Goals, Activities, and History of the Institute

Purpose and Significance

The Institute of Islamic Area Studies was established in 2022 as a research unit of the Research Organization's Permanent Research Division of Sophia University. Its purpose is to further develop the University's accumulated knowledge of Islamic area studies. The Institute is also collaborating with the Sophia Institute of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Studies (IAAMES) and many other research institutes within the university, as well as with the educational activities of the Faculty of Global Studies and the Graduate Program in Area Studies in the Graduate School of Global Studies. The Institute also works closely with several research and educational institutions in related fields both at home and abroad, and is tied to the university's overseas Catholic network to enhance multifaceted research on Islam as a global issue.

Sophia University participated as one of the research centers in the networked research project "Islamic Area Studeis" funded by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (1997-2001), and later in the NIHU (National Institutes for the Humanities) Program "Islamic Area Studies" (Phase I: 2006-2010, Phase II: 2011-2015). For these projects, the Sophia Center for Islamic Studies was established as a section of the IAAMES in 2006. After working as a unit of the NIHU Area Studies Project for the Modern Middle East (2016-2021), the Center was re-organized as the Institute of Islamic Area Studies (SIAS) in 2022. It is the first research institute in Sophia University to be converted from a time-limited research center to a permanent research institute in recognition of its 16 years of activities. For past research projects undertaken by the Center for Islamic Studies, please see the sidebar.


  • AKOHORI Masayuki(Director of the Institute of Islamic Area Studies. Professor of Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University)
  • ABE Ruri(Professor of Faculty of Humanities, Sophia University)
  • INABA Nanako(Professor of Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University)
  • IWASAKI Erina(Professor of Faculty of Foreign Studies, Sophia University)
  • KUSHIMOTO Hiroko(Associate Professor of Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University)
  • SAWAE Fumiko(Professor of Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University)
  • TSUJIGAMI Namie(Professor of Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University)
  • YAMAGUCHI Akihiko(Professor of Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University)
  • YUASA Takeshi (Pfofessor of Faculty of Foreign Studies, Sophia University)

Honorary Fellows

  • KAWASHIMA Midori (Honorary professor of Sophia University)
  • KISAICHI Masatoshi (Honorary professor of Sophia University)

Postdoctoral Fellow

  • UCHIYAMA Chie (PD Fellow, Institute of Islamic Area Studies, Sophia University)

Guest Research Fellows

  • KONDO Fumiya(Research Promoter (Postdoctor), Organization for the Strategic Coordination of Research and Intellectual Properties, Meiji University)
  • SHIRATANI Nozomi(Associate Professor of School of Foreign Studies, Aichi Prefectural University)
  • TAKAHASHI Masahide(Senior Research Fellow, Middle East Institute of Japan)
  • TONAGA Yasushi(Professor of Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University)

Joint Research Fellows

  • FUKUNAGA Koichi(Part-time Lecturer, Center for Language Education and Research, Sophia University)
  • KIM Shinwoo(Officer of Research Operations Department, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO)
  • OKADO Masaki(Part-time Lecturer, Faculty of International Relations, Daito Bunka University)

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