Educational Philosophy

The Humanities Major uses research and lectures on the theory and practical application of the arts and sciences to give students advanced knowledge and skills in these areas. At the same time, the major strives to foster advanced professionals and human capital with high-level intellectual grounding that includes a broad, interdisciplinary perspective and suitable problem solving capabilities. These objectives are given specific details in the Diploma Policy below.

Two Education and Research Fields

1. Human Cultural Research
Elucidation of the deeper layers of human culture; harmonization of the arts and sciences; research into the cultures of regional societies

Multi-faceted education and research will be carried out while reassessing, from various perspectives, the culture created by humans. Focus areas are diverse and interconnected. They will include the meaning of human existence, the role of morality and religion, approaches to understanding art, principles of human conduct and action, structures of human relationships within society, regional lifestyles pursued within the natural environment, survey research of cultural assets, and historical changes in Japan, Asia, and the West. The multiple layers of culture spanning deep fundamentals to superficial levels will be researched from focused and interdisciplinary approaches.

2. Linguistic Cultural Research
Deepening linguistic communication; fusing creativity and intelligence; research linguistic culture

The linguistic cultures of Japan, Asia, and the West will be examined from the perspective of the extremely central role of language in cultural formation. Addressing the functions and structures of multiple languages will provide a means to elucidating the characteristics of each. Additionally, a comprehensive study of literature as an art composed through language, and a focus on the culture generated by literature, will illuminate the cultural qualities of each. While extending their linguistic capabilities, students will engage in education and research that enhances their cultural sensitivity and their understanding of other cultures.

Ideal target students and their method of selection
We strive to foster graduates with the capacities noted below.

Diploma Policy(Policy for conferring degrees; capacities students are expected to have mastered at graduation)

  1. Knowledge/Understanding
  2. Students are expected to possess advanced, specialized knowledge in the arts and sciences.
  3. Thinking/Judgment
  4. Students are expected to demonstrate and interdisciplinary perspectives and advanced research skills in the many academic areas of the humanities, while being able to independently identify and pursue problems and issues to explore.
  5. Interest/Enthusiasm
  6. Students are expected to verify and test the interrelationships between advanced, specialized knowledge and real-world society, while demonstrating an awareness of their own role therein.
  7. Attitude
  8. Students are expected to apply advanced, specialized knowledge in real-world society and contribute to supporting the intellectual structure of society.
  9. Skills/Expression
  10. Students are expected to communicate accurate and concise advanced, specialized knowledge to a general audience.

Curriculum Policy(Curriculum for attaining the abilities noted above)

Education and research will be carried out in the two academic fields of Human Cultural Research and Linguistic Cultural Research.

Human Cultural Research will include addressing the meaning of human existence, the role of morality and religion, approaches to understanding art, principles of human conduct and action, structures of human relationships within society, regional lifestyles pursued within the natural environment, survey research of cultural assets, and historical changes in Japan, Asia, and the West. Multi-faceted perspectives will be adopted while reassessing these topics using focused and interdisciplinary approaches to examine the deep fundamentals and superficial levels of culture.

Linguistic Cultural Research will include addressing the functions and structures of multiple languages, in addition to focused and interdisciplinary inquiries into literature as an art composed through language, as well as the culture generated by literature, in order to illuminate the particular linguistic cultures of Japan, Asia, and the West.

Taking both fields together, students will develop advanced linguistic capabilities, while engaging in education and research that enhances their cultural sensitivity and their understanding of other cultures.

Both fields will require a total of 30 (or more) credit hours, including two mandatory credit hours in Fundamentals of Human Cultural Research, two mandatory credit hours in Applied Human Cultural Research, four mandatory credit hours each in Research Topics and Seminars, both led by their advising faculty (their lead faculty advisor and sub-faculty advisor), twelve or more elective credit hours in courses offered in the Humanities Major, and six or more elective credit hours in courses offered in the Graduate School of Law & Literature. Students who are admitted through the General Selection process and non-Japanese students admitted through the special International Student Selection Process are also required to take six or more credit hours in Special Topics, while students admitted through the Non-Traditional Student Selection Process are required to take four or more credit hours in Special Topics. Additionally, all students will be required to write a Master’s Thesis following the research guidance of their advisors.

Admission Policy(Capabilities required for studying the curriculum noted above)

  1. Knowledge/Understanding
  2. Students who possess fundamental knowledge (equivalent to that from completing an undergraduate degree) in the specialized academic content and methods of the arts and sciences.
  3. Thinking/Judgment
  4. Students who are able to independently select research topics using the research methods of one of the specialized fields of the arts and sciences.
  5. Interest/Enthusiasm/Attitude
  6. Students who possess an interest in advanced research in the arts and sciences and who would like to contribute to the intellectual development of a vibrant society through the specialized knowledge they gain.
  7. Skills/Expression
  8. Students who are able to accurately communicate their own research topics using oral presentation and written language skills.

Selection process(Methods for selecting students with the capabilities noted above)

General Selection
A specialized exam will be administered in order to assess whether students have the fundamental knowledge and comprehension ability required for research in each focus area. Also note that, depending on the focus area, reading comprehension ability in a foreign language may also be assessed in the specialized exam.
Oral test questions will assess whether students have the fundamental knowledge and comprehension ability required for research in each focus area, in addition to a motivation to engage in and plan approaches to research.
Non-Traditional Student Selection
The process will include the same specialized exam and oral test questions as the General Selection process.
International Student Selection Process
A specialized exam will be administered in order to assess whether students have the fundamental knowledge and comprehension ability required for research in each focus area. Also note that, depending on the focus area, reading comprehension and functional ability in the Japanese language (at a graduate degree level) may also be assessed in the specialized exam.
The oral test questions will be the same as for the General Selection process.
Specialized Exam
Students sitting the exam will be asked to select one of the following subjects.
Philosophy & Ethics (including psychology and the history of thought in Japan), Cultural Expression Studies, Sociology (including Cultural Anthropology), Geography, Archeology, Japanese History, Eastern History (including East Asian Cultural Studies), Western History, Linguistics (including Korean Linguistic Cultural Studies), Japanese Linguistics & Literature (including Comparative Linguistics and Literature), Chinese Literature & Chinese Philosophy, English Literature (including British-American Communication Studies), British Literature & Culture, American Literature & Culture, German Literature & Culture, French Literature & Culture.
Open Selection Process
Without utilizing a specialized exam, this process will use an interview and a short thesis covering the student’s stated research plan, and will emphasize students’ fitness and potential capacity for the program, their motivation toward academic pursuits, and their fitness for planning and managing academic pursuits.

*For details, please see the Graduate School of Law & Literature Student Selection Guidelines (Master’s Degree).