Graduate School of LettersStudy Areas of Graduate School
The Graduate School of Letters consists of 4 divisions covering a wide and diverse range of subjects which are further divided into 20 departments staffed by over 110 faculty members making the school one of the top centers of excellence in the study of humanities.
Philosophy and Cultural Sciences
The areas studied in this division include western philosophy, ethics and applied ethics, religious studies, Indian philosophy, and theory and history of arts. Each area requires ceaseless enhancement of thinking ability, mental perceptiveness and expressiveness in order to absorb and expand human thought and culture. Depending on the subject area it is essential to learn both foreign languages and classical languages for full-fledged studies of major texts and works in individual areas. Broadly speaking, this division is characterized by its wide research focus, ranging from traditional basic research to contemporary research about such issues as religious phenomena, bioethics and environmental ethics.
History and Area Studies
This division aims to re-examine the methods of comprehending the whole world by opening up new horizons in historical and cultural studies, adopting a cross-regional perspective, and by shedding light on the geographical areas marginalized in conventional history and area studies which have traditionally adopted longitudinal approaches. This education and research is also geared to discovering pathways to the solutions of current regional conflicts by uncovering the process of formation, development, succession and changes of regional histories and cultures, taking into account issues of ethnic sentiments and cultural identity underpin those conflicts.
Linguistics and Literature
This division includes education and research focusing on “letters,” namely linguistics of various languages and literature written in these languages. Basic research of this nature is then applied to comprehensive studies on comparative linguistics, linguistic sociology, interrelationships between country-specific literature and literary theory, while paving the way for collaborations between linguistics and literary study through shared methods, such as discourse analysis. The study of “letters” is strongly linked to issues of information processing nowadays. Therefore, empirical research into general theories on linguistic information using methods of information science has recently been added to this division.
Joining the perspectives from four fields, psychology, sociology, behavior science, and regional science, the goal of this research and education is to understand human beings in the context of the individual as well as in the context of the group across a myriad of communities, with an emphasis on an integrative comprehension of their interrelations by taking environmental factors into account.