Japanese Language and Literature Department: Ms. Akiko Yamamoto
Akiko Yamamoto
Department of Japanese Language and Literature

Publication date: 2020.05.15
From President Natsuko Obara's blog
Left: President Natsuko Obara (at that time) Right: Professor Akiko Yamamoto
Professor Yamamoto and President Obara
This is an interview with Akiko Yamamoto, Dean of the Humanities, published on May 10, 2020, from the President's blog by the 4th President Natsuko Obara (Period of office: April 2023 to March 3).
Could you tell us about your research, Professor Yamamoto?
I am researching Nohgaku, especially Kyogen that has been handed down in rural areas.Currently, I am researching mainly Kyogen scripts that have been handed down in Maze Town, Ise City.
What do you find interesting about your research?
For more than 20 years, he has been visiting Ise to research materials that have never been seen outside the city, and has introduced the position of those materials.Maze Kyogen is handed down by the local people.I am working on research to clarify how Maze Kyogen has been transmitted over time, how it has changed, and how it has been handed down in relation to the local community.
It's not just literature, it's also connected to the culture behind it.I'm getting interested.What did you find exciting or happy about during your research?
Above all, it is difficult, but fun, to see the actual original and reprint it while tracing the brush strokes left behind by the people of the time.While researching to clarify the lineage of the script of Maze Kyogen, when I found a script with almost the same verses in a completely different place, I was happy that I had taken a step forward.Also, based on my thesis, which reprinted and introduced the material of the rare piece of Maze Kyogen called "Hachi," I was deeply moved to see that piece actually performed on stage.

Mr. Yamamoto Poster
Poster for "Hachi," which was revived based on Professor Yamamoto's thesis and performed for the first time at the Nagoya Noh Theater in 2012.
Professor Yamamoto's text

Kyogen Hanako Script by Yamamoto-sensei
(Reference) Kyogen “Hanako” script
 * Owned by the Maze Kyogen Preservation Society
Please tell us what made you choose this field.
When I was in my second year at university, I had to make a presentation at a research presentation in my department. When I was told, "You look like a woman in a Kyogen play," I read it with interest, and since then I have been following it as a research theme.However, it seems that the women in Kyogen that the teacher mentioned are "disgusting women" (noisy, nagging) (laughs).
What is your hobby.
I'm so busy that I can't go there right now, but it's "fishing".My whole family likes fishing.All the fish you catch will be cooked.
Please tell us if you have a motto.
In Nohgaku, performers gather for each lecture and perform, so “once-in-a-lifetime encounter” is important.I always encounter various scenery and people, but I want to cherish each encounter as a unique encounter, so I cherish the word "once-in-a-lifetime chance."
What are the selling points of the Faculty of Humanities and Culture?
The humanities is a traditional academic field, and it is a study that learns fundamental things to think about "what is a human being".The aim of this field is to study literature, history, and culture, study the thoughts and wisdom of the people, and cultivate a rich sense of humanity and a broad perspective.The starting point of our university's founding was Japanese literature, and it has a long history.Valuable materials such as modern paperbacks are accumulated in the library, and there is also a museum as a place of practice for those who aspire to become curators.
There are many programs to study abroad, and exchanges with Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) are also active.For exchanges related to specialized fields, the Department of History and Culture has jointly established a subject called "Community Art" with the Department of Art. We participate in each other's activities, and we also jointly hold "lectures on traditional Japanese culture."
What kind of people do you want the school to nurture in the future?
In the era of drastic changes such as the information society and the progress of AI technology, human judgment and wisdom are required in the end.In this context, the significance of studying the humanities will be questioned more and more in the future.First of all, through specialized learning, along with deep insight, you will cultivate thinking power, insight, and expressiveness.Furthermore, in a global society, I would like to aim for a faculty that produces human resources who can understand diversity, think independently, and act.
What are the advantages of studying at Showa Women's University for students?
Kindergarteners, children, students, and students of various ages gather, and TUJ and BST (British School in Tokyo Showa) share the same campus. and programs are born.In particular, cooperation with TUJ will be significant.In addition, not only students on campus but also high school students who visited the open campus commented on the closeness between students and faculty members, and the fact that faculty members closely monitor each student.

That's it for the interview.Professor Yamamoto's face was full of enthusiasm when he talked about his research, and I was impressed by how much he seemed to be enjoying himself. "Fishing" is his hobby... We got a glimpse of his unexpectedly wild side.I also agree with the education that the undergraduate departments are aiming for, and I think that it is a common thought in university education, even if the fields are different. (Natsuko Obara)


Click here for Mr. Yamamoto's video