Faculty of Letters

At the Faculty of Letters, our goal is for students to have a multifaceted, comprehensive understanding of people. We offer five specialties across seven departments, including Buddhism, philosophy, history, and literature. There are a variety of specialty courses available from your first year so that you can systematically study diverse academic fields in a systematic curriculum.

Department and Specialty Introduction

Department of Shin Buddhism

What is the true meaning of life for a human?
Here is where you will ponder and study with your fellow students on what a person’s heart should hold through the teachings of Shinran and Rennyo.
In the Department of Shin Buddhism, we will focus on the teachings of Shinran, a major religious figure and thinker, as we study Buddhist and Pure Land Buddhism history and thinking and thoroughly explore what a human is, and what it means to live. Rather than just reading literature and being taught knowledge, the professors and students will join together in learning the features offered by the department. Through this, you will reconsider your own being, nurture a broader viewpoint and way of thinking, and deepen your understanding of contemporary people.
Recently we have also become active in international relations as well, such as with missionary studies at BSC (Buddhist Study Center), our foothold in Hawaii, as well as through student exchanges with IBS (Institute of Buddhist Studies) and in other arenas. There are also many students that set out for China and India looking for the font of Buddhism. Meanwhile, we also actively offer classes for the modern information age as well, such as where students analyze documentary records using computers, research implementing IT to manage temples, and so on.

Department of Buddhist Studies

Study the Buddhist teachings that continue to fascinate people through actual Buddhist material.
Buddhism spread out across and world and was slowly assimilated into cultures in many regions over 2500 years ago. Students will thoroughly examine this from an ideological perspectival and further deepen their understanding through practical research.
Buddhism, which originated in India 2500 years ago, influenced, and continues to influence, cultures in many regions. Each region molded Buddhism to have unique features as it spread across the world. Our department divides Buddhism into two courses: Asian Buddhism and Culture and Japanese Buddhism and Culture. Students will develop wide-ranging knowledge and a diversified viewpoint from steadily accumulating studies starting in your first year, while from your third year seminars you will be involved in serious research on a specialized field of your choice.
In order to further deepen your understanding of Buddhism, there will be practical courses where you will experience Buddhist works and asceticism (zazen, tea ceremony, incense appreciation) in addition to your lectures and document studies. This will give students an understanding of Buddhism and a strong interest in and knowledge of the cultures of many Asian countries and the origin of Japanese culture.
By studying the wisdom of Buddhism and questioning what a human really is, you will find a new you and a new world. In the Department of Buddhist Studies, you will learn about the world and question what it means to be human through lectures designed to teach you about Buddhist thinking and culture.

Department of Philosophy, Philosophy Area of Specialization

Throw away your various prejudices, dogmas, and authority and learn to become a logical thinker and the power of expression by immersing yourself in live thinking and wandering the labyrinth of the mind.
Do you and other people really exist in the same world? And what really is “existence?” These repeated tit-for-tat strikes arising from terrorist attacks – which side is really in the right? What exactly is “right?” Have you ever wondered this? Have you ever wanted to get to the bottom of it all?
In the Philosophy Area of Specialization, you will broadly study the trajectory of past philosophers while learning how to logically express your own thoughts. With this in mind, you will be asked to free yourself from your various prejudices, dogmas, and authority. For students who have little experience in thinking in this way, your philosophy lectures will probably be a series of surprises. This is just the right subject for people who are not satisfied with pedestrian academics, for people who like to think patiently, and for people who want to learn how to think logically and clearly express themselves. We are confident that the logical ways of thinking and means of expression that you learn here will surely help you in all facets of society.

Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy Area of Specialization

How people originally lived, mechanisms for growth and development, problems of the mind…
Our approach to education is based on comprehensive anthropology.
In the Pedagogy Area of Specialization, students will develop a basic way of thinking and discernment of education based on a deep understanding of people. From your third year, you will research one of two specialty courses: Education or Education Clinical Psychology. Basing the specialization on comprehensive anthropology is a tradition dating from before the war, and by studying technical aspects it will stress specialized study and research into education itself.
Our curriculum offers a wide range of course to allow students to study what interests them, from courses like educational philosophy, educational sociology, cross-cultural pedagogy, educational psychology, and others where you delve into the true nature of education, to lifelong learning, globalizing societies and religion, mental problems, and other contemporary themes. This specialization is helpful not just for teachers, but for people aiming for psychology-related work, social education supervisors, volunteers for lifelong learning, and so on. Let us broaden your mind and deepen your knowledge.

Clinical Psychology

A subject that seeks to deeply understand people and unravel the problems of the mind. Clinical psychology is a subject that seeks to understand the behavior and rules governing the human mind.
Using specialized knowledge and skills, you will develop the ability to support people with clinical problems and issues while helping to prevent them.
In the Department of Clinical Psychology, students will learn from caring teachers with accumulated experience in actual clinical psychology areas, and through on-site training you will study living clinical psychology. The curriculum is comprehensively composed of courses that straddle various fields so students can explore the various kinds of support available. From your third year, you will further your specialized studies through one of three fields: Clinical Medicine and Social Welfare, Clinical Academics and Special Support, and Shin Buddhism and Vihara. We aim for students to acquire practical skills through studying systematic courses. In addition to teaching clinical psychology, we will focus on work-studies and training in support organizations related to medicine, education, welfare, religion, and so on. This is to cultivate an independence in you for supporting others. Further, we will support students wishing to continue on to graduate school, and through our integrated education program we will train advanced specialists to have the practical skills to support people from a clinical psychology standpoint.

