Division of Department of Global Humanities Department of Chinese Philosophy

We study the culture and philosophy developed by the people of China

In a land so vast you could fit all of Europe in its borders and still have space left, Chinese society has spent centuries building rich and diverse cultures. Chinese philosophy, which is a field of study that relies on close analysis of written sources, seeks to explore specific aspects and distinctive features of these multifaceted cultures and map the points where they coincide with or diverge from cultures in other regions. Tracing the ways of thinking developed in the past, it strives to examine them in detail and reveal their historical significance both in the past and the present. As a system of ideas, Chinese thought has influenced the lifestyles and minds of Japanese people for a very long time, and even now it survives in the foundations of Japanese consciousness. We especially welcome students with a drive to discover what Chinese philosophical writings say about human nature and fate or the ideal state of society. We expect you to closely engage with these writings with the aim of identifying and contemplating differences and common points between distinct ideologies.

Message from Senior


3rd grade, Humanities and Social Sciences
High school : Yamagata Prefectural Yamagata-Nishi

Recommended book : Closed Note by Shizukui Shūsuke
Reason : This is a mysterious story about a girl who comes across a certain note. I first read it when I was in middle school. Deciding to re-read it recently, I realized that the protagonist is a university student. As such, she became more relatable, and I enjoyed the book even more. I hope you too will give it a try.

Highlights of the Faculty of Arts and Letters

University is a place of great freedom. I think it is much easier to do what you want and to realize your dreams during your college days, compared to your time in high school or as an employed adult. Tohoku University arranges a large number of exchange programs and holds dozens of special events, creating a favorable environment for self-improvement. When I joined the department, I was astonished by the abundance of materials provided by the university. Its archives contain extremely rare and valuable documents. Research subjects vary greatly across the departments, but all in all this faculty is dedicated to studying humans from different angles. If you are interested in humans or human creations, and if you want to thoroughly research such subjects, then you will find your place here.

To everyone aiming for the Faculty of Arts and Letters

I guess there are things that one can try and enjoy only as a high school student, just as there are experiences limited to one’s college years. In my opinion, you should devote yourself entirely to your studies, club activities, or whatever occupies you at present, so that you have nothing to regret when you enter university. This approach can serve you well in your research, too. A university student can do whatever she or he wants, but it is also very easy to do nothing at all, compared to your high school years. If you try out something difficult or achieve a hard-won goal now, you will be able to make similar dedicated efforts after you enter university, and your time here will be much more productive. Please treasure the time you have now.