Faculty of Arts

Faculty of Arts


Department of Humanities aims to inquire into the essence and various activities of human beings together with their cultural and social systems, etc.

  1. We are giving questions about "Human" and "World," and thinking on those questions in order to find new perspective of them.
  2. We will elucidate the mechanism of human actions and social activities through scientic research and analysis.
  3. We will deal with various problems of modern and local societies, both theoretically and practically, from viewpoints of sociology and information scrience.
  4. We will analyze human and social events in demontrative manners, focusing upon history, culture, and custom.

7 Courses of Faculty of Arts

Philosophy & Art Communication

The course consists of Philosophy and Art Communication.

In seminars of Philosophy, students can learn the manner of philosophical thinking of mind, language, logic, and ethic, not only from contemporary and modern western philosophical viewpoints but also from classical philosophical approaches, including Asian philosophies.

In seminars of Art Communication, on the other hand, students excercise active learning of "art literacy" through various workshops of music, paintings, dance, etc., in which they participate by themselves.

Cultural Information & Sociology

In Studies of Cultural Information, students will acquire the mastery of "practical use of information" in unifying different fields of social linguistics, cognitive and social psychology, and sociology.

Sociology provides students with basic theory of empirical sociology and various methods of social researches and fieldwork.

Pcychology & Social Pcychology

In Psychology, students learn scientific approach to behavior and mental process by systematic analysis of psychological phenomena.

Social Psychology deals with our daily experience of social phenomenon, through the empirical method of investigation. In communicating with others, including other students and citizens of the city, students' knowledge of social psychology changes to "living technique" for critically thinking our society.


The course consists of Western History, Eastern History, and Japanese History.

In the field of Western History, students learn the history of Europe.

In the field of Eastern History, Asian history is examined especially focusing on the relationship of China to other Asian countries.

In the field of Japanese History, students will consider what comes next in the future, by critically reflecting on what happened in the past of this country.

Comparative Language and Culture

The course consists of Comparative Literature, Chinese Language and Literature, German Language and Literature, and French Language and Literature.

Comparative Literature uses the interdisciplinary approach to literature, especially taking both perspectives of classical European literature and modern European literature into consideration.

In the field of Chinese Language and Literature, students learn practical use of Chinese as well as interpretation of Chinese literature.

In the field of German Language and Literature, students learn the language, literature, and culture of German-speaking countries.

The field of French Language and Literature aim to educate the person who has sophisticated, international-communication ability through the knowledge of French and French literature.

English and American Language and Culture

In English Linguistics and Philology, students learn history, semantics, social and cultural backgrounds of English.

In the field of English and American Literature, the abilities to critically read and interpret Anglo-American literature and film arts are learned.

Japanese Language and Culture

In seminars of Japanese Literature, students learn positivistic approachs to mediaval, pre-modern, modern and contemporary Japanese literature, which is based on philological analysis and interpretation of the texts.

Japanese Linguistics offer lectures and seminars for linguistic and philological investigations of Japanese language, including dialects.

In the field of Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language, students examine various problems of contemporary Japanese language and its education, and learn what the essence of human communication through language is.

Dean's Greeting

Dean of Faculty of Arts
Professor Toshihiro Hayasaka

China once had Chu Coching (竺可楨, Zhú Kězhēn; 1890-1974), a prominent scholar of geology and meteorology, who left behind a great achievement in his fields of study. He served as a president of Zhejiang University (浙江大学, Zhèjiāng Dàxué; in those days as "National Che Kiang University" (國立浙江大學; Guólì Zhèjiāng Dàxué). Today, we can see a stone inscription standing in the university campus, which left Chu Coching's questions to the students as they were:

 第二,将来畢業后做什么樣的人? -竺可楨-

In my cursory translation, you can understand his words as:

"Dear students, there are two questions that you should ask for yourselves:
1. What will you do as you come to Zheda [as the university is colloquially referred to]?
2. What kind of persons you will be in the future after you graduate? --Chu Coching--"

When I first came across the inscription, I confess that I thought of his words as banal, but I recurrently read the inscription many a day afterwards, eventually getting to conceive a seemingly more sensible idea that these were the ultimate remarks with which any teachers should address to their own students. Here I would like to apply these to our Faculty of Arts, Shinshu University.

