Graduate School of Arts

Ikebukuro Campus


Eight programs that seek new intellectual paradigms in a massively changing modern society


Graduate School of Arts

The spirit of the humanities is to explore humanity and expand the capacity for empathy

The objective of the humanities is to gain a comprehensive human understanding through the investigation of literary and historical materials and resources. The essence of the humanities is to research humanity as an irreplaceable entity brimming with personality, humanity as a social being living in families, regions, companies, and nations, and humanity as a linguistic, cultural and historical entity. In a manner that is more qualitative than quantitative, research in the humanities takes great care to view each person individually. The eight programs that belong to the Graduate School of Arts--Japanese Literature, English and American Literature, German Literature, French Literature, History, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, and Education--are proud bearers of both history and achievement, and take advantage of their traditions in order to grapple with the challenges of the 21st century. The Graduate Program in Comparative Civilizations seeks to establish a new field of academic inquiry that, while originating from the humanities, seeks to transcend the existing academic disciplines of the arts and sciences.
Rikkyo University's founding principles are based on Christian values. This teaches us that the fact of studying exists only because there are people to study with. By sharing the same time and space together, academic research comes into being as a collaborative effort and becomes more significant through interactive cooperation.


  • Graduate Program in Japanese Literature

    Pursuing literature opened to the world which examines the questions of “What is Japan?” and “What is literature?”—We study the wisdom of Japanese literature for nourishment to thrive in the 21st century.
    We revive the outstanding classics of the past to stand beside modern literature, and dig deep into their significance.
    Aiming to create our own “world” through literature, we explore the position and role of Japanese literature in the world.

    Sophisticated research into Japanese literature and linguistics
    We aim to carry out sophisticated research into all areas of Japanese literature and Japanese linguistics, from the ancient past to the modern and contemporary era. We are always actively expanding the areas of our research and looking for methodologies that open up new academic horizons.

    Growing diverse talent with specialized knowledge
    Our faculty, made up of faculty members with diverse research interest and specialization, can accommodate students’ broad range of interests in Japanese literature and language.We develop diverse talent, from educators and scholars to professionals with specialist knowledge.

    Exclusive partnerships with overseas universities
    This graduate program enjoys exclusive partnerships with Columbia University (U.S.A.), Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (South Korea), and the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies (China).
    Activities at the Institute of Japanese Studies

    We operate the Institute of Japanese Studies, which is centered on the Graduate Program in Japanese Literature and Graduate Program in History. We also hold an open symposium once every year with a great number of participants from inside and outside of the University, achieving significant results. Additionally, we carry out regular seminars in which we continue to examine Japanese literature from multifaceted, international viewpoints.
  • Graduate Program in English and American Literature

    Classes that cover a wide range of English and American literature subjects—We provide a wide range of subjects, from English and American poetry, theater, novels, philology and Middle English literature, and the literature of other English-speaking countries.
    Through exchange and credit transfer systems with other graduate schools with programs in English and American literature, we aim to foster highly-trained experts and well-educated individuals with wide-ranging knowledge.
    We also have an extensive library of works relating to English and America literature and the English language, providing a rich research environment.

    Lessons based on student research presentations
    All graduate students and faculty members participate in the course Methodologies of English and American Literature 2, centered on student research presentations, with the aim of deepening and diversifying research through the development of mutual insight.

    Providing detailed individual guidance
    We have a system to provide graduate students with individual guidance regarding their aspirations from multiple members of our faculty. Additionally, every year, the TN Award (50,000 yen) is awarded to an exceptional master’s thesis among those submitted.

    After program completion, pursuing study abroad or utilizing English skills in the workplace
    Graduate students who complete the program often go on to study abroad, or take up employment at research and education institutions. Other career options include specialist work in English communications, publishing, business, public relations, among a wide variety of other fields where high level English skills are required.
  • Graduate Program in German Literature

    Developing the latest research of German-speaking cultures, building on their literary traditions—Our classes on the literature, linguistics, and cultures of the German-speaking world are delivered by academic staff including faculty members from Germany.
    After completing the program, more and more people are leveraging their specialist knowledge to gain employment in general companies.

    Research seminars held through careful individual guidance
    We have established research seminars in which students present the results of their research, and multiple faculty members provide helpful guidance, including individual guidance by an advisor.

    Promoting creative research activities
    To promote creative research, we provide students with opportunities to publish their essays in German or Japanese in two different publications associated with the Graduate Program in German Literature.

