Faculty of Humanities

The humanities are action

No matter how much time you spend in the classroom or how many books you read, many things have to be experienced for yourself in the real world. The SEIKA Faculty of Humanities understands this—that's why it features an array of opportunities to leave the classroom and conduct surveys and linguistic training at a range of sites in Japan and overseas.

Study programs are offered in America, France and Germany, as well as Asian countries including Thailand and Korea. Meanwhile, Japanese programs include those in the traditional culture treasure trove that is Kyoto, along with Hokkaido and Okinawa.

While undergoing a homestay you integrate into the local lifestyle and can study the language. Students can also help with historical preservation projects in Australia, meet mountain tribes in northern Thailand, or experience Zen meditation and the tea ceremony in Kyoto. Students build up a wealth of experiences from different approaches that they cannot get in regular life.

SEIKA's style of learning at the Faculty of Humanities emphasizes going off-campus to put yourself in the local environs, to meet people, to see, to listen, to experience—and then by doing this, to expand the breadth of what you know, to deepen your ideas.

The Faculty has three core ways of learning: Experience, Internationalism, and Interdisciplinary Studies. Going on-site to experience, you learn things you cannot get from the Internet. An international perspective means not only contact with cultures in other countries, but also examining Japanese culture anew from an outside perspective. Moreover, the interdisciplinary approach combines the perspectives of a range of scholarship, not looking at things from merely one viewpoint.

With the Faculty of Humanities at SEIKA as your base, you can depart on your personal adventure of knowing and thinking...

What are the humanities?

The humanities are the comprehensive study of all things human. The discipline deals with concrete materials for deep consideration of the general inquiries that we all think about: What is humanity? How is society made up? How should we live?

The complexities of contemporary society—sexuality, marriage, family, school education, information media, environmental issues, happiness, terrorism, war—can no longer be dealt with in separate academic fields. The humanities cross over the barriers erected between the disciplines of philosophy, history, literature, sociology, culture, and nature science, forming a foundational field. It can thus look at humanity holistically from a diversity of approaches.

The humanities possess a long history, tracing their roots far back to the liberal arts of ancient Greece, and have come into the limelight once again in recent years. This is because an education stretching across multiple academic fields cultivates abilities to assess diverse values from diverse perspectives, to communicate in dialogue with peers with different ideas, and also to examine one's own self in a deeper way.

The fields that seem to be of use immediately upon entering the working world can then soon cease to be useful. On the other hand, the humanities will support you as you continue to walk the long path of life.

And so we arrive at the question that the humanities proffer: How can we change the world? The world is transforming on a daily basis. And yet, rather than committing to change according to rules decided by someone, you can consider what the world should be like—and then create a subjectively better future.

This is the potential of the humanities.

Graduation Thesis & Research

Bringing your studies to completion and stepping out into the world

In SEIKA's Faculty of Humanities, students do not devote themselves to arriving at the same place. Everyone studies according to his or her own personal choice of theme. Even students belonging to the same course will take different classes and modules, evolving along a range of routes.

And after four years of this highly personalized study, the graduation thesis is what brings it all together—the consummation of the four years, as well as the first step that launches you out into the world beyond the campus. Not only carrying out textual research, students are also able to create artworks, such as video and performance. The graduation thesis and research signifies the Faculty of Humanities' practical intellectual activities.

Thesis samples

  • “From Up on Poppy Hill” as a Contemporary “Aoi sanmyaku”: What Films Tell Us About Hope
    Haruka Hosokawa

    In 2011 Studio Ghibli released “From Up on Poppy Hill,” directed by Goro Miyazaki. The film references another film, “Aoi sanmyaku” (1963), part of a series of films which was said to have made the postwar era happy again, in the same way that “From Up on Poppy Hill” came in the wake of the Tohoku and Fukushima disasters. This thesis investigates the process by which “Aoi sanmyaku” became “From Up on Poppy Hill,” clarifying “hope” in the contemporary era and opening doors to the future.

  • Making Scent From Familiar Materials: In Search of the Co-Existence of Tradition and Innovation
    Rika Funatsu

    The highly aromatic agarwood tree was washed up in Japan and presented as a gift to the Imperial court, thus beginning the relationship between the Japanese and scent. Since then the Japanese have enjoyed creating aromas, associated with settings and emotions. Traditional scent (ko) is still used today for soothing and healing, though we no longer make our own scents like we once did. This project seeks out the potential of new fragrances by utilizing traditional methods with perfume materials that are readily accessible.

  • Suggestions for a Sustainable Regional City by an Academic City Model: Master Plan for Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward
    Yuki Kanao

    Our cities today are confronted with a range of dilemmas, and the issues of the environment demand a sustainable social model. However, the definition of a city is not clear, remaining shrouded in ambiguity. This thesis considers cities through their historical shaping. It simultaneously focuses on city planning and communities, while using an academic city model to consider how to build a sustainable regional city in Kyoto’s Sakyo ward.

