About Our Unit

About Our Unit


1.Introduction to Study Social Science of Sports at Hitotsubashi University

This research unit engages in the social science of sports, including not only sociology but also history, education, cultural studies, policy studies, development studies, regional studies, and welfare studies. The research areas of our staff are diverse and global, and they belong to a wide range of academic societies.
Sports have spread and developed on a global scale as a universal culture that transcends national borders and ethnic groups, where everyone can play against each other under the same rules. And now, as evidenced by the Olympics and the soccer World Cup, which are the world’s largest and most exciting mega-events, sports are increasingly linked to economics, politics, culture, media, education, and more. In addition, the lack of exercise and stress brought about by modern society and the pursuit of a more humane way of life have led to an unprecedented increase in demand for people to play, watch, read, listen to, and enjoy sports.
Sport has come into the limelight as one important area for reading contemporary society and as an item for sustainable human and socioeconomic development and peacebuilding.
And there is a need for social science research on sports to comprehensively address these issues. We are a unique research unit established to meet these needs, unparalleled in the country.

2.Graduate education:Seminars and Lectures


After enrollment, students will join a seminar and write a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. In addition, we belong to academic societies and conduct research activities such as conference presentations and submitting papers to academic journals.
Recent topics for the Seminars that our staff is in charge of are as follows.

Faculty Topics
OZAKI Masataka International Comparison of Sport Policies
The Social History of Sport in Australia
SAKA Natsuko Theoretical Studies in the Sociology of Sport/Leisure
Irish Society and Sport
SAKAUE Yasuhiro A Social History of Sports in Japan, with a Focus on Modern and Contemporary Japan
SUZUKI Naofumi Evaluation of social improvement programs through sports, leisure and cultural activities
OKAMOTO Junya Regional revitalization and local development through sport, play, and physical culture
NAKAMURA Hidemasa Organizational theory for effective management of corporate sports clubs and improvement of international competitiveness in elite sports


2)Examples of Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Topics

“Establishment and development process of youth sports organizations”

“The Socio System and Club Management–Focusing on Yokohama FC”

“Sports Policy and Municipalities in the United Kingdom–Regional and Economic Development through Sports”

“Middle and Higher Education and Student Baseball Autonomy in Modern Japan”

“Community Relations and Social Contribution in Professional Sports, Focusing on J-League Activities”

“The Development of Olympic Truce in the Modern Olympic Games”

“Women’s Sports in the Wartime Era: Focusing on State Policy and efforts in the Sports World”

“The Transformation of the Foreign Quota in Japanese Professional Baseball 1951-2003”



In addition to the seminar, students are expected to select several courses according to their individual interests and research needs.
1. Seminar (Supervisor):4 credits
2. Seminar: 4 credits
3. Lecture: 2 credits

Broadly speaking, they can be divided into the above three categories. In order to advance our research, it is important not only to take other seminars and lecture courses related to sports social science, but also to actively absorb research results from adjacent fields. The curriculum is designed to allow students to freely enroll in seminars and lectures in neighboring fields, which are necessary to enrich and deepen their own research themes. Please take full advantage of this environment to advance your research.
Attending lectures given by our staff is another option for acquiring diverse perspectives and knowledge about sports.

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