Naoki Kawai, Ph.D.

Department of Human Sciences
Faculty of Humanities
Sapporo Gakuin University


My research field is social psychology from relational perspectives. I believe the philosophy of action-research, based on the premise that social scientists often have fundamental difficulty ensuring neutrality in their research process. What I would like to pursue is to bring about some positive change collaboratively with people in research fields I am (or, will be) locally involved in, as well as exploring theoretically-sophisticated ideas that would make things happen in other fields where I am not involved. Specifically, I am now curious about the potential of Japanese calligraphy, a traditional art of expressing Japanese/Chinese characters as attractively as possible on a sheet of paper by using a writing brush and Indian ink. I have held Japanese calligraphy workshops for those affected by the huge earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, showing positive effect of Japanese calligraphy on emancipating them from the passive role of ‘the helped’ and transforming them into ‘active participants’ in the new community of Japanese calligraphy. Recently I have launched a new action-research of holding the same workshops for the youth with Down syndrome, exploring my interest deeply and extensively. What has impressed me most in recent years is the fact that Japanese calligraphy would not be just for Japanese speakers. Seeing many non-Japanese speakers enjoying Japanese calligraphy and getting thoughtful insights which may surprise Japanese speakers, I cannot help exploring what it means beyond the difference of languages, cultures, and countries. Now I am looking for the chance to pursue this research topic.