The Center for Areal Studies was established in 2006 within the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences and it subsequently held numerous symposia. The Center in its current form stems from the 2012 reorganization when new participants were gathered and the actual work began.
The aim of the Center for Areal Studies is to analyze the human and social features of regions from an interdisciplinary perspective, rather than using one specific lens, and to integrate these numerous regions into one system. Specifically, the intent is not just to produce objective accounts of the traditional cultures and social structures of peoples living in these regions and the changes they are experiencing under modernization and globalization, but also to help in the resolution of various local issues in order to provide a means by which the human and social sciences can contribute to society. The regions studied under the Center's programs are related to Chiba University's geographic location and previous research it has undertaken, starting from the Boso Peninsula and expanding to include regions throughout Japan, the Far East, and Eastern Eurasia. We have four divisions of research:
Analysis of these regions is conducted through a variety of fields, including anthropology, linguistics, history, ethnography, literature, art, politics, and geography. The resulting interdisciplinary exchange creates new perspectives for dealing with challenges--challenges that could not be resolved from study within merely one field of research--thereby reflecting an integration that is characteristic of Chiba University's Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Members and staff are not solely affiliated with the Center but have primary appointments in other departments. Research meetings are held once a month where professors review case study reports and graduate students involved with the Center make presentations and provide updates on their research projects. Academic exchange is also facilitated through the various symposia and conferences held at the Center. In addition, students interested in study areas covered by the Center are able to conduct research projects under the aegis of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences.