Course of Chinese Philosophy

Course of Chinese Philosophy

Pioneering a new tradition-based Chinese philosophy


Chair of the Course of Chinese Philosophy

Nobuyuki Noma

Click here for a list of faculty members


Message from the Course Chair

Through research on Chinese philosophy and literature, we aim to explore the essence of the Chinese spirit by examining the various aspects of its four-thousand-year-long intellectual history

This is the only course of all the courses offered by graduate schools across Japan that has been given the title “Chinese Philosophy.” Thus, it demonstrates that, in many cases, it is unavoidable for other fields and areas to be included when learning Chinese studies. Therefore, in this course, we focus on education and research content that is worthy of the course title, and we feel responsible for developing it. Moreover, this has become a matter of pride for this course.

The course content is developed around the two key areas of Chinese philosophy and Chinese literature. However, the course does not create any barriers between these two fields because the nature of Chinese studies encourages students to learn things as part of a trinity that includes the Chinese language. Furthermore, students who study Chinese philosophy and literature will read the original literary texts—the fruits of knowledge that have been accumulated for 3000 years—that are the subjects of their research, and they will repeatedly practice examining them in their original language (Chinese). Thus, the precision of reading comprehension will be enhanced, deeper thinking will be encouraged based on an understanding of the original works, and an oral presentation of the results of such thinking will be conducted. Then, their refined ideas, which have been formed after much debate and examination, will be used to write a paper that will be published. Such graduate school research activities will be a point of departure for students to start developing their dissertation. In the Master’s portion of the course, students will be required to write a master’s thesis. In the doctoral portion of the course, similarly, they will be required to write several academic papers and commence their doctoral dissertation.

When undertaking their research, students should be careful not to adopt a narrow-minded perspective that is completely satisfied with merely an interpretation of the details. For this reason and others, it is important for each student to constantly question the meaning of the research content that they are working on, and they are required to possess an attitude that enables them to reflect on their work as a functional scholarship. An extensive range of subjects, which spans from classics to modern literature, is included in this course, and any region that has literature that uses Chinese characters (like Japan or Taiwan) are within the scope of study.

Here, we will briefly discuss the Hakusan Chinese Academic Society, which is an active national academic society and serves as the parent organization for this course, in terms of its research environment. By cooperating with the Hakusan Chinese Academic Society, graduate students in the Master’s portion of the doctoral course get the opportunity to announce their plans for their master’s thesis and publish their results. Furthermore, graduate students in the doctoral portion of the course are provided the definite opportunity of making presentations at academic conferences. Moreover, students can submit their essays (with peer review) to the society’s research journal Hakusan Chinese Studies.

In this course, students will follow the various stages of China’s 4000-year intellectual history and work on their research with the goal of exploring the source (true nature) of Chinese thought by studying Chinese philosophy and literature. Students are encouraged to remember that the question of “why” is the foundation of their research. We hope that the research activities performed as a part of this course will help bring together many like-minded people.


This course has a very important place as the only course in Japan that is entitled “Chinese Philosophy.”

The primary content studied involves deciphering the legacy of Chinese philosophy using techniques from the classics while also interposing literature and discussing its significance in modern society.

The learning of Chinese philosophy, which has been an intellectual pillar within the East Asian cultural sphere for many years, enables Japanese people to further develop an understanding of their own culture, with which they are deeply familiar. We believe that students will be able to convey original and meaningful information to the rest of the world by applying Chinese philosophy as its roots differ from Western and European philosophy.

  • Admission capacity: Master’s program – 4 students; Doctoral program – 3 students
  • Lecture times: Day
  • Campus: Hakusan
  • Degree: Master’s program – Master of Arts; Doctoral program – Ph.D. in Chinese Philosophy
  • Teacher’s license: Senior high (Chinese language); Junior high (Chinese language)