6/01/2021

【お知らせ】大学院入試がはじまります!

今年も、いよいよ大学院入試のシーズンが到来しました。

波戸岡研究室では、あらゆる種類の文化・芸術・コンテンツに興味のある学生さんをお待ちしています。

具体的な研究対象としては、文学作品、ミステリー、エンタメ小説、劇映画、ドキュメンタリー映画、演劇、コント、ミュージカル、現代詩、俳句、テレビドラマ、アニメ、ゲーム、洋楽、ヒップホップ、ライトノベル、ノベライゼーションなどなど、みなさんの幅広い興味に対応した指導をしています。

修士課程は2年間ですが、みなさんには、だいたい次のような手順で修士論文の完成を目指していただきます。

1)研究の対象となる作家やアーティストの作品をできるかぎり多く読む/鑑賞する。

2)あれ? なんか気になるぞ……というポイントを書き出していく。

3)自分で見つけたポイントの批評的な意義を、教員や研究室の仲間と一緒に考える。

4)先行研究を読み、他の人の意見を整理する。

5)自分の考えと自分以外の考えを比較しながら、仮説をつくる。

6)論文の書き方を学びながら、仮説を証明していく。

1期入試の願書受付は、6月7日(月)から6月11日(金)まで(詳細は、下記サイトへ)。

2期入試の願書受付は、12月6日(月)から12月10日(金)まで。

波戸岡と直接相談したい方は、khatooka@meiji.ac.jpまでメールをください。

それでは、好奇心に溢れたみなさんとの出会いを楽しみにしています!

明治大学大学院(理工学研究科 建築・都市学専攻 総合芸術系)入試関連ページ
https://www.meiji.ac.jp/sst/grad/examination/index.html


いっしょに研究を楽しみましょう!

1/05/2021

The Future of Translation

The speed and accuracy of AI translators, such as Google Translate and DeepL, might surprise you. However, it is almost impossible for them to write paragraphs in a logical structure. This is precisely because the structure of the writing can hardly be rearranged without the permission of the author, whereas the word order in one sentence has to be more flexibly changed by a translator. Writing involves combining words, but it is equally important to note that it involves combining sentences. Of course, if Al translators ever begin to change the combinations of sentences and paragraphs, it means that they will begin to create rather than merely to translate.

12/16/2020

Nettle Tea

Nettle is notorious for its rough leaves that sting you. It might surprise you that some patients in the Middle Ages tried to cure rheumatism by rolling over a carpet of nettles. This fact also reminded me of Vernon Scannell’s poem whose first line goes, “My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.” You can find not only harm, but also tenderness in the metaphor of the “nettle bed,” precisely because nettle tea can soothe your nerves and help you to fall asleep easily. 
Recently, my wife and I have been drinking nettle tea at night after our children go to bed. Perhaps the tea affects me, but I need to add a secret ingredient: my children’s sleeping faces that will never know the stinging pain of the nettle.



11/29/2020

The Soundscape of Fahrenheit 11/9

If you listen to a movie without watching a screen, you'll find out how many different sounds there are. Today, I was not watching but listening to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 while driving on route 246. I knew that Moore was a talented director who can combine shots and sounds dramatically, but it was almost shocking to realize the soundscape of his film is more vivid than its visual impact. Even though Fahrenheit 11/9 deals with the negative side of the 45th President of the USA, the sounds mainly consisted of Moore's own narration and classical and pop music that seemed not to need the close-ups of the face of the president. I think this is because the director's script is good enough to read it on its own. Such an experimental experience would lead you to discover the unknown possibilities of a film.



11/08/2020

Leap Year

It was in 2016 that I saw Kentaro Kobayashi's outstanding miming solo on the spotlit stage at Iwaki Performing Arts Center. The performer was running there as if he was really trying to catch up with his alter ego. Even though my seat was located a little bit far from the stage, it never bothered me. He was running while going nowhere, and so it felt like the time was beginning to stream backward to leave him there forever. The show was titled Leap Year, and it would have been performed this year again if the world had not drastically changed like this.


10/28/2020

What's Going On

Have you ever listened to Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" in a totally different context from the Vietnam war?

In 1970, it was sung as a protest song against the war and the establishment of the time, but after May 2020, it's become an anthem for some people who cannot help raising their voices for BLM.

"Don't punish me with brutality / Talk to me / so you can see," sings Gaye.

It's still amazing for me how sweetly he could sing this line, even though he was furious about what was going on in the world then.

