No.083 - Interview with Former Liberal Arts Communicator OISHI Yuka, Lecturer at Kobe University Graduate School of Intercultural Studies

Ōishi Yuka, Lecturer at Kobe University
Graduate School of Intercultural Studies

We caught up with OISHI Yuka, who served as liberal arts communicator from 2018 to 2020 before taking up her current position as lecturer at Kobe University.


When you were serving as a liberal arts communicator, how did you envision the next step of your career?

I wanted to find a position in research at a university or research institute. I also had my eye on a possible overseas research fellowship through the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Researchers of my generation around me were all settling down in regular jobs, so I began applying to anywhere I would be able to engage in research.


How did things change for you after assuming your position at Kobe University?

I’m now very busy with teaching and administrative duties. I’m finding it difficult to work at my preferred pace and my research projects are not going as well as I would like.


Tell us what you like about Kobe University—what makes it distinctive?

I like the fact that sometimes wild boars wander onto campus.

A wild boar roaming about the campus.

A wild boar roaming about the campus.
Photo by OISHI Yuka at Kobe University in August 2021.


What do you think about diversity in and the significance of research results other than scholarly publications in the field of cultural anthropology?

I think scholarly publications are the most important. I haven’t thought much about diversity of research results.


Are there any skills that you cultivated during your years as a liberal arts communicator that are serving you well in your current position?

Yes, by visiting the Printing Museum, Tokyo and other locations I learned about things I hadn’t much thought of before: like branding—how to utilize a consistent graphic design even for the flyers for an event and having an influential figure serve as an ambassador to promote it—things that are quite common in advertising. I am now able to observe the publication or dissemination of the results of research from that perspective.
Even more useful today than skills, I might say, is networking. I had the opportunity to work with science communicators at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, and former science communicators are now active in various positions and I meet them often. I am very grateful for this network.


Do you have a message for others who might wish to become liberal arts communicators?

Once you find employment at a university or other institution, you become very busy, so it is a good idea to pursue research and related interests while you are in the liberal arts communicator position.


(Interviewer: OHBA Go, Researcher, Center for Innovative Research, National Institutes for the Humanities)


Lecturer, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University. Born in 1982 in Shizuoka prefecture, Ōishi received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the Graduate School of Humanities, Tokyo Metropolitan University in 2018. She was a postdoctoral fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University; liberal arts communicator, National Institutes for the Humanities Center for Information and Public Relations; and project assistant professor, National Museum of Ethnology before assuming her current position in 2020.


Photo by Ms. ASAI Aya in
Okayama in September, 2022