a different perspective? For example, try asking yourself if our society respects the lifestyle of every individual, how many people are suffering due to inequality, and how we can help them. If you put time and effort into developing the skills to reassess your surroundings and change them for the better, you just might become a person future generations can take pride in. I invite you to join us in the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work to gain those skills and create that future.
Atsuko Otaki, Dean, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work