If you listen to it repeatedly, you'll be able to manage your anger and know what you should do tomorrow.


10/21/2020

Time Goes By

It's quite amazing how fast the time passes while you're staying home! I've just found out how long my blog has been silent now. These five months of silence were tough but worthy for me because l was able to devote almost all my energy to teaching online. Actually, the average time it takes me to create a 30-minute movie should be 6 hours: two hours writing the content; an hour recording; two hours editing of the movie; and one more hour to check and revise it. Yes, that's why my time flies like an arrow!

5/25/2020

The Possibility of the Fieldworks

If they had said a year ago that we wouldn’t be allowed to go abroad to research in the coming academic year, nobody would have believed it. Now, that such an unbelievable story has come true, I'm truly aware of how important it is to revisit the settings of literary works to discover something you'd overlook without the fieldworks. Last year, I was offered to contribute to a new collection of essays on the possibility of the fieldworks being a scholarly method and tried to combine my travelogues set in Germany and Sado Island. Last week, I received a copy of the new book published by Tamagawa UP and felt how far I've come since then. Fortunately, however, I could have the rare experience of being encouraged by rereading my own article to make sure what I've done is right.




5/14/2020

We've Been Here Before

These days I've found myself humming Harry Styles's "Sign of the Times," trying to figure out where we're going now. The final lines of this song are: "Will we ever learn? We've been here before. It's just what we know." Somehow these lines remind me of Hakushu Kitahara's "Kono Michi" (This Street), but this Japanese nursery rhyme is about nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past. However, Styles's statement with this song can be described as "solastalgia," which could be defined as a variation of nostalgia toward the present and future. Styles's solastalgia is not only a pessimistic feeling, though. Repeatedly singing "just stop your crying," he's persuading us that even such sentimentality is nothing but "a sign of the times."

4/24/2020

Thinking on the Kindle

Every time I click to open the Kindle app and see the silhouette of the boy reading under the big tree, I unintentionally smile because the shape of the tree is elegantly modified to help him read with the natural eave of its branches. Nowadays, the Kindle has almost become one of the bare necessities for academic life in the field of literature. I have installed the app on every PC of mine, synchronizing them to the E-ink reader called Kindle Paperwhite. Representing the surface of real paper with its high-tech material and adopting a screen without backlight to let the reader enjoy reading in the sunlight, the Kindle has succeeded in mesmerizing us to live naturally and eco-consciously in the computer age.

While the origin of the word "Kindle" is said to be "candle," ironically "to kindle" can mean "to set something [including books] on fire." "Thursday, October 17, 1650. [. . .] the colony’s hangman, Thomas Bell, dropped a book onto a fire. He had kindled the flames late that morning near the crossroads[.]" I quote this line from David M. Power's book Damnable Heresy which deals with the first book banned in the US. The author of the first burned book was William Pynchon... yes, an ancestor of the famous reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon.

The news of Pynchon's works like Gravity's Rainbow finally being available on Kindle is still fresh in our memories, but recently the argument of whether the e-book would become a trigger for today's book burning seems to have abated. Especially because of the increasingly powerful stay-at-home movement, some bestselling novelists who haven’t had to release e-book editions of their works have become compelled to do so. With a complicated feeling, I've found myself reading my Kindle in my garden because of my working from home. . .

4/23/2020

Trusting the Power of the Voice

Recently, I've been sitting in front of the microphone to record my online lessons, trying to make them closer to face-to-face ones. Because of using only sound, it's not accurate to say that my online classes will be equivalent to "face-to-face," but sometimes the auditory images can have stronger communicative power than through video. Of course, if you want to make your listeners feel they are with you virtually, you'll need some speaking skills and proper background music. Moreover, what you should keep in mind is that your listeners aren't anonymous but specific people, each of who has a real "face." I hope my attempts can encourage my students directly and brilliantly to devote themselves to the depth of literature and language!

4/17/2020

Adapting the World of "Eizouken"

In film studies, "adaptation" is a process of transformation between different media that would usually have difficulty exchanging their contents without modifying the details of the originals. The Tatami Galaxy, for instance, is one of a few successful cases to adapt literary works to animation. The recipe for success might be that director Masaaki Yuasa adapted a script which is an almost unabridged version of the original novel with character designs traced from Yusuke Nakamura's illustrations which appear on the dust jacket of the book.

