Faculty of Arts and Literature
The Faculty of Arts and Literature consists of six departments: Japanese Literature, English, Arts, Cultural History, Mass Communications, and European Cultural Studies. The objective of this Faculty is to give students a deep and clear understanding of our dynamic modern world in terms of cultural, social and historical perspectives. Students are required to be proﬁcient not only in Japanese but in many languages, such as English, German, French, Chinese and Italian. Working from the foundation of these language studies, students major in various topics, such as art, music, ﬁlm and folklore, as well as literature, history and philosophy, acquiring a broad perspective through interdisciplinary research. For this reason our Faculty is called ‘Arts and Literature,’ as opposed to other universities' Literature faculties. Small classes encourage in-depth discussions, broaden students’ perspectives, and develop critical faculties and ﬂexible thinking; in this way our Faculty helps students to develop into highly original and receptive individuals. We believe this approach enables us to equip our graduates with the necessary skills for success in our complex and rapidly changing society.
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The Department of Japanese Literature offers research opportunities in the ﬁelds of Japanese literature, Japanese linguistics, and Chinese classical literature. Japanese literature studies are grounded in canonical works such as the Ise Monogatari and Manyoshu, but also cover a wide range of classical, modern, and contemporary literature. In Japanese linguistics, the Japanese language is studied from historical, phonetic, and grammatical perspectives. Courses are also offered on the history of writing and calligraphy. Students of the Chinese classical literature course compare Japanese and Chinese literary works, and study Chinese poetry and other Chinese literary works.
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Offering courses in literatures in English, cultural studies, and linguistics, the curriculum at the Department of English strikes a balance between traditional disciplines and new ﬁelds of study. Students choosing to specialize in literature may study British and American literature as well as works in English by writers from other countries. Those who choose to pursue cultural studies have the opportunity to explore the cultures of English-speaking societies using visual, literary and electronic media. Linguistics students approach the English language by studying sound (phonology) and grammar (syntax) as well as sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and psycholinguistics.
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The Department of Art Studies offers research opportunities in the ﬁelds of aesthetics, musicology, drama studies, film studies, and history of art (Japanese, Eastern, and Western). The Department also places a heavy emphasis on art appreciation and practical training. The Department conducts trips to Nara and Kyoto to view ancient works of art, and offers training in research techniques such as handling research materials and drafting survey drawings.
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The Department of Cultural History had its origin in and still specializes in the well-known scholar Kunio Yanagita's tradition of Japanese Folklore Studies (minzokugaku), but now takes an updated interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to culture and society of all periods and places. Each of our students specializes in one of our three ﬁelds: Japanese History, Japanese Folklore Studies, or Socio-cultural Anthropology. Academic studies are supplemented by ﬁeld work, as well as practical anthropological training including interviewing and ﬁeld research techniques. Students are encouraged to question generally accepted authorities in the field, to rethink the relationships between the margins and the center, and to explore socially relevant cultural history.
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The Department of Mass Communications offers courses in mass media and journalism and in related ﬁelds such as social psychology, advertising psychology, communication theory, and social research methods. Our goal is to provide in-depth understanding and to foster the capacity for critical judgment regarding the uses and nature of mass communication. Prominent professionals offer special lectures in the ﬁeld of mass communication. Completion of the basic curriculum in the ﬁrst two years is followed by seminar-style studies. Students are also required to write a graduation thesis.
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The cultures of France and Germany and the regions under their inﬂuence are the subjects of this Faculty’s research. The Department places a strong emphasis on foreign languages: students select either German or French as their primary foreign language. Courses also cover French and German literature, art, philosophy, history, linguistics, and current affairs in Europe and Western classical literature. In addition, we offer classes in Greek and Latin. In these classes, we work to cultivate a fundamental understanding of the cultures of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, as well as the linguistics of Greek and Latin.
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