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Faculty of Letters

Department of Japanese Cultural Studies

Immerse yourself in the timeless history and culture of Nara—a city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Four history courses and two literature courses reveal the essence of Japanese culture.

Nara, a city with a long history and rich cultural heritage, offers an abundance of locations at which students can conduct field work. They can learn about Japanese culture by studying a range of topics, from history, archeology, and folklore to art history, literature, and classical performing arts.

What You Can Learn

In the History and Cultural Assets course, students can specialize in history, archeology, folklore art history, and classical performing arts in order to develop a deep knowledge of Japanese history and culture. In the Japanese Language and Literature course, students explore the Japanese language and develop a high level of reading comprehension by reading both classical and modern literature.

Department of Japanese Cultural Studies
History and Cultural Assets Course, Japanese Language and Literature Course


By thoroughly studying the history of Japan in different eras—including ancient, medieval, and modern—students can deepen their understanding of historical geography as well as the history of contact between Japan and other Asian countries.


The study of folklore explores people’s lifestyles and culture by researching the traditions and practices that have been passed down through the generations. Research subjects encompass food, clothing, and housing, as well as folk tales, legends, weddings, funerals, and annual events.

Japanese Language and Literature

Students examine the unique characteristics of Japanese culture through the study of art and culture expressed in words—from classic and modern literature to the conversational Japanese of today.


In this academic field, remains and artifacts are analyzed in the search for undocumented historical facts. Students gain expert knowledge of archeology through classroom lectures and field work.

Art History

Nara is home to a large collection of art objects and hand-crafted works, some of which have been designated national treasures. While appreciating these objects firsthand, students can also learn about the cultures that produced them.

Classical Performing Arts

Japanese classical performing arts encompass literature, fine art, and music. By developing an appreciation for traditional kabuki and bunraku performances, students explore the unique characteristics and charm of these arts.

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