School of Letters
The interest of the Graduate School of Letters lies in exploring, from a variety of angles, those mental activities and manifestations that cannot be explained solely by the natural sciences or economics. Our School is the seat of active research and education that delves into the workings of the mind as well as matters of physical value. On his first visit overseas to the United States, Keio’s founder, Yukichi Fukuzawa, marveled at that country’s advanced technologies and institutions. On his next visit to the West in 1862, when he toured six countries in Europe, his attention was caught up by the cultures, traditions, customs, and other underlying conditions that made possible Europe’s varied discoveries and inventions. These experiences set Fukuzawa on his course to become an Enlightenment philosopher. The first graduate programs were established at Keio University in 1906, shortly after Fukuzawa’s death. Our current graduate school structure was established in 1951. The foundations for academic research in the Graduate School of Letters were laid by such giants of learning as Toshihiko Izutsu and Junzaburo Nishiwaki. The wealth of research materials acquired by the library and other facilities over the years serves both as a valuable learning resource and as the foundation for free-ranging and highly original research. Deriving new ideas from the School’s historical resources and further stimulated by our student’s interactions with researchers at the University’s other institutes, as well as with those other universities in Japan and abroad, our graduate students make significant contributions to their particular fields of interest. Certain fields demand specialist knowledge and skills, but even these benefit from fresh working knowledge generated by flexible thinking founded on a broad, solid education. I can say that a relentless intellectual curiosity over a a range of fields pervades our School. The Graduate School of Letters has Master’s and Doctoral Programs in nine majors: Philosophy and Ethics, Aesthetics and Science of Arts, History (in Japanese History, Oriental History, European History, and Archaeology and Ethnology), Japanese Literature, Chinese Literature, English and American Literature, German Literature, French Literature, and Library and Information Science. To serve the needs of career professionals, the School has also offered courses in Information Resource Management in the Master’s Program in Library and Information Science since April 2004. From April 2005, we have offered Art Management in the Master’s Program in Aesthetics and Science of Arts. Again, for the busy professional, we offer lectures on Saturdays and in the evenings, and the curriculum is designed to make it more accessible to active students currently in employment. In April 2007, Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language was added to the Master’s Program in Japanese Literature in order to train experts and researchers in this field. The University has several scholarship programs, including the Keio Gijuku Koizumi Memorial Fund Graduate Scholarship Program, and students are actively encouraged to apply for outside scholarships too.