The Faculty of Letters is made up of the five departments listed below. These departments are closely related to one another in that they each study problems common to mankind. They actively exchange information pertaining to education and research activities.
Current events in countries necessarily have causality in history. Therefore, historians may find the key to solving the problems of the present in the past. History may be considered an unending dialogue between the present and the past. It is very important for historians to confirm that which is true fact. In defining history as the record of the past, the department aims to deepen students' historical understanding and interest and to enable them to contribute to contemporary society.
Individual students are expected to major in Japanese, Asian and Western History. Students can study not only their field of specialization, but also what have been referred to as auxiliary sciences of History Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology and so forth. Having courses in Japanese, Asian and Western history makes this department unique in the central part of Japan.
The department aims to capture Japanese culture in its dynamism by focusing upon its interaction with foreign cultures, because the department views Japanese culture as a product of ongoing interaction with foreign cultures. The department, therefore, finds it critical to understand the impact of Asian culture on the formation of traditional Japanese culture, particularly up to the Meiji Restoration, and the impact of European and American cultures upon the formation of modern Japanese culture.
In order to acquire specialized knowledge about Japanese culture, students can major in one of four areas of specialization, namely, 1) Language, 2) Literature, 3) Thought and Art, 4) Society and Folklore.
In addition to furnishing its students with knowledge about Japanese culture, the department also trains its students in communicative English so that they can present to the people of the world indigenous views about Japanese culture based on acquired knowledge.Literature Society and Folklore Thought and Art
The department has three avowed objectives. First, it attempts to enhance the students' understanding of cultures of two areas: the cultures of the English-speaking peoples of the Pan-Pacific area and Europe, and the cultures of the English societies of Asia. Second, it offers a thorough grounding in the English language, since it regards English as the critical instrument for intercultural communication and area studies.Third, it offers some special courses in Japanese culture and language to students from abroad. In fulfilling these objectives, the department aims to produce graduates capable of living and working within an international milieu.
The Department of Global English is not only dedicated to developing students?Ecommunicative skills in English, but it is also aimed at producing professionals who can meet the growing English language needs of the 21st century. This department is based on the concept of “English for Specific Purposes?E(ESP), which means that the curriculum is focused on developing in students practical English capabilities that correspond to the specific language needs of a particular occupational area. The areas of focus are:
- Situations within a variety of corporate and social institutions in which practical English proficiency is necessary.
- The field of air travel, tourism and interpretation/translation.
- The field of English education.
Through an ESP framework, the Department of Global English will allow individual students first to set their own goals for studying English and then pursue those goals, while also focusing on passing various practical certification exams.
The curriculum is structured in a manner to help students improve their productive English skills, and achieve success on a variety of work-related certification exams. The learning environment of the department provides students with an opportunity to study English intensively, in a manner that is usually only found when studying in a native speaking culture abroad. In this manner, students will be able to constantly practice and challenge their English capabilities from the time they enter the university until they graduate. In other words, the curriculum of the Department of Global English will help to cultivate professionals who have an international perspective and a strong capability in English.
Moreover, during the summer vacation of the second academic year, students will all attend the University of Western Australia for three weeks where they will have an opportunity to study English intensively at the Center for English Language there. This opportunity to experience communicating in an actual native English speaking environment will undoubtedly challenge students to improve their communicative English ability.
Although indifference towards religion seems to spread among the young generations of today in Japan, some people are disconcerting the importance of the study of religions. This is because not only are new religious movements attracting people's attention, but also traditional religions have begun to increase their influence as may be seen in international politics and in dealing with ethnic conflicts, particularly since the demise of the Soviet Union.
The department aims to examine religions evenhandedly, openendedly and with objectivity within an academic setting. Introductory courses of the department demonstrate that religion can be studied as a subject matter, as data for analysis and comparison. This is a completely new experience for students, since the study of religions has not at all been a part of their public school education. The department engages in comparative as well as scientific studies of religion. Its primary focus is on the historical and philosophical developments in Indian, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism.
To facilitate research, the department maintains abundant research materials, in fact, the largest number in Central Japan. These include primary source documents of Christianity, Shintoism and other religions. It also possesses the Tripitaka (Buddhist Canon) and other documents important for study. Not limiting research to strictly academic pursuit, the department encourages students to explore fundamental spiritual questions in the pursuit of meaningful life.