School of Human SciencesWaseda University

About the School

From the Dean

Dean of the School of Human Sciences, Hiroyuki Mishima

The School of Human Sciences was established in 1987 with the lofty aspiration of taking a comprehensive approach to “human sciences” using diverse knowledge to tackle the many questions faced by humanity.   In other words, the basic direction to be found consistently at the heart of the human sciences is the pursuit of “diversity” and “a comprehensive perspective” on the human experience.

In the 20th century, science and technology developed rapidly and in material terms people’s lives improved remarkably. However, there are also ways in which we appear to have forgotten our original purpose – human dignity and happiness. What’s more, the academic systems we use to pursue the many questions humans face have been divided into narrow fields of specialist study. On the one hand, this has allowed questions to be studied in great depth and detail. However, it has also been pointed out that links between related fields have become weaker and that we are losing the ability to consider human questions from a comprehensive perspective.

Since its establishment, the School of Human Sciences has pursued education and research with an emphasis on a comprehensive approach, with the aim of finding solutions to the various problems faced by modern society and building a sustainable society.  I believe that the aim of human science is to pursue the logical thinking that will allow human society to continue to exist while at the same time improving our quality of life, with an overall perspective on our surrounding environment and with respect for the fact that we live in a natural environment.  The truth that a philosophy of respect for humanity provides the foundation for human life is unlikely to change, no matter what huge environmental changes we face in the future.

In accordance with this concept, the School has established the following three departments with the goal of tackling the urgent challenges faced by humanity in the 21st Century, namely “environment”, “health and welfare”, and “information”: the Department of Human Behavior and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Health Sciences and Social Welfare, and the Department of Human Informatics and Cognitive Sciences.

The “environments” studies at the Department of Human Behavior and Environmental Sciences cover a broad range.  The goal of the department is to obtain a comprehensive understanding not only of the natural environment but also of the mutual effects and changing relationships between the natural environment, the human psychological environment, the manmade environment, the cultural environment and the social environment, and to use this understanding to help build a sustainable society.

The Department of Health Sciences and Social Welfare studies the variety of problems faced in “welfare” and “health”, for which society’s demands will continue to increase in the future, including needs such as mental and physical health and elderly welfare. It proposes solutions, and aims to promote lifelong health and well-being.

The Department of Human Informatics and Cognitive Sciences regards “information” and related technologies as a means of communication, including for the purposes of education. The department studies the entire process through which people obtain, utilize and apply “information”. It also studies the construction of distance learning systems that utilize cutting edge information technology.

The School of Human Sciences is characterized by the fact that education and research can be pursued freely, from a broad perspective, unconstrained by departmental limitations. This allows a more robust and comprehensive approach. Our goal is to build a university that attracts students and teachers brimming with intellectual curiosity, where free and diverse education and research can be carried out.

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