The Organization for Islamic Area Studies (OIAS), a research institute at Japan's Waseda University, was established in July 2008. Under the auspices of two governmental programs, the OIAS oversees the joint research operations of a network of five institutions across Japan. The National Institutes for the Humanities' Joint Research Program for Islamic Area Studies entered its second term in 2011, and the Ministry of Education's Program for the Advancement of Centers for Distinctive Joint Research in 2008 superseded their Program for the Advancement of Joint Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. These two programs provide support for Japan's IAS Network, comprised of five research centers at Waseda University, the University of Tokyo, Sophia University, Kyoto University, and the Toyo Bunko (the Oriental Library). This network forms a model for future studies in the humanities and social sciences, and has earned high praise from academic researchers. As a result, in 2008, the centers of the IAS network were formally recognized by Japan’s Ministry of Education as joint research centers where scholars from across the nation are encouraged to carry out their studies.
Also, 2011 saw the beginning of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science's Asia-Africa Science Platform Program project on Islam and Multiculturalism. This new project is a joint effort by Waseda's OIAS and the Asia-Europe Institute at the University of Malaya in Malaysia. For more information about these on-going research projects, please refer to their respective web sites.
It was Professor SATO Tsugitaka who initially conceived and laid the groundwork for a network of IAS joint research centers, overseen by the Waseda IAS center, with the goal of building a framework of empirical knowledge on modern Islam, by taking a historical approach to modern issues and applying comparative area studies. The researchers of the OIAS are unified in our intent to see that this vision for Islamic area studies is achieved. We gladly welcome feedback and input from everyone, inside and outside our community, in the interest of advancing Islamic area studies in Japan.
- The NIHU Program
- The MEXT Program
- JSPS Asia-Africa Science Platform Program
Dean, Organization for Islamic Area Studies
Professor, Faculty of International Research and Education