About our school

The basis of study in the humanities and social sciences is founded on a stable tradition of learning. Our understanding of humanity is provided through the world of learning and the insights cultivated by the activity of the intellect within this tradition. Education within the humanistic and social tradition provides a solid and dynamic foundation for the future. Within the humanistic and social scientific tradition of learning, the new School of Humanities and Social Sciences aims at providing an education for the future, based on clear understanding and intellectual excellence. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences has reshaped and revitalized the tradition developed over the 120-year history of Waseda University, establishing an innovative and sophisticated academic program. The new School will establish a 17-department program in which students will not only undertake a rigorous education in classic works of human learning, but will also engage in cutting-edge research in humanities and social sciences. The ultimate aim is to provide an education based on the best forms of human knowledge which looks to the future of learning.

17 Departments engaged in transmitting the knowledge of tradition into a dynamic future.

A deep analysis of the self, humanity and the world

By coming to understand the world of nature and society, and its relationship to the individual, and through an extensive analysis of existence itself, an intellectual capacity is developed for critical and independent consideration of life and existence in the world.

Asian Philosophy
An inquiry into Eastern ways of viewing humanity, nature, and the world

In this department, Asian thought, religion and literature are studied, focusing on the traditional knowledge and learning of India, China, and Japan. Through reading and translating classic texts in various forms of learning and philosophy, research is undertaken in Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. Through these studies, knowledge of the Eastern views of the world, nature, and man is attained.

A scientific study of the mind

This department provides training in the specialist understanding of the actions and dynamics of the human psyche. Various fields are covered, and analytical abilities and the capacity of synthesis within psychological research are developed. Among the fields of inquiry are: marketing, clinical medicine, criminal psychology, psychological stress, information processing, data analysis, cognition, verbal behavior, health and interpersonal relations.

A theoretical and empirical examination of the relationship between man and society

This department establishes a broad education in theoretical sociology, investigating ways of being within social life, based on empirical, investigative research. A wide range of fields is addressed, including: family, regions, organization, hierarchy, industry, work, environment, politics, religion, communication and culture.

Learning about human potential and the various forms of education

This department studies how the human character grows and develops over the passage of time. Through an in-depth examination of character development and the human aspiration towards ideals, an understanding of the entire process of education is established. Different facets and forms of education are studied, including: school education, social education, lifelong learning, and domestic and community support for childhood development.

Japanese Studies
An inquiry into the essential nature of Japanese culture through language and literature

This department examines the historical significance and special characteristics of literature from ancient times through the modern era, into the present age. At the same time, a variety of fields in Japanese linguistics are studied, including the analysis of phonemes, written characters, vocabulary, grammar, and dialects. The research undertaken within the department explores new directions for the creation of culture, while seeking to understand the essence of Japanese culture.

Chinese Studies
Training in the special fields of Chinese

This department provides training at high level in communicative abilities in Chinese language, while also establishing a deep understanding of Chinese culture and society. The training follows models based on the Chinese methodology of "Gobun soshu," that is, "to cultivate an understanding of both language and literature," and "Kokon kengaku," which means, "to study both past and present." Students in this department also participate in study abroad programs, internships, and training programs taking place in China.

English Studies
An inquiry into all aspects of expressive activities in English

Using the English language itself, and literary works written in English, as a base, research is conducted into all expressive activities and products of thought created through the medium of English. Such activities and products include critical essays, journalistic pieces, plays, movies, internet literature, and products of the subculture. This research is conducted within the contexts of historical period and geo-spatial location.

French Studies
Studying the language, literature and culture of the French-speaking world

Students in this department acquire practical language skills in such areas as French conversation and essay writing, while at the same time learning the fundamental aspects of French literature and culture from the medieval period to the present age. Moreover, while these studies are pursued, a special focus is given to one of several central themes related to linguistics, literature and culture (art, movies, music, and other cultural forms).

German Studies
An interpretation of the variety of culture in the German-speaking world

In this department, students inquire into various aspects of the richly diverse culture of the German-speaking world. Regions include Germany itself, a nation at the core of European integration; Austria, with a rich tradition inherited from the Hapsburg Empire; and Switzerland, which has maintained its own special, independent path. In addition to the study of literature, language, and thought, various research methods and techniques useful in cultural studies are introduced.

Russian Studies
Studying representations of the new Russia in the age of decentralization

From the Czarist era through the collapse of the Soviet Union and into the present day, the culture and literature of Russia have undergone transformations and processes of "decentralization" involving multiple sets of ideas and values. By studying the traditional culture of Russia and its language, students will achieve a greater understanding of the representations of Russia emerging within a new contemporary culture and literature.

Theatre and Film Arts
Studying the essential character and diversity of stage and screen

In this department, a comprehensive evaluation of cultural representations and projected images, with a central focus on the theater and cinema, will be undertaken. Areas studied from a variety of perspectives include: classical theater, modern theater in the East and in the West, dance, folk performing arts, and the genres, theory and history of cinema.

Art History
A consideration of the historical significance of works of art

This department studies the theories of genre and style, analyzes form, color and iconography, and considers the meanings and subject matter of works of art. Through a focus on art appreciation, analyses and interpretations of reference material will be made. Moreover, research in new methodologies, such as sociological methods involving analysis of the relationship between works of art and society, and studies of theory of visual culture will be undertaken.

Japanese History
A historical examination of Japanese society, life and culture

In this department, historical developments relating to Japanese society, life and culture, including relationships with various foreign countries, are subjected to empirical investigation. The faculty includes specialists in all eras of Japanese history (ancient, medieval, pre-modern, and modern), and a rigorous and thorough educational program is offered. Research topics embrace a wide area of study, including issues related to politics, society, culture, and folklore.

Asian History
An inquiry into a new historical representation of East Asia

In this department, the history and culture of the East Asian region is studied, centering on China, and including the Korean peninsula. Examination will be made of the possibilities of a new historical representation of East Asia, conceptualizing the entire region, considered in terms of relationships with Japan. Study areas include: social history, cultural history and archaeological perspectives.

Western History
Studying the history of Western societies and their influence on Japan

In this department, the culture and history of Western societies are studied from ancient times into the modern age. Such study also serves to deepen understanding of the formation of Japanese society, which has been shaped and influenced by the impact of modernization. A vigorous and thorough program covering a wide range of Western countries is offered.

Understanding the history of the human race on a global scale

Based on the excavation and analysis of the remains and traces of humanity left on the earth, and on comparative research of documentary evidence, study in this department aims to elucidate and comprehend the history of human society in all its diversity and universality. A broad range of historical periods and regions is covered, from the Neolithic period to modern times, throughout the entire world.

Departments Degrees
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences B.A. in Literature