School of Cultural and Social Studies | Schools and Departments | The Graduate University for Advanced Studies

Schools and Departments

School of Cultural and Social Studies


School of Cultural and Social Studies

The School of Cultural and Social Studies is the only school in humanities at SOKENDAI. The School is affiliated with four Inter-University Research Institutes, (National Museum of Ethnology, International Research Center for Japanese Studies, National Museum of Japanese History, and National Institute of Japanese Literature) and the Open University of Japan (Center of ICT and Distance Education).
The School is comprised of the following six departments. The Department of Regional Studies conducts research and education on ethnic societies and cultures around the world on a regional and individual basis. The Department of Comparative Studies conducts research and education on ethnic society, craftwork, religion, and art using cross-cultural approaches. The Department of Japanese Studies conducts research and education on Japanese society and culture by integrating international comparisons and interdisciplinary perspectives. The Department of Japanese History conducts research and education for the clarification of Japanese history through the collaboration of history, archaeology, folklore, and other related disciplines.

The Department of Cyber Society and Culture provides interdisciplinary and comprehensive education on interactions among media, culture, society, and humans. The Department of Japanese Literature conducts research and education in the comprehensive study of the characteristics of literary resources, the formation and
enjoyment of those works, and the processes and environments in which they were produced. Through the international and interdisciplinary research and education, the School of Cultural and Social Studies aims to nurture talented individuals with broad
perspectives and international awareness.

INAGA Shigemi Dean

Kojima, Michihiro
School of Cultural and Social Studies

Special field:
Medieval and Early Modern History of Japan

Departments under the School

The Department studies the individual cultures of ethnic groups in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania. It considers the characteristics and history of each culture and focuses on describing a culture and understanding its structure using ethnographic methodology. The Department fosters researchers who have high expertise and actively promote the descriptive study of individual cultures based on fieldwork.

The Department of Comparative Studies is designed for students interested in the comparative and cross-cultural study of social systems, religion, technology, languages, arts, and cultural resources. Through the comparative study of ethnic cultures, students are expected to identify the cross-cultural aspects of their research subjects and to develop theoretical interpretations of the comparative data.
To foster researchers with high expertise, we encourage new research methods integrating relevant information technology and interdisciplinary approaches with the traditional anthropological methods.

The Department of Japanese Studies is organized as a single administrative unit in order to facilitate the international and interdisciplinary pursuit of Japanese studies encompassing the humanities, social sciences, as well as natural sciences. A special feature of our graduate study program is that all the faculty participate in teaching and research guidance.
The department requires graduate students to take three courses—”Theory and Methodology in Japanese Studies,” “Interdisciplinary Research,” and “Dissertation Writing Guidance”—which set forth the theoretical and methodological basis for conducting Japanese studies in global perspective. Through these courses and directed research, we hope to foster researchers with creative and highly specialized perspectives who are equipped to undertake comprehensive
approaches of a broad interdisciplinary nature crossing the lines of multiple fields of study.

In the Department of Japanese History, which has the National Museum of Japanese History as its parent institute, researchers specializing in history, archaeology, folklore, and allied disciplines including natural science, provide educational and research opportunities, including fieldwork, from interdisciplinary viewpoints. The most distinctive feature of the Department is that the students can use materials that are stored in the Museum, as well as various tangible and intangible information resources and advanced equipment for scientific analysis. The Department aims to foster researchers who are highly capable of comprehensive material-based analysis of Japanese history and culture and individuals who contribute to society with their broad and international perspectives.

The degree in our department will focus on clarifying the interactive relationships between media / communication technologies, and the socio-cultural aspects of human life. Students will investigate a complex set of interrelationships, which include the various influences that the development of media technologies has had on human communication, thought and action; the sociocultural changes Students will employ research approaches which synthesize methodology and results from various related scientific fields and will have use of cutting edge technology. The program aims to bring up researchers who can open up comprehensive new spheres of inquiry in the field of media technology in its broader sense.

The Department of Japanese Literature is affiliated with the National Institute of Japanese Literature (NIJL) as the parent institute. The NIJL, one of the Inter-University Research Institutes, is an advanced research institute for Japanese literature and collects and studies an enormous volume of academic information based on research of original literary materials. The Department guides students to become independent researchers through dissertation/thesis guidance and, in the use of the collection of original texts and literary resources at the NIJL, provides students with an education focusing on mastering of specialized research and investigation techniques and the acquisition of comprehensive analytic ability.
The Department aims to nurture researchers who are international-minded with broad perspectives and contribute to societies by providing students with education through
systematic curriculums under a system which provides guidance to students from a group of faculty members, as well as from individual faculty members.