Department of History, Japanese History Area of Specialization

Using a unique viewpoint and thinking to question common beliefs and uncover historical facts with. Study the past to see how you live and the problems facing modern society.
The textbooks on Japanese history that you studied in junior and senior high senior high school show findings and observations that today are considered mostly likely. But if you consider all of these to be right, why think more about them? At the university level, you face these historical facts with your own eyes and start to critically contemplate them. You will question the common beliefs you have learned while reconstructing them as you probe for the facts. While doing so, you will learn about history and find meaning and fun in your research.
And the “modern” age has not just suddenly appeared. Politics, the economy, culture, your daily lifestyle – all of these were molded over a long period. Therefore, even when you consider societal problems like the environment, there is much to learn from peoples past. From understanding societies from today and into the future, to considering your own lifestyle, “history” has enormous meaning.

Department of History, Oriental History Area of Specialization

You will study the languages of the East Asian and Islamic cultural spheres while studying the history and culture of a wide range of Asia as you delve into your research.
While former oriental studies focused on Chinese history, in reality this subject covers the history of a broad expanse of Asia, from the Korean Peninsula in the east to western Asia, including the Islamic cultural sphere. Therefore, in addition to the fundamental English and Chinese languages skills that are required, you will further deepen your knowledge as you work to master Arabic, Persian, and so on. History is an aggregation of knowledge, which allows for a broad range of study, from language to culture and thinking. And by studying Asian history, you can rediscover the route of Japanese tradition and customs – the results may be unexpected! In the Oriental History Area of Specialization, you and your fellow students will present your research results to each other. We continually strive to create a deeply meaningful learning environment, such as through lectures using video, DVD, and other image media.
Many students study abroad in China, Korea, Russia, Thailand, and other countries, and many guest come visit us from overseas for an international educational and research environment.

Department of History, Buddhist History Area of Specialization

By understanding the history of Buddhism, which forms the core of our psyche, you will explore the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, and what is Buddhism.
Buddhism covers Japanese Buddhism as well as Buddhism in Asian and European/North American countries. Buddhist history is a subject that explores how Buddhism was received in each period and region and whether it radiated outward. By looking at these from a historical point of view, Buddhist history explores the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, and what is Buddhism, which are extremely meaningful questions in our modern lives.
Buddhism has taken various forms as it propagated in historical societies. But Buddhist history asks you to learn not just about history, but about religion, politics, economics, art, science, and a broad range of coterminous subjects. Language skills in Chinese and Chinese characters, Sanskrit, English, and other languages are important in deciphering historical materials and documents. In fact, one appeal of Buddhist history as a subject is studying it through Buddhist thinking, historical materials and documents, imagery, art, architecture, language, and other inroads.
By studying Buddhist history, you will not only understand history but gain a comprehensive awareness and education of people.

Department of Japanese and Japanese Literature

The joy of surrounding yourself in a plethora of classical literature and experiencing the essence of Japanese language and literature.
We also offer a course in information publication and cultivate language professionals.
In the Department of Japanese and Japanese Literature, we cover works of literature from the Nara Period to the modern age. Students will learn about Japanese language and literature as well as their period-specific and social backgrounds. In addition, you will be able to take an immersive approach to language from four areas of specialty: Classical Literature, Modern Literature, Information Publication, and Japanese Language.
You will study and research Japanese language and literature at our Omiya Campus, an environment where you can experience Kyoto, which served as the setting for literature, our library, with its collection of countless valuable classical works, and other locations. A major draw of our program is its outstanding learning environment. We will support your learning through practical courses using the latest information taught by professors from the mass media field. And based on self-expression and an understanding of language, which is an indispensable tool in understanding others, we will train you to be a language professional with a carefully honed sense of language, a sensitivity to language, and an ability to think logically so that you can be active in a variety of fields.

Department of English Language and English Literature

A range of popular classes taught in English by native English speaking professors.
Our inviting department allows students to study both academics and practical English at the same time.
One feature of the Department of English Language and Literature is that students can study both academics and practical English at the same time. As our name implies, we teach living English through English lectures on English conversation, English literature, and contemporary English, as well as on British/American culture and customs, popular culture, and even Buddhism and religion.
In addition, for students that like literature, for example, we offer English literature and American literature courses where you can study Shakespeare, Hemmingway, and novels, poems, and plays from other authors. For students that are interested in English and American literature, we offer English and American culture courses where you can study history, society, politics, philosophy, modern art, music, movies, and so on. For students that want to study English linguistically, we offer an English language course. You can enrich all of your studies while focusing on English. And every year many students from the department choose to become exchange students and experience studying overseas through their studies.