Cultural Historical Studies

Cultural Historical Studies

Our main interest is to research the various cultural phenomena in our daily lives from past to present in an interdisciplinary approach.  

The Department of Cultural Historical Studies aimes to explore the things and phenomena that impact our lives from historical viewpoints.

This department targets all aspects of the culture that affects our lives, such as food, clothing, housing, design, feng shui, love, marriage, and philosophies regarding family and the household. Students are expected to foster intelligence and sensitivity to solve the problems caused by the complicated interests, and to survive in the society today by seeking the “philosophy of living”.

Objective: Polishing intelligence and sensitivity necessary to investigate into living life.

Culture starts as a part of everyday life. To make our lives better, we need to inherit and develop various different values. The department’s four-year curriculum is carefully designed for students to acquire the wide range of knowledge to discover the various problems in modern life as well as to solve them.

The classes of the department capture everyday culture from all times and places using a variety of method from various viewpoints, focusing on art and literature, Japanese and Western culture, the home, crafts, clothing, and children.

After graduation students find jobs at private corporations, public organizations, art museums, academic sectors, and in other occupations as people who can contribute to the cultural exchange between Japan and other countries.

Features: Learning through Familiar Themes and Experiences

Students learn the foundations of Cultural Historical Studies by taking basic courses in folklore, cultural comparison theory, the history of fashion, and childcare theory. Furthermore, there are compulsory lecture courses that teach methods for analyzing and interpreting documents in order to deepen the student’s understanding of each field. In the seminars that start in the third year, students learn methods for interpreting literature and illustrated materials, and expand their viewpoints on culture in everyday life by reading Western research papers and other writings. Since class sizes are small, the department offers a highly concentrated form of education.

Another feature is the study of Cultural Historical Studies through practical physical training. Through hands-on work in clothing culture, students actually create Japanese or Western clothes, thereby attaining a deep understanding of the field.

Students also can enjoy many other opportunities to experience everyday culture through fieldwork, visiting museums and art galleries, etc.

Introduction to Child Studiesca

Provides a close and interdisciplinary perspective on child studies. At the campus area, there are Ochanomizu University Kindergarten which was founded as the first kindergarten in Japanese history, Izumi Nursery (an on-campus daycare center for infants) and the Bunkyo-ku Municipal Ochanomizu University Center for Early Childhood Education and Care (established in 2016). This course introduces students to these three facilities and teaches about childcare.


Students learn about Japanese culture with an emphasis on the culture and folklore of ordinary people in everyday life, including the family, food, clothing, and housing, as well as the New Year’s holiday, the Bon festival, and other annual events, wedding ceremonies, funerals, and other life rituals, folk religion, old tales, and legends.

Seminar on Cultural Study of Clothes

Students learn methods of analyzing the materials that are the foundation of the history of fashion research in terms of Western clothing. Students explore the unique sensibility of each era through literature and illustrated materials.

Using Documents in History of Costume

An overview of the history of Western clothing from ancient times to the modern era, centered on illustrated materials. Students attain an understanding of the forms and characteristics of clothing in each era.

Seminar on Comparative Culture

Considers the relationship between life and art in modern Japan from the perspective of comparative culture theory.

Basic Seminar on History of Japanese Costume

Students explore the changing values of people in the Meiji era and onward in terms of clothing and clothing lifestyles through concrete examples and objects.

Historical Folk Culture (1) (2)

Considers from the perspectives of folklore and culture anthropology how humans perceive the spaces in which they live, and how they built cities, towns, and homes. In particular, this course discusses Japan’s adoption of feng shui.

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