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Graduate School of Humanities

Traditional Japanese Culture (Doctoral Program)

The Graduate School of Humanities aims to help students explore traditional Japanese culture in a comprehensive and systematic way. By investigating the tangible and intangible aspects of the national culture, students can become highly qualified experts in their chosen field and effective interdisciplinary researchers.

Structure and Characteristics of the School of the Faculty of Humanities

Program Structure

With the aim of “exploring Japanese traditional culture in a comprehensive and systematic way to foster highly qualified professionals and interdisciplinary researchers by inquiring into the tangible and intangible aspects of the culture,” the programs are designed to comprehensively conduct research/education entailing an interconnected relationship among the four basic areas of research: “Studies in Folklore,” “Studies in Archeology,” “Studies in Fine Art History,” and “Studies in History (ancient/medieval history).”

The School offers a two-year Master's Program and a three-year Doctoral Program. The Master's of Arts degree (M.A.) is conferred upon completion of the requirements of the former; however continuous pursuit of studies in the Doctoral Program to attain the Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) is considered one of the essential steps in the process toward becoming a “highly qualified professional” or “interdisciplinary researcher.”

Three Policies (Diplomas, Curriculum, and Admissions) (PDF:92KB)PDF

Substantial Coursework

For the purpose of practically enforcing the objective of “fostering interdisciplinary mindset,” the Master's Program encourages students to complete substantial coursework, an overall system comprised of several courses. Students are required to create a course of study in accordance with the curriculum, which is basically listed on the syllabus, to accomplish each course's objectives by accumulating knowledge as well as acquiring the research methods of each field. On the other hand, pursuing a chosen research topic under the guidance of the instructor is called the research activities, which is covered in the research instruction courses, “Seminar(s).”

“Special Studies in Traditional Japanese Culture” and “Special Studies in Nara Cultural Studies” are prerequisites for the Master's Program. “Special Studies in Traditional Japanese Culture” is an interdisciplinary course dealing with current research trends and primary source presentation/comprehension and taught jointly by a number of lecturers [faculty member] to help students develop international vision through interdisciplinary studies.

On the other hand, “Special Studies in Nara Cultural Studies” focuses on fieldwork practice. Standing between coursework and research, this course, also led by the lecturers of several areas, is aimed to practically achieve the fundamentals of investigation/research methods of each field through the cultural assets of “NARA” as “teaching materials.” These specific courses, intended basically for first-year Master's students, are designed to develop the knowledge/capability essential for becoming a “highly qualified professional (including an expert in the cultural technology field and curator)” or an “interdisciplinary researcher.”

Courses of the Master's Program such as “Studies in Folklore,” “Studies in Archaeology,” “Studies in Fine Art History,” “Studies in Ancient History,” and “Studies in Medieval History” from Group I~IV are fundamental to coursework in that they are intended to confirm basic knowledge. Other courses from Group I~V are “Studies in Folklore,” “Studies in Archeology,” “Studies in Fine Art History,” “Studies in Ancient History,” and “Studies in Medieval History,” each of which is designed to support students to further develop their research.

About Systems

Semester System

All courses of the coursework above follow the two-semester system (zenki and koki) to appropriately gage student's progress and understanding throughout the program. Each of the courses will be comprehensively assessed by reports, oral presentations and examinations.

Teaching Assistant System

“Teaching ability, which is a prerequisite for a teaching professional, is also an essential requirement for a museum curator and researcher; therefore, all students are encouraged to utilize the teaching assistant system to learn the fundamentals of “teaching.” The system is used in lecture/seminar/training courses led by the faculty to provide students with the opportunity to not only pursue their own research goals but to pass their acquired knowledge and experiences to the undergraduate students while learning specialized teaching methods. Please note that teaching assistants are paid hourly as prescribed.

Organizing Research Activities

In order to foster “highly qualified professionals” and “interdisciplinary researchers,” continuous research activities fostered by thorough instruction offered in each specialized area is essential. “Seminar” in the Master's Program and “Special Research” in the Doctoral Program are the core courses which offer one-on-one, in-depth instruction on academic papers, including Master's thesis and dissertation as well as research/investigation methodology of each field to pursue highly qualified research. Especially with the aim of producing highly qualified researchers, detailed research is encouraged in the Doctoral Program; therefore, courses intended for the Master's Program are available for doctoral students if necessary. Refer to the syllabus or the subject list for course descriptions.

Research Assistant System

A research assistant system is used in the Doctoral Program to conduct investigation/research with faculty for the purpose of developing student's skills for investigation/research and to cultivate a strong ability to organize/practice research activities. Please note that daily salary and travel expense may be paid as prescribed.

Graduate Student Internship System

The internship system is designed for Doctoral students to gain hands-on experience of research/teaching at the museum/research institute for a specified period. Under the curator/researcher, students are offered an opportunity to work as an intern in a cutting edge environment. Participating institutions are mostly affiliated national/public institutions in Nara Prefecture, and applicants will be examined prior to internship placement.

Using a Portfolio as a Research Progress Monitoring Tool

Students are encouraged to make and keep a portfolio to all students as a way to identify personal achievements in their investigation/research. Students are obliged to submit a research proposal in consultation with their supervisor in the beginning of the academic year (April) and a research report by the end (March). Additionally, documents including academic record during study at Tezukayama, achievements in teaching assistant program/research assistant program/internship, abstracts or papers submitted for conference/workshop/on-campus presentation and writings published in journals should all be included in the portfolio, and comments from instructors will be added where necessary. The contents are viewed by the faculty, and advice/instructions are given to each student if necessary. The file will remain active until the doctoral degree is earned.


In addition to the financial assistance given by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), Tezukayama University offers scholarships to graduate students with academic excellence and financial need. Privately financed international students are eligible to apply for the Tuition Fee Exemption System. (Please contact the Office of The Faculty of Humanities when you are going to apply for the tuition fee exemption.)

International Applicants

International applicants are selected through the examination. Since seminars/lectures are conducted in Japanese, international students are required to be proficient in the Japanese language, which is another criterion for admission decisions.

Adult Applicants

Adult applicants who satisfy the qualification requirements set by the Graduate School of Humanities will be selected through the examination. (Refer to the Application Qualification for further information.)

Future Career

Students who have completed the courses of the Traditional Japanese Culture are expected either to pursue their career as a highly qualified professional/researcher in facilities such as a national/public/corporate museum or its equivalent, a reference library, a cultural institution, a university/research center, or to actively contribute as an educational researcher of this subject in related educational institution.


  • Curator's Certificate
  • Advanced Teaching Certificate for Junior High School (Sociology)
  • Advanced Teaching Certificate for High School (Geography and History)
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