Department of Philosophy

The history of the Department of Philosophy dates back to 1952 when the Faculty of Letters was established. Since then, distinguished professors have taught philosophy and the history of ideas. After several changes, the Department of Philosophy now consists of ten faculty members in the fields of western philosophy, the history of oriental thought, aesthetics, and the history of art. Approximately 100 students are admitted to the program every year.
Students choose either the Course of Philosophy and the History of Ideas or the Course of Aesthetics and the History of Art. Students are free to choose either course. They are required to attend the classes and exercises arranged for their course and finish their graduation thesis before graduation. The curriculum of this department is characterized by a special emphasis on an accurate understanding of the research subject (i.e., texts and writings). It is indispensable to read the work of a thinker in its original language (classical Greek, Latin, French, German, English, Chinese, classical Japanese, etc.) in order to fully understand that thinker’s ideas. Art criticism also has to start with careful and detailed description and empirical analysis of the artwork. Whatever the research subject may be, it is always rigid methodology that makes truly unique interpretations and theories possible.
Graduation dissertation1
Graduation dissertation

In the first year, students are offered the opportunity to study philosophy, Japanese art history, and Western art history in “Basic Exercises A/B.” In the second year, students learn about the comprehension of philosophical texts, analysis of artwork, presentations, and other skills in “Second-Year Exercises A/B.” Our department has a wide range of specialized classes and exercises to help students expand their interests. They are expected to make use of these classes in finding a topic of study on their own, narrowing down the topic, and submitting a graduation thesis on the topic at the end of the fourth year. (The topics are quite diverse and include ancient Greek philosophy, Buddhist concepts, modern European philosophy, Renaissance paintings, Japanese crafts, abstract art, Japanese woodblock prints, etc.) Professors are always ready to give advice and encouragement, but it is the students themselves who take initiative in research activities.


The department library has more than 40,000 books including valuable works, and it provides important resources to students for their study and research. Outside the curriculum, there are also seminars and exhibition tours voluntarily organized by professors and students. Students will be given various opportunities to stimulate their interest in philosophy and art, and they will have valuable experiences getting to know one another and exchanging ideas. The faculty members sincerely hope that the four years students will spend in this department will be fruitful and meaningful in their lives.

Seminar Trip

Graduation Party