To those who would answer to the first question, "Study, of course!", I will suggest that [although 'study' in English is a loan-word from Latin studere, which means "take pains about, be diligent in, strive after" to quote only three of various definitions of Lewis and Short's Latin Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1879)] you need not 'labour or take pains to do' now that you are students at a university. Wang Ken (王艮, Wáng Gěn; 1483-1541), a Ming dynasty Neo-Confucian philosopher, once sang "Joy is the enjoyment of this learning: / Learning is to learn this joy" ("樂是學,學是樂", trans. William Theodore de Bary, Learning for One's Self: Essays on the Individual in Neo-Confucian Thought (Cambridge UP, 1991): 166-7) in his Le Hsüeh Ko, or "A Paean to the Enjoyment of Learning" (『樂學歌』, Lè Xué Gē; Chung-yi Cheng, "14 Philosophical Develoment in Late Ming and Early Qing", p.440; Ed. Bo Mou, The Routledge History of Chinese Philosophy (Routledge, 2009), 429-70). Again in my cursory interpretation, "Being in enjoyment itself is learning, and, as such, learning is joyful." From the beginning of our lives, we are all carefree, independent from any preventive confinement, and all of us are liberal beings. If "learning" is to realize such a natural state of beings, it must be very "joyful" indeed. True, it is "a matter of believing", but it may well be interesting to "experiment" on yourself in the university to discover whether or not what Wang Ken sang about is right.

To those who would answer to the second question, "I will be employed somewhere around, perhaps" as if it were no big business of yours, I would like to point out that it is no answer at all, for you're asked what kind of persons you will be. To get employment is important, of course, but are you satisfied to be regarded as mere employees? What kind of persons you are is surely more significant for your own lives.

So, the Japanese term Jinbun-gaku, our Faculty's head-word, literally "Human-Letter-scholarship" in meaning, has its English equivalent as "Humanities". "Humanities" is a field of study that continues to pursue the question what "humans" really are. On the other hand, our faculty's official name is Faculty of Arts; the term "Arts" derives from Latin artēs līberātēs, "Liberal Arts" (originally since Classical Greek referring to arts and sciences considered "worthy of a free man"). Here, again, I would like to interpret it as "abilities to liberally live one's life". If our Faculty is where you are learning "humanities" as well as getting equipped with "liberal arts", you may sufficiently well comprehend what Wang Ken's Paean seems to orate is not a strange statement and that Chu Coching's interrogation is, in fact, not two separate questions: they are one for all intents and purposes.

We are all looking forward to seeing you with ambition to relish various dimensions of "Humanities" and to equip "liberal arts" as an axis of your lives.


Guide Book for Faculty of Arts

This is annual guide book for introducing our faculty of arts.

Gude Book for Graduate School of Humanities

This is annual guide book for introducing our Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Basic Ideas and Policies

Basic Ideas

Nestles in Shinshu's four season natural environment, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Faculty of Arts provides education that focuses on living harmoniously with both man and nature while dealing with related issues. We aim to educate the "Neo Humanists" for the coming age who cannot only consistently adopt a fundamental approach to all aspects of multifaceted contemporary society, but also criticaly and creatively consider such approach with their acquired practical wisdom.

Educational Research Goals

General educational goals at the faculty of arts are:

Students should develop practical mastery of critical and creative thinking, and this primary goal includes the achievement of the following more specific skills:

  1. The general ability to take a critical stance to what they already know and generate an innovative comprehension of it.
  2. Appropriate discernment of sea changes in the world and unwavering intellectual daring amongst it.
  3. The general ability to generate path-breaking future visions through critical assessment of historical/cultural tradition.
  4. Competence for making cross-cultural-cum-balanced judgment in confrontation with unfamiliar cultures and societies.

Students should develop practical mastery of the following hands-on skills for action.

  1. General information skills, such as data finding or quantitative reasoning.
  2. Communicative skills: Students should be able to show appropriate understanding of various and diverse views, and also be able to organize and express their own ideas effectively.
  3. Foreign language proficiency in the increasingly complex global environment: students should be able to converse and communicate with people of different cultural backgrounds.
  4. Creative potentialities for addressing and resolving complex interdisciplinary issues.

Three Policies of Faculty of Arts

Policy of Graduate Certification and Academic Degree Award

We will confer degree on students whose graduation these are accepted after their acquisition of practical skills of critical thinking and active learning, etc., following our education policy.

Policy of Curriculum Design

Under our academic policy and goals, we will design our education program as the systematic and interdisciplinary one that covers various theme and topics, for the aim of development of students' academic skills for their special fields of Humanities.

Policy of Enrollment acceptance

Our examination aims to select students who can enjoy studying and have interests in human nature, society, history, culture, languages, literature, information, and arts, because "practical knowledge" presupposes exactly such talents and interests.


1919 Foundation of Matsumoto High School
1949 Foundation of Shinshu University
1966 Foundation of Faculty of Arts
1978 Reformation of Faculty of Arts (The faculty is divided from the faaculty of economy)
1982 Froundation of the Graduate School of Humanities (Master Program)
1995 Two departments start
2004 Foundation of Incorporated Administrative Agency Shinshu University
2007 Reformation of organization and curriculum
2013 Change to one department from two departments

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