Apr. 23, 2021
A Message from the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Letters
Known as the “father of all sciences,” the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle writes, “all men by nature desire knowledge.” He then goes on to classify knowledge into two types: the first type is knowledge that can be obtained by knowing phenomena empirically and superficially; the other type is true knowledge that can be obtained by getting to the bottom of their origin or cause.
These words of Aristotle, which can be described as the basis of science, give us a precious guiding principle in a modern world, where chaos is deepening and many values are degenerating. No matter how far AI is developed and no matter how far the world is saturated with information beyond its processing capacity, people may lose the meaning of living as a human being if they forget the pursuit of true knowledge. And here lies the raison d'être of the Graduate School of Arts and Letters.
Offering 13 programs (majors and courses), the School is indeed an energetic topos of themes that meets the fundamental human desire for knowledge and constantly renews human knowledge. It should go without saying that the School, or any graduate school for that matter, values specialized knowledge and requires rigorous daily study on the part of students. At the same time, science calls for an interdisciplinary approach that flexibly adopts knowledge and methodologies from other disciplines to open up new paths. Featuring a variety of programs, the School offers such interdisciplinary subjects as Interdisciplinary Approach to Literature, Interdisciplinary Approach to History, as well as the Cultural Inheritance Program. In particular, the Research Institute for Ancient Japanese Studies, which is jointly managed by faculty members in the literature and history programs, has an excellent track record as a research cluster that is one of a kind in the world. Meanwhile, the Drama and Theatre Arts Program and the Geography Program allow students to study various forms of culture and human life from innovative perspectives. The Clinical Psycho-Social Sciences Program studies a range of challenges facing people today from both psychological and social perspectives. Our study-abroad program gives students ample opportunities to go to France, Germany, and many other countries and regions in the world to study.
Finally, the Graduate School of Arts and Letters grants a PhD to six to seven students on average every year, half of whom land a job as a researcher, most notably a full-time faculty member. This is made possible by our rich curriculum as well as each faculty member’s commitment to teaching students compassionately while respecting the autonomy and individuality of each student. After obtaining a master’s degree, many students become a university staff member or a teacher at middle and high school or otherwise find a job at a prefectural board of education, national and local government office, or private business.
Struggling to find your way forward? The Graduate School of Arts and Letters could be the place for you. Have the courage to knock on our door for a life that can fulfill your aspirations for “the gay science.”
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Letters