    Full support for studying abroad
    We provide substantial support for our students to study abroad at German universities, through Rikkyo’s international exchange system or individually, as well as support in applying for public scholarships provided by the German government.
    Rikkyo's Graduate Program in German Literature: Communicating the latest developments in the field

    While building on the conventional Germanistik literary traditions, we also use methods such as media theory, body theory, comparative and contrastive cultural studies, and linguistics to attempt groundbreaking cultural research of the German-speaking world. Our faculty members are also engaged in this endeavor, producing achievements with public research grants from inside and outside of Japan and carrying out vibrant research activities in academic societies as well as getting involved in the management of academic societies as directors. Additionally, with numerous opportunities to take part in international meetings and research projects in German-speaking spheres, we have a broad international network of scholars. We take advantage of this to frequently invite scholars from abroad to hold international conferences at the university, and request lectures and seminars for our graduate students. Most of the graduate students publish their essays in our publications ASPEKT and WORT. We also provide travel subsidies to present research at national-level academic conferences. With respect to studying in Germany, many graduate students have had outstanding results in selection by German governmental and state-level scholarships, and have studied abroad at partner institutions such as the University of Tübingen, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of Bonn. To help students achieve such results, we put effort into providing thorough guidance and advice from the ground up, including help in improving German language skills or Japanese essay-writing skills. And, of course, in terms of facilities such as libraries, we are fully equipped to answer the needs of graduate students, from basic academic books to items needed to pioneer new areas of research.
  • Graduate Program in French Literature

    A program that offers "deep understanding" of French literature and French studies—For students interested in French literature, culture and language, we provide a program that takes depth of understanding one step further. Our faculty members have a wide range of interests in all kinds of French literature, from the “classics” to modern literature and philosophy, as well as literature from French-speaking areas such as Quebec and the Maghreb.

    Program-wide support for research activities
    Rather than specialization in a narrow sense, we always aim to conduct our work across a range of fields with awareness of the actual problems facing humans in the current world. Additionally, our curriculum adopts a global perspective, looking not only at France but also the broader French-speaking world. We create a culture of support for research activities through dedicated guidance by faculty members inside and outside of lectures, as well as opportunities for student research presentations at a range of events.

    Various career options from academia to general companies
    We have many graduate students who study abroad at partner institutions during their years in the program, and put effort into improving their French language ability. Additionally, after completion of this program, our students are active in various fields, from academia to general companies.
    Rich exchange with overseas scholars and research organizations

    Outside of Rikkyo University partner institutions, we also leverage the individual networks of our faculty to actively plan events every year in which we invite scholars and authors from overseas. At these events, such as open lectures and symposiums, graduate students are encouraged to take the initiative to interact with well-known authors and scholars from within Japan and overseas in order to broaden their research perspectives. The students also have numerous opportunities to present their research results, including the annual Rikkyo French Literature Meeting and the Rikkyo French Literature journal.
  • Graduate Program in History

    Examining the past to pioneer the future. This is the privilege of the historian—By looking at history, we gaze also at where humanity now stands, and where it will go. By properly examining historical facts and understanding the lives of people in the past, we open our eyes to the limitless possibilities of human thought and action. The Graduate Program in History nurtures people who can look at history in this way.

    Research in three areas of history
    Our diverse faculty members cover three fields (Japanese History, Eastern History, and Western History) in our treatment of the historical issues raised by modern society. Building on a foundation of individual research, we also foster interdisciplinary academic interest through fieldwork.

    Information gathering, analysis, logical reasoning, and presentations
    We equip students with the skills to reason logically by citing objective evidence (historical materials). Another of our objectives is to help students develop techniques for self-expression and make a contribution to society.

    A well-rounded research network
    The extensive networks of our faculty support our students' research, spanning not only Japan but also China, South Korea, the countries of South-East Asia, the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Turkey.
  • Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

    Research based on fieldwork from the perspectives of human geography and cultural anthropology—
    Carrying out empirical research and education based on fusion of human geography, cultural anthropology, ethnology, and community studies. In this field of study, students demonstrate interest in a broad range of contemporary global challenges, while learning and developing themselves amid connections with individuals at the specific sites of their fieldwork.

    Each student chooses a specialized field to study
    Students study the interconnections between the physical environment and human life and culture from the perspectives of human geography and cultural anthropology. We value fieldwork, and each student chooses a specialized region and theme for study. The research journal RUGAS is published independently by graduate students.

