Department of History, Faculty of Letters
The main goal is to obtain the ability to express one’s own ideas through historical research based on critical analysis of primary and secondary sources. Classes offered in our Department encourage students to learn from the past in order to develop skills to think critically so that they can cultivate new ideas for the future.
Studying history is becoming ever more important as the present world faces growing pressures from changing national and international conditions. Historical studies are based on various primary materials, written or created by those who lived in the past. Research into history is a creative academic discipline, as reconstructing societies, cultures and nations in the former periods invariably leads us to construct new historical perspectives.
The three majors in the Department of History are Japanese history, Oriental history, and Western history, all of which are studied in small groups. In addition to the seminars for reading and analysing primary sources, classes on various themes and topics are offered to expand students’ interests and knowledge. Our goal is to help students to learn from the past civilizations and to apply their knowledge for the future.
The empirical research, or the research based on historical evidence, is an essential part of the study in the Department of History. There is a full range of lectures and seminars designed to train skills for reading historical materials. Students majoring Oriental or Western history are required to read in foreign languages a wide range of secondary sources essential for their respective fields. The Japanese history students, on the other hand, are expected to read primary materials including handwritten old writings in Japanese.
The Department is run by 12 staff members with varying research subjects, which ensures intensive learning based on small group seminars. There are also several student history groups including those for archaeology; medieval, early modern and modern Japanese history; Oriental history and Western history. Students are thus encouraged to actively engage in their studies and explore their research interests in a friendly atmosphere.
Students are able to learn Japanese history from various perspectives, ranging from the primitive and ancient times to the present.
The Oriental history covers a vast geographical area in East, West, and South Asia, and the Middle East, including China and the Islamic world.
Students are able to learn a wide range of topics in the history of the Western civilization, from the ancient Greek world to the contemporary global community.