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Faculty of Letters

Language, literature, history, and culture comprise the basis for understanding of others and represent a heritage to pass on to future generations. Students in this Faculty will obtain an ability to contribute to the world, based on the attitude of “dedication to others” from the University’s founding spirit. For this purpose, the Faculty has organized the Department of Japanese Language and Literature, which studies Japanese language and literature and teaches styles of expression in Japanese, and the Department of History and Cultural Studies, which studies historical, archeological, and folklore materials. Education and research in the Faculty of Letters aim at nurturing human resources to contribute to the construction of the “Joyous Life” from an international perspective.

Department of Japanese Language and Literature

This Department focuses on understanding Japanese linguistic usage at the time of the founding of Tenrikyo, especially through the study of materials related to Tenrikyo doctrine. It also emphasizes the study of Japan’s broad cultural and literary traditions, from their basics to their most scholarly aspects, through the analysis of various literary works and other linguistic sources. The Department fosters an international perspective in students, based on an understanding of the country’s rich cultural history.

Department of History and Culture Studies

This Department makes use of historical writing, archeology, and folklore, and attempts to understand eras and cultures from an international standpoint. Students will learn through the investigation of documents and records how to study on their own and convey knowledge to others so that they can contribute to the development of world and regional cultures through the conservation and positive use of cultural assets.

History Studies Course

This program gives priority to field research and provides students with the skills to explore and keep records of literary sources focusing on archival documents available at Tenri Central Library. It strives to nurture generally educated graduates with a deep knowledge of history and culture who can contribute to modern society, as well as specialists who can assist in the development of their own national and local cultures through their jobs related to cultural assets.

Archaeology and Folklore Studies Course

By fusing archaeology and folklore together, this program aims at offering locally constructed perceptions of history as well as an understanding of our own culture through comparison with overseas examples. It seeks to foster specialists who contribute to society by the conservation and use of cultural assets, after having acquired skills of investigation and presentation of materials on their own through the experience of research and record-taking. It also intends to foster more generally educated graduates endowed with a deep knowledge of history and culture.

The revision of the Department of History and Culture Studies taking on the Course System

In 2019 April, the Tenri University, Faculty of Letters, the Department of History and Culture Studies, will be reborn.

The introduction of the “History Studies Course” and the “Archaeology and Folklore Studies Course”

Since its founding in 1992, the two majors of the Department of History and Culture Studies, namely the History Major (limit capacity 25 students) and the Archaeology and Folklore Major (limit capacity 25 students), which both have ample experience, will merge and be reorganized as the new Department of History and Culture Studies (limit capacity 50 students).

Studying at the Department of History and Culture Studies

The Department of History and Culture Studies is structured by three academic fields: the studies of History, Archaeology, and Folklore. It covers a vast region related to history and culture. Reference materials are also diverse. For example, archaeological relics and historic ruins, ancient documents and official documents, mass media in the modern era including newspapers, magazines, and movies. Further, there are intangible cultural resources such as folklore, songs, and beliefs. You will use all sorts of subjects to think about history and culture.

Studies Course System

The first year students will study the fundamental education of the studies of history, archaeology, and folklore; they will have plenty of time to think about their interests and concerns. From the second year, students will move onto either the History Studies Course or the Archaeology and Folklore Studies Course, and study specialized contents. During the second and third years, students will deepen their expertise through lectures, practicum, and practice. Finally, in their fourth year, students will work on writing the graduation thesis, which will be the compilation of their studies.

Small Group Education System

The student limit capacity is 50 students, and there are 10 teachers. Therefore, the course is a small class education, with one teacher for every 5 students. Because the teachers and students know each other, the class is able to acquire knowledge and thinking ability through interaction and practice. Seminars, which students will have every year from their first to fourth year, allow students to do research and hold discussions. These seminars will nurture conceptual ability, logical thinking, expression, and communication skills. Also, by reading historical records and documents, and through field work, students will be directly coming in contact with history and culture, and will gain the ability to establish a problem and to solve it.

A Rich Environment

Authentic learning is possible only because the University is situated in Tenri, Nara. The practical training of Archaeology Studies is done by studying the relics excavated from sites such as Furu Ruins, which is in the vicinity of the University. The practical training of Folklore Studies is done by studying how to do research with actual tools and events from a real life. The practical training of History Studies is done by experiencing how to organize ancient documents remaining in the city of Tenri. Learning can be deepened by immersing oneself in various genuine sources such as Tenri Sankokan Museum, Tenri Central Library, and other cutting-edge investigation equipment.

The ideal location to study history and culture

The campus is located along “Yamanobe-no-michi Trail”, which connects the ancient capital of Heijo with the ancient capital of the Asuka–Fujiwara. It is surrounded by various cultural heritages such as large-scale remains of villages, enormous ancient tombs, one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, castle ruins, and traditional villages. Your working field will be an amazing environment, a place that can be called the origin of Japan.

Qualifications and licenses that can be obtained

-Museum curator
-Junior high school teacher (social studies)
-High school teacher (geography and history)

A museum curator is a profession which hands over documents and work from the past onto the future, and presents new value through exhibitions. The Department of History and Culture Studies is in charge of the Museum Curator Course. You are able to obtain qualification necessary to work as a curator at a museum—your teachers have experience working as museum curators, and you will also learn from curators at Tenri Sankokan Museum, and from the museum itself, which is an affiliated institution of the University.

Added to the subjects of the Department of History and Culture Studies, by enrolling in subjects that are related to teaching qualifications, you are able to obtain qualifications for junior high school teacher license type I (social studies) as well as high school teacher license type I (geography and history).

Career Direction after Graduation

Recently, there are more career opportunities for those who have knowledge and technology concerning history and culture acquired at university. Teaching at junior high schools or high schools, becoming a museum curator and a public servant at a local government with a department in charge of cultural assets are not the only career options. Public servants can put to use what they learned about their community’s history and culture in a department that is related to regional culture promotion and revitalization. Further, having graduated the Department of History and Culture Studies allows you to play an active role in jobs concerning tourism and mass media.