TOP / Activities / Tatsuhiko Inatani

Explore new Japanese jurisprudence and disseminating it to the world

  • Tatsuhiko Inatani
  • Tatsuhiko Inatani
  • 2013 (2nd cohort)


Associate Professor, Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University
Dispatched to:
Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and the University of Chicago
At a Harvard University workshop with colleagues
Taking a walk at sunset with family in Paris on Bastille Day, 14 July
What are you focusing on during your fellowship period?

Since the Meiji Restoration in 1868, research on Japanese jurisprudence has focused on comparative law, and the main movement of jurisprudence has been to import “advanced” law systems to Japan from developed countries.

However, questions involving the basis of jurisprudence research, such as what the intellectual activity used to “compare” is, or what an “advanced” law system is, have not been fully analyzed because modernization through the succession of Western law was considered an a priori goal. Considering these issues, I am conducting a critical study on ways in which comparative law can be accepted even in today’s globalized and multipolarized world as well as on its application to the criminal justice system from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Could you explain briefly what exactly you have been doing during the International Fellowship period?

Last year at Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, I analyzed a series of problems inevitably faced by modern law in the present globalized day when a clash of values has become obvious and contemplated what new jurisprudence should be from a philosophical point of view. This year at the University of Chicago, I am exploring an interdisciplinary method of study and deepening my knowledge about neighboring sciences in order to materialize the result of my contemplations last year.

While the basis of my daily research is an intensive review of literature, I gain great inspiration through interaction with researchers from various areas at the meetings I attend. At the same time, I am trying to acquire “working knowledge” through occasional field work such as interviews.

Please give your feedback on the International Fellowship Program.

Thanks to the generous support I receive from the International Fellowship Program, I could also take my wife and child with me without worry. I believe each member of my family has grown through the experience. In particular, my point of view was greatly expanded as the support enabled me to participate in research meetings in remote places and to conduct active field research. I recommend that researchers who have a strong desire to study abroad apply to the Fellowship Program because there is no other fellowship that provides such generous support.

How do you want to build on your studies in the US after returning to Japan?

The most impressive aspect of the Fellowship period was that legal scholars with strong determination from various countries are struggling to seek a way in which new jurisprudence can be applied in the crisis of modern law systems caused by the erosion of modern values. Therefore, as one of the legal scholars who explore the state of modern law while living in this globalized world, I would like not only to seek new Japanese jurisprudence but also contribute to carving out a path through this difficult time with peers in countries of the world by disseminating the results of my exploration.