  • Reception and Transition of Ball-Joint Dolls in Japan
    Yukari Imakoma

    This thesis surveys the history of modern dolls, turning its attention in particular to the doll artist Shimon Yotsuya, and considering the reception and transition of so-called ball-joint dolls in Japan. Ball-joint dolls and puppets in Japan date from Hans Bellmer, though there are differences to Bellmer’s, such as the “imperfect” and “amplified” aspects of the dolls. The exterior of a ball-joint doll and internal creative motivations of the artist are considered via the motif of “imperfection.”

  • The Possibilities of Recycling Through Remaking and its Utility as Fashion
    Misaki Nakajima

    The recycling rate for clothes is low and this thesis tests whether “remaking” second-hand clothes can improve this. Renovated clothes can reflect the tastes of the designer, as well as having higher worth as fashion. Moreover, there would be the further added value of it being something you made yourself and thus your attachment to the clothing is stronger. By extension, our consciousness towards clothing would then be reformed. The utility of fashion and the possibilities of recycling through “remaking” are reviewed.

  • Critique of Essentialism of Gender Identity Disorder and Application of the Body in Japan: Judith Butler’s Gender Theory and Ami Nakamura’s Gender Creative
    Jun Kunikane

    Gender identity disorder is a medical and pathological concept. On the assumption that biological gender is essential, when this mismatches your own awareness of your gender, this is regarded as gender identity disorder. However, advanced understandings of gender do not make an assumption of biological essence, but rather that gender is a social construct and an outcome of the political. This thesis searches for the possibilities of a new social praxis via the discourse of gender identity disorder, and with consideration of both essentialism and social constructionism theory.

Themes of graduation thesis and projects

  • Contemporary Culture
    • Why do dowdy pubescent girls love yaoi?
    • Vocaloid as a new form of the music industry—the quintessence of fan-led creativity
    • Studying a role in university theatre: From planning a production to its staging
    • On the musical “Cats”
  • Traditional Culture
    • Examining the grotesque from the “tanuki” of Kyoto's Sakyo ward
    • Ashizurimisaki and beliefs in Fudarakutokai
    • The borders of Omi: The existence of “paths” from the perspective of legends
    • Ikebana flower arrangement and women
  • International
    • Comparison of foundational vocabulary in Europe languages: Linguistic commonality and divergence
    • Kobe and Brazil: Looking at foreign culture through the Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction
    • The origins of motifs in the work of Diana Wynne Jones
  • Environment
    • Directions in new farmers: Business-oriented agriculture and farming as a search for “richness”
    • Why has it become the norm to “recycle” plastic drink bottles rather than “reuse” them?
    • Plant picture books: Getting parents and kids interested in plants
    • Health hazards in nuclear accidents
  • Society
    • Towards a society in which women activelty participate: Shiga Prefecture today and its challenges from the perspective of work-life balance
    • The value of children being alone: Must they have friends?
    • Making a mechanism for connecting people through food: “Nagai bar” event today and its potential
    • Is media violence influencing our actions and psyche?

Career paths after graduating from the Faculty of Humanities

The ability to discover tasks by yourself and suggest resolutions. Viewing things broadly. The ability to convey ideas accurately. Communicative skills for interacting with others with different ways of thinking. The proficiencies and techniques acquired at SEIKA’s Faculty of Humanities are those things most required in contemporary society today.

The faculty allows students to discover the path for leading an illustrious life, taking joy in their work, each student developing their respective individuality.

  • Professions relating to clothing, food and housing, and enriching lifestyle
    Apparel maker, food products manufacturer, housing manufacturer, furniture manufacturer, electronic appliances manufacturer, cosmetics manufacturer, agriculture, fishing, forestry etc.
  • Establishing your own store or company
    Cafe owner, restaurant/bar owner, shop owner, fresh produce store owner, confectionary store owner, starting a design agency etc.
  • Professions researching and introducing culture and history
    Librarian, museum staff, art museum staff, gallerist, traditional crafts artisan, sightseeing tour planning, interpretation etc.
  • Professions contributing to education, public services and welfare
    Junior high or high school educator, university teacher, school staff, NPO/NGO staff, civil servant, social welfare organization staff, care facility staff etc.
  • Professions using media to make culture
    Editor, writer, video production, music production, event promoter, web director, ad designer etc.
  • Professions selling products and expanding circulation
    Product planning, product sales, marketing, promotion, buyer, manufacturing, store development etc.

Departments & Courses in the Faculty of Humanities

Members & Visiting Faculty Members