Outline(The Division of Comparative Literature and Cultures)

28.03.2016 Update


The framework of modern education developed in the 20th century cannot easily adapt to the social, political, and economic changes of the global 21st century. In the face of this situation, it is necessary to create a new educational framework from within and transcend the old academic fields for interdisciplinary research. However, it is equally important in this age of globalization to respect regional cultures and societies, to nurture areas of expertise, to pass on universal truths gleaned from years of cumulative scholarship, and to acquire a broad perspective for navigating the changes progressing on a global scale. The pursuit of interdisciplinary and comprehensive research first requires possession of specialized knowledge in a given area. For this reason, in the Comparative Studies of Societies and Cultures master's program, the fundamentals of specialized research gained in undergraduate work are built upon and further developed with the aim of true expertise in matters of society and culture. Simultaneously, students will acquire extensive knowledge based on wide, varied fields of scholarship, and work in coordination with related fields in preparation for interdisciplinary research in the doctoral program.

Departments in nine fields of study are established as follows.

In the field of language and culture, four departments are established for the improvement of language skills and the deepening of human understanding through area/cultural studies based on language and literature studies: Japanese Language and Literature; Asian Languages, Literature and Culture; English and French Languages, Literature and Culture; Applied Japanese Linguistics. In the sociocultural field, three departments -- Philosophy, History and Art History, Cultural and Historical Studies -- are established for the study of global regions from the viewpoints of philosophy, history, and life and culture. The aims of research are to further the understanding of societies and cultures and to encourage international research with a focus on comparative studies.

In the field of artistic expression, two departments -- Dance and Music -- are established to provide a synergetic learning environment that encourages both theoretical studies on artistic expression and improving performance skills.

In addition, Comparative Studies of Societies and Cultures hosts an interdisciplinary, university-wide program called "Cultural Management" to broaden the social applications of cultural studies and to enhance the fundamental skills of cultural studies experts. Furthermore, collaborative education and learning opportunities with schools abroad are provided to promote interdisciplinary, international education grounded in fields of expertise. Students will learn an attitude of self-reliance and self-awareness in the process of conducting research in a global environment.

Department of Japanese Language and Literature

In this department, Japanese language and literature are studied in depth and by using a variety of methodologies.

Representative literary works and genres from each of the historical periods are examined, with the ultimate objective being a better understanding of the essence of Japanese culture.

Department of Asian Languages, Literature and Culture

In this department we conduct research on the language and culture of the Chinese speaking world including such places as China (including Hong Kong), and Southeast Asia. Both comparative literature research on the reception and dissemination of classical Chinese literature in Japan, and comparative research on Chinese and other languages, especially Japanese are also conducted. We also put emphasis on training skilled teachers of Chinese language.

Department of English and French Languages, Literatures and Cultures

This department is divided into two separate degree programs: English and French. The first degree is a master's in "Language and Culture of the English-speaking World". The second degree is a master's in "Language and Culture of the French-speaking World". In both degree programs, the field of study is largely divided into literary and linguistic areas. The literary area deals with both the literature and culture of the English- or French-speaking world. The linguistic area covers English linguistics, French linguistics and linguistics-based studies of English teaching. Both English and French degrees can include comparative studies, or research on mutual influence, of the two languages, literatures and cultures.

Department of Applied Japanese Linguistics

This course was designed in response to the international demand for Japanese language teachers. Training and practical experience are provided for scholars and future teachers of Japanese language, as are refresher courses for those presently teaching Japanese as a second language.

Department of philosophy

This department is divided into the Philosophy course and the Ethics (Japanese History of Ethical Thought) course. The study and education of the philosophy course concentrates on Western philosophy. Especially, the education aims at improving student's competence in fundamental and analytical thinking by means of discussion on various and tangible problems. The study and education of the Ethics (Japanese History of Ethical Thought) course concentrates on exact reading and survey on Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The academic activity aims at the clarification of the essence of Japanese thought from broad perspective.

Department of History and Art History

The research in this department is conducted on both history and art history. The art history course focuses on the history of South Asian and Buddhist art, and the history of modern and contemporary Western art. The history course focuses on three major areas: Japanese history, Asian history, and Western history. While developing the ability to learn the history and art history of these areas as a major, the students are expected to freely make comparisons between cultures, regions or time periods, regardless of countries or time periods, so that they can explore the world of history and art history vertically, horizontally, and even diagonally

Department of Cultural and Historical Studies

This department looks at the diversity of human life, mainly by adopting methods and theories of human science. Our subjects include crafts, residences, clothes in Europe and Japan, and human activities related to them. These topics need to be discussed and assessed in a broader context and this is the reason why we also cover theories of comparative culture, folklore, European mode, and aesthetics. We expect our students not only to obtain a deep understanding of daily life, but also to disseminate it to the world.

Department of Dance

Comprehensive research and education is conducted from an interdisciplinary perspective which encompasses art, ethnicity and education as keys to dance and expressive movement. To fill practical needs, knowledge of theories and science is taught to ensure that graduates become well-rounded such as researchers, directors and performers.

Department of Music

Research in this department is conducted on both the theory and practice of music, which we view as a representation of culture. From a theoretical perspective we examine the correlation between society and culture (including music) of the world. From a practical perspective we concentrate on Western keyboard music and voice, conduct empirical research on expressive techniques, and train performers of international caliber.

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