3.Prof. Kimiyo Hirai



In ‘Conahana-san of the Month’, we introduce roll-models as researcher, and also experiences of senior female researchers who have been successfully managed their work-life balance between research/work and life events such as childbirth, child care and family care.

 ◆Prof. Kimiyo Hirai

<Major field>
 Pedagogy, Business Administration

Advanced Studies on Transforming Educational Practice of Master of Education’s Course, Graduate School of Education


For this edition, we interviewed Prof. Hirai from the Faculty of Education and Human Sciences about her career as a researcher.
Prof. Hirai has very deep and wide knowledge.  Let’s see what she studies.

Before the interview, I as interviewer had only a rough image that a professor from the Faculty of Education and Human Sciences is ‘a teacher for the to-be teachers’.  Then what and how does the ‘teacher for the to-be teachers’  study?
Not yet at all to understand the profession of ‘researcher’ (^^;) Now let’s visit Prof. Hirai, who is also a member of this Support Office.

●Hello, Ms. Hirai.  May I come in?

Welcome.  Ah, you have a nice camera like professional crew.  Are you going to take any picture in this room?  I did a bit of cleaning but still looks messy, doesn’t it?  Hope that you can find a good angle to make it look like a tidy space.

 ●Easy with my camera work (lol) but it looks decent anyway.
But would you mind if I ask how many books you have here?
Have you read this all?

Oh no, not that all the books I completely finished.  Some of them, I just read partially.  Most of technical books I usually need will not have additional edition.  So I get it whenever I find it or need it before it goes off the market.  It might look being piled up randomly but actually sorted out by category, and if you allow me to flatter myself, I’m smart enough to know which is where, (lol).


●All the files here are organized with labels by era on the spine.
Shelves are also decorated with some souvenirs and commemoratives.
So, what is the theme of your study?

I research history of education during the World War Two and the time under occupation. Under the name of ‘Study on Systemizing Process of School Management Related Organizations during the Under-Occupation Period of Japan’, I look for Monjo, old documents of that time, as many as possible, then read, organize and understand more and more, finally I may discover something there. 

●Mo…monjo?  The word doesn’t sound familiar. (phew)

You haven’t seen any?  Probably it’s not something you see around often.

(searching document…) Here, something like this.  Various old documents what we call ‘Monjo’ are saved in microfiche like this and I borrow copies from the National Diet Library and so on.


 ●Wow, this is Monjo.  They look like something contains secret to be discovered!

Really? (lol) Good. Here I printed out only those pages I needed out of them… just a part of the entire copy.

 ●That’s intense!  You read them all, didn’t you?  It’s in English and tons of pages!!

That’s what I do.  I pick up information from these documents, and further narrow down or search for information nobody ever knew so far, that’s what history research is all about.  My current research is about roots of education during and post the WW2 according to the old writings.

●(There was a detailed explanation about the documents which was truly interesting, however, we cannot write that here unfortunately as it may include top secret information(?) of the study.)
So you spend lots of time to read, don’t you?


Yes, I do.  First of all, I don’t recommend this job if you don’t like reading.  But it must be truly a fun job for someone who can enjoy studying by reading, researching and thinking on the theme.  It could be a dream job if studying means something enjoyable to you and you can have it as your job.

● I totally understand!  Stimulation on intellectual curiosity is truly enjoyable.  I enjoyed classes in undergraduate.

Well, actually I didn’t enjoy studying at all when I was in undergraduate. 


Interviewer is a bit panicked by her totally unexpected answer.
What does she mean? Let’s find out in the next edition!

<I was always curious about charming accessories you wear.“Earrings give me headache but I wear necklaces and rings. I found this one at Iwami Silver Mine, I liked the unique design. ”