Liberal Arts and Humanities

Philosophy, Ethics, and Art History

Forests of Human Intellectual Heritage Where Wisdom Can Take a Breath Encountering New Values Hidden Deep in the World of Profundity

Philosophy, ethics and art history have the values of truth, goodness and beauty at their core. By questioning all concepts of learning and knowledge, they consider various problems in our lives at a fundamental level.

Philosophy teaches us diverse ways of thinking, and how to expand the possibilities of thought.

Ethics is a discipline that seeks to understand humans from a broad perspective by questioning human actions (“What should I do?”) and human existence (“Why am I here?”).

Art history fosters the ability to consider and empirically pursue the functions and meanings of the works of art and other visual representations that humans creates, thereby understanding human ways of thinking and eras.

These disciplines cultivate the abilities to think, act and feel that are necessary to live in society, nurturing the applied skills that help us live happier lives.

Objectives: Feel, Think and Act

Deep learning in each one of these disciplines is designed to help students attain systematic knowledge and practical applied skills. They cultivate the ability to feel, think and appropriately judge matters, as well as the ability to flexibly communicate and accurately take in the visual information that permeates everyday life.

Philosophy cultivates the ability to think freely about topics in a multifaceted fashion, through understanding what matters the people of other cultures and eras have debated and how they resolved numerous problems. Ethics is based on theories developed according to the wisdom of people from all eras and places. This wisdom fosters the ability to addresses how humans should live, explore how humans should think about problems in society and life, and how to put these theories into practice. Art history cultivates the ability to empirically consider and rationally analyze works of art based on historical and social contexts.

In addition to those who seek jobs with private corporations or to become civil servants or teachers, this program produces large numbers of art gallery and museum curators as well as specialized researchers.

Features: Cultivation of Universal and Critical Viewpoints

Students who select this program also choose a research field. In philosophy, students take traditional Western philosophical arguments within the context of the current era, interpret and expand them in practical terms, and learn debate and a wide range of solutions based on a foundation of logic and clarity that can be applied now. Students of ethics take their cues from the ethical thinking of the West and Japan. They consider the universal problem of how humans should behave—as well as specific and individual problems regarding how they themselves should behave—all in pursuit of the essence of what it means to “live well.” Students of art history consider a diverse range of images, including painting, sculptures, photographs, decorations and even advertisements, precisely extract their meanings through repeated discussion, and polish their ability to grasp the art from their own perspectives. Students can specialize in their own fields or explore other areas as well by combining their specialties with other secondary programs or interdisciplinary programs in the Faculty of Letters and Education to create their own unique approaches.

Comparative History

A Time Machine Sets Out through Space and Time
An Exciting World of Knowledge Leading to the Future with an Eye on the Past

Comparative history covers all past human activities that have occurred on our vast globe. Humans explore history in response to a strong instinct to understand their roots. During that endeavor, we discover solutions to the problems people faced in past eras.

During the current era of globalization, the need to uncover the diverse cultures of humanity while looking for a trajectory of Japan in this world has only grown more urgent.

Comparative history is based on the three regional pillars of Japanese history, Asian history, and Western history. This program seeks to paint a new picture of world history by comparing regions and eras in various ways and moving through history in vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions.

Objective: A Regional Crossover

The program’s goal is to view history from a comparative perspective using two methods. The first method is to clarify interactions between ethnic groups and cultures. The world has been shaped by a variety of different contacts between Japan, China, Korea, Europe, the Islamic region, and so on. The second method is to make comparisons based on themes. Some phenomena, such as festivals and families, are shared throughout the world and across the ages. By comparing these phenomena, we can bring into focus the shared issues of humanity, as well as the characteristics of specific regions and eras. To attain perspective on such comparisons, it is vital to interact with people from many different regions. Therefore, in addition to friendships with exchange students, going abroad is a way to gain positive and informative experiences and insights.

Major career options include working for a wide range of private corporations in the fields of finance, the media and IT, as well as the civil service, teaching and continuing on to graduate school.

Features: Taking on the Challenges of Writing, Languages and Objects

Although most materials used in the study of history exist in written form, many other sources are also examined, including archeological sites, buildings, paintings, photographs, tools used in everyday life and so on. Historians collect, organize and analyze a wide range of different historical materials, assemble a set of clarified facts, and reconsider their logic over and over again to ensure that it is coherent. 

Historians also work in different languages. With proficiency in multiple languages, you can enjoy reading historical materials in the original text, including classical Chinese, cursive Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, English, German, French, Latin and others.

Between twenty and thirty students are taught in eight seminars, based on a complete terakoya (Japanese private educational institutions during the Edo Period) methodology. You will be amazed to find that after the first year even obscure historical materials no longer scare you. Take trips around the world without leaving the classroom as you reproduce society in the different eras of each region by deciphering historical materials.


Tying Knowledge of the Earth and Humanity Together with “Place” to Survive Intellectually

Where are you now on planet Earth? Once you know your own position, you’ll naturally want to know what kind of place you are in. What forms of society and nature are found there, and what kinds of principles led to their formation? Various questions spur new interests one after the other.

Curiosity and an interest in the Earth and humanity are indispensable to surviving intellectually in this world. Geography addresses these questions by exploring the places you specialize in so that anyone anywhere can share your experience and knowledge. Geography is a broad field that goes beyond the framework of Earth and humanity to consider the nature, society and people of a specific place with a strong interest based on keywords such as space, environment, landscape, and region. It is an ideal discipline for students with an inquisitive nature.

Objective: Fostering Local Knowledge and Practical Skills

Geography is an integrated science that considers and ties together knowledge in the Earth and humanity as part of the university’s education and research on the local scale. Geography also features the elements of applied and policy science in the sense that it inspires solutions to various realistic problems in society. This program fosters the multi-scale geographic sense and knowledge necessary to solve real problems on the local, national and global scales, in areas including economic stimulation, regional planning, urban issues, issues related to the declining birthrate and the aging population, welfare, disaster prevention, environmental issues and others.

Most of our program graduates enter fields that take advantage of their specialty. This includes civil servants working in regional and traffic planning departments, as well as graduates working for private corporations such as the media, railways, department stores, construction and real estate, information systems, map construction, think tanks and so on. Practical and applied skills in geography are put to work.

Features: Respect a Wide Range of Themes and Skills

Students in the Geography program attain a wide range of geographical knowledge through lectures and seminars on topics such as economics, society, cities and the environment. To learn about geography’s unique analytical perspectives and methods, students also take courses in subjects such as fieldwork (around the Tokyo area and throughout Japan), maps and GIS, regional statistical analysis, questionnaire surveys, and field observations.

This curriculum gives students basic geographical skills and a geographical sense that enables them to think in terms of place and region about the problems facing Earth and humanity that fields such as the liberal arts and humanities, sociology, and natural science raise. In their graduation theses, students apply the knowledge, skills and sense they have gained through their classes to research based on themes set in any region each student pursues. Geography students may choose from a wide range of themes when writing their graduation theses.

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