||Professor, College of Asia Pacific Studies
Ph.D., University of British Columbia (Comparative Culture Studies)
Master of Arts, University of Calgary (Department of Communication, Media, and Film)
Master of Education, Fukuoka University of Education (Division of English Language Education)
|Research Fields :
||Media Studies, Comparative culture studies
||Dogs – especially Shiba Inu
For this edition of “Professor Close-Up”, we’d like to introduce Professor YOSHIDA Kaori, who teaches Introduction to Media and Japanese Culture and Society.
A favorite stuffed polar bear toy was the first topic in our conversation with Professor YOSHIDA (the bears are pictured here with Professor YOSHIDA). After seeing a similar stuffed bear toy belonging to Associate Professor HIRAI of the Education Development and Learning Support Center, she bought ones of her own. Seeing the two peacefully sleeping bear figures every day soothes Professor YOSHIDA, and as she spoke of the bears she had a soft expression on her face.
Professor YOSHIDA originally went to graduate school with the dream of becoming an English teacher for middle or high school. However, she was led to her current field by her advisor at the University of Calgary Graduate Program, whose area of research was media studies. This led Professor YOSHIDA to specialize in comparative culture and media studies, and shaped her into the media researcher she is today.
Professor YOSHIDA is engaged in three main areas of research: gender, ethnic, and national representations within visual media; comparative culture, with an emphasis on visual media; and finally, war-related media (manga, animation, and live-action movies) and war memories (including the gendered and nationalized aspects of war memories). In the past, she has also done research on manga and animation (as ‘soft power’) and children’s media, and the movement and flow across borders of these media.
This year marks the eighth year that Professor YOSHIDA has been at APU. When we asked what about the university appealed to her, she responded that for her, APU was “an ideal place”. Here, she can teach her own field of specialization not only in Japanese but also in English, creating a connection with her youthful dream of becoming an English teacher. According to Professor YOSHIDA, APU’s appeal lies in its international atmosphere: despite being in Japan, it feels as though the university is located somewhere abroad.
In spare time on her days off, Professor YOSHIDA enjoys playing tennis to keep fit and relieve stress. She even won second place in the doubles match (beginner and intermediate level) held last winter at the tennis school she belongs to. In her early years, she also played volleyball and was on the track and field team, showing that she clearly has an athletic side as well. APU athletic circle members may want to consider inviting Professor YOSHIDA to join in sometime.
At the end of our time together Professor YOSHIDA left us with a message for APU students: “We live in an age when information can be obtained with only a quick reference to Google. It is my hope, however, that despite this more and more students will choose to do those things that others are unwilling to put the time and energy into. Rather than being smart or cool, I’d rather that students strive to become as strong and persistent as weeds, finding a goal and pursuing it relentlessly. Although I know this is a difficult thing to achieve, be sure to take the initiative in pushing yourself forward”.
Thank you, Professor YOSHIDA!