10 years later, Yuasa released his new anime adaptation, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken. Not surprisingly, when adapted from the manga to the TV anime, the world of Eizoken becomes more perfectly represented. This is mainly because originally, Eizouken was a manga which deals with the dreams of school girls who want to create their own original animation. While a live-action version of Eizouken will be released this April, I’m sure it won’t surpass Yukawa's adaptation whose essential motivation was consistent with the manga itself!

4/13/2020

Into the Deepest Well. . .

According to a recent Newsweek article, now is the "perfect time to dive into [Pynchon's] deepest well." The well is, of course, Gravity's Rainbow which is a postmodern literary classic published in 1973. While it is a little scary if you cannot come back from the distorted well alive, my recommendation is to read a few pages of this novel aloud and enjoy the magical rhythms of the language which sometimes go beyond the bounds of reason. Like running a marathon on the balcony, why don't you bravely read it from beginning to end?


4/08/2020

Hottest Issues

Before the global spread of the virus, the fundamental reform of the university entrance examination system was one of the hottest issues in Japan. While the main aim of the reform was to implement the use of a test such as TOEIC instead of the national examination, now it’s impossible to conduct such nation-wide examinations before the summer because of this unexpected tragedy. Not only teaching classes but even conducting tests requires students to gather in crowded spaces. I'm feeling even more how we need to meet face-to-face in education!

4/06/2020

The Latest Issue of "Gunzo"

Tomorrow, the latest issue of the literary magazine Gunzo will be released, featuring Hideo Furukawa whose brand-new novel will be dropped this April. As shown in the photo below, I had quite a long interview with him to find out how profoundly he created the world of his meta-fictional story. Following the interview, my book review appears, referring to my own family roots which slightly overlap with the setting of this historical novel. Having known each other for over a decade, Furukawa-san and I have had some public talks, each of which was so exciting. I hope you'll enjoy our sincere discussion on literature and find yourself interested in reading his latest mega-novel!


4/03/2020

What We Might Sacrifice for Online Communication Is. . .

Teaching online is possible and sometimes could be more effective than classroom lectures. However, there are still problems with online classes, assuming that students have to pay for the data they use to access the contents or the video chat like Zoom. These days, quite a few students only have smartphones with a limited data plan. Of course, you can choose how often to watch videos, but once all the universities and colleges in this country let their professors teach online, is it possible for students to attend their “classes” virtually without paying a higher price to mobile companies? What we might sacrifice for online communication is not only our attention, but money too!

3/30/2020

Reviews

It was almost a month ago that my ninth book on film novelization was published by Takanashi-shobo. Since then, it's received some good reviews, including one in the book review newspaper Tosho Shinbun on March 28, and today in the Japanese weekly magazine Post. I'm very glad to hear the reviewers say they thought deeply about what “novelization” is for the first time after reading it. These days it's becoming increasingly difficult to go to the cinemas because of the spread of the new virus. While reading the novelization could be an alternative way to enjoy the film, I hope we can go back to normal soon and go to the cinemas again!

photo@Takanashi-shobo

3/27/2020

"Doubtfire, dear. . . "

Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 comedy film starring Robin Williams, the person who won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance that year. Watching it again on Amazon Prime, I was surprised by its cynical, 1990s-style view toward smoking and transvestites. Moreover, I was impressed by how skillfully Williams parodied classic films like Psycho. Actually, I couldn't recognize these details when I enjoyed watching it on VHS. I'm always amazed how drastically the contents, media, and common views have changed the last two decades!


3/23/2020

CASHFLOW Board Game

If you want to educate your children about economics and accounting, the board game Cashflow released by Rich Dad Books and Games is ideal. Because of long school closures, my kids enjoyed playing this game using somewhat complicated bookkeeping sheets. Once, we visited the Tokyo Stock Exchange and its adjoining facility, Tosho Arrows, where you can have the opportunity to learn about the market through playing their original card game. Cashflow deals with a broader area of the economy, but the combination should be a wonderful education tool for kids as well as adults who really want to know about what's happening today.


3/18/2020

Changes to the Academic Calendar

Spring has just come. While pupils and students are still supposed to study at home and not to hang out in large groups, you can find some of them playing joyfully to get a breath of fresh air in parks where cherry blossom trees are starting to bloom. This Monday, major private universities including Meiji University officially announced that they will postpone the first classes of the next academic year to late April. Preparing for my classes a month later, I'd like to devote myself to pursue research on environmental documentaries on this occasion!