    Fostering understanding and a holistic view of multifaceted regions
    Graduate students independently choose the areas and themes they wish to study, while receiving guidance from faculty members. Developing a multifaceted understanding of a region and a holistic outlook also provides students with an essential grounding for the real world.

    A well-rounded study support system
    Many graduate students in the doctoral program start their work in earnest by selecting a research site overseas and studying the language used in the region. The Machiko Aoyagi Scholarship is available to graduate students in this program who carry out overseas research.
    Human geography and cultural anthropology

    Broadly speaking, the Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies carries out research and education by bringing human geography and cultural anthropology together in a complementary fusion. This interdisciplinary field thrives on the shared interest of the two fields, rather than their differences. That is to say, both fields are similar in that researchers can set a framework which varies in scale and outline to attempt to understand their subjects, and there are various scopes of research areas. For example, some students are interested in groups of people with very few speakers of their language, or people who share extremely unusual customs. Conversely, some students look into technology and dietary cultures that spread beyond borders and continents. By freely setting the scale and outline of a subject of research, it becomes possible to take a comparative view of relevant elements. Because all things are relative, and all things are entities that have mutual relationships, one can feel how irreplaceable an individual phenomenon is. We have used the words “all things” and “individual phenomenon” quite generally, but you can think of these as ideas like individual cultures, ethnic groups, languages, states, inherited techniques, lineages, and individuals, to give a few examples. Additionally, both human geography and cultural anthropology place importance on fieldwork. By listening to people who are living now and observing how they live, one can understand their relation to the image of “how things should be (the norm),” including divergence, coordination and judgments of individual people. We hope to come closer to understanding regions and people by looking at their norms and deviations from the norm.
  • Graduate Program in Education

    Education Studies pursues the fundamental questions of humanity—“What is education?” This question has been asked throughout history, and may be a question that is both fundamental and unanswerable, much like the question of “What is humanity?”. However, the appeal of educational studies is precisely in the way that continuing to ask unanswerable questions shows us the way to new knowledge.

    Pursuing specialization in broad academic fields
    We pursue specialization in a broad range of academic fields, such as educational philosophy, educational history, educational sociology, educational psychology, educational methodology, sociological education, and arts education.

    Exploring educational research methodology and analysis
    Methodology gives a field of study its character. As such, our aim is to explore aspects of methodology while generating new knowledge through analysis and critical efforts. Educational phenomena are complex and wide-ranging. To analyze these phenomena, we must have the appropriate methodology. We continue to search for better methodologies.

    Training scholars and highly specialized professionals
    The graduate school is a center for training scholars and providing additional education to highly specialized professionals, workers, and teachers. We also actively engage in mutual exchange with experts and practitioners from outside of the university.
    Promotion of exchange with scholars and graduate students from inside and outside the university.

    You can observe educational phenomena present both in the local interaction of the here and now and also in global scale movements.This creates further need for graduate students to broaden their perspectives while delving deeply into a single theme. As such, the faculty within the Graduate Program in Education are active in the pursuite of vibrant exchange with scholars from inside and outside of the university, as well as with graduate students from other universities. For example, we promote research activities in a variety of formats and settings, such as holding international symposiums, various types of workshops, as well as fostering joint research.
  • Graduate Program in Comparative Civilizations

    Comparative Civilizations: Pioneering new horizons of the humanities—The field of comparative civilizations is not one of discussing cultural phenomena individually, but of exploring the ultimate possibilities of the humanities.
    We aim to cultivate broad and comprehensive knowlege of the humanities across disciplinary boundaries.

    The comprehensive strength of the humanities
    We make it possible to acquire diverse points of view and knowledge, while building on the foundations of the humanities such as literature, philosophy, culture and representation theory, and literary criticism.

    Cultural studies that cuts across time and space
    We encourage the positioning of one’s own research within a global axis, while connecting with trends in modern thought and arts.

    Implementing creative study and research
    Students can carry out creative study and research from an interdisciplinary perspective for their thesis work. We deal with questions around the creative expression that results from the vibrant interaction between various methods of linguistic expression.
    Diverse approaches and well-rounded support systems

    Classes are organized according to four research areas (Modern Civilization, Civilization Engineering, Language and Multiculturalism, and Civilization Representation), covering various research themes. We also invite front-line specialists to visit as specially-appointed faculty members, offering students an opportunity to receive direct guidance.

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