Faculty of Letters

The Faculty of Letters, established in 1951, offers a wide range of programs in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, including 13 different departments and a program: Japanese Literature, English Studies, German Studies, French Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese History, Asian and African History, European and American History, Philosophy, Sociology, Socio Informatics, Education, Psychology, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

The Faculty aims to cultivate students with an understanding of human beings and society along with the skills to continue learning throughout their lives in a society where we must all face a broad range of challenges. Students at the Faculty are provided with various learning opportunities to explore “what humans and society are, and how they should relate to one another as well as how students can integrate themselves within such an intricate society.” Our educational goals are to nurture students’ capacity for insight, broaden their perspectives, and enhance their communication skills, and thus to enrich their minds.

Due to our broad-ranging and flexible curricula, students can choose their own combination of courses from among more than 600, including literature, history, philosophy, pedagogy, psychology, sociology, communication, and many more. They also take courses in subjects ranging from classical literature to present-day areas such as career design. Students can make the most of small-group classes and seminars where they exchange views and participate in discussion. Moreover, students can take advantage of major-specific library collections with plenty of materials, and consult with members of the academic staff regarding their research specialties.

Japanese Literature
English Studies
German Studies
French Studies
Chinese Studies
Japanese History
Asian and African History
European and American History
Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Date of Founding: 1951

Campus: Tama Campus

Number of Students: Undergraduate Student Enrollment

Social events for international students in the Faculty of Letters

On October 28th 2011, the Faculty of Letters organized its first social event for international students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in the Faculty.

Fifty international students, including degree-seeking students, exchange students, graduate students and research students, joined the event and enjoyed talking with members of the academic and administrative staff of the Faculty. While international students shared frank stories about their lives in Japan in general and their lives at Chuo in particular, several professors introduced courses that may be of interest to international students and encouraged them to join in and exchange views with Japanese students.

The Faculty of Letters is pleased to take this occasion to promote interaction between faculty and students, and to further opportunities for networking events for both international and Japanese students.

The 125th Anniversary: Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection

Chuo University celebrated the 125th anniversary of its foundation in 2010. The Faculty of Letters has commemorated the occasion by holding an exhibition of masterpieces from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Museum’s collection. This is a world-renowned collection that includes many important cultural assets of Japan. For this event we placed on exhibit a special selection of rarely seen ukiyo-e masterpieces that are among the pride of Japan. We also held an international symposium entitled “What was Ukiyo-e? On the Cultural History of Ukiyo-e,” which included panelists from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. In numbers far exceeding expectations, visitors to the exhibition and participants at the symposium clearly recognized the significance of these traditional assets. The Faculty of Letters hopes to continue to find opportunities in the future to disseminate information about examples of traditional Japanese heritage throughout the world.

Faculty of Letters as a place for cultivating diversity

The Faculty of Letters at Chuo University was established in 1951, soon after the end of the Second World War, and this year marks its 72nd year. Success in setting up the Faculty of Letters, which is focused on understanding human beings apart from law, politics, businesses, industry, and so on, might symbolize the arrival of a peaceful era. During the 70 years of the Faculty, Japan has remained at peace. Some of our alumni and students who studied in the Faculty are playing active roles in contemporary Japanese culture, such as engaging in the fields of newspaper manga serials and films that fascinate people all over the world, as well as working as a producer of widely known groups. The Faculty of Letters nurtures such diverse individuals and we hope that the world will continue to allow this learning to take place.

The Faculty of Letters appears to consist of one Department, but it is a truly diverse and dynamic Faculty offering opportunities to study 13 majors, one programme, and over 700 subjects in depth. Although the name of the Faculty is 'Letters', there is a wide range of specializations within the Faculty, from the study of history, sociology, philosophy, education, and psychology, to the study of religion and outer space, enabling students to find something of special interest.

The name 'Faculty of Letters' is far from trendy and may seem old-fashioned to some. However, in reality, the Faculty of Letters is a Department that is always up-to-date and never becomes obsolete. It covers fields that are at the forefront of the times, fields that develop logical thinking skills, and fields that enable students to learn about the past and people from all over the world, and reflect on the present.

“Diversity" is said to be one of the survival strategies of living organisms, the idea that diversity and complexity enable humans to survive in the face of environmental and societal changes. What was previously thought to be useless can become beneficial as the environment and times change. The Faculty of Letters is truly diverse. In today's unpredictable society, what you study, think and experience in this Faculty will surely enhance and enrich your life.

Akira MIDORIKAWA Dean, Faculty of Letters

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