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Social Anthropology/Science of Religion/Japanese History of Ideas

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As a part of the effort to improve its graduate curriculum, Nagoya University established a General Human Studies program in 2000. The Department of Cultural Anthropology/Science of Religion/Japanese History of Ideas was created based on this program and is actively accepting students with various backgrounds such as college or high school teachers and NGO staff. The purpose of this program is to take an interdisciplinary approach to the different fields of human studies that tend to be differentiated from each other, and to promote unique and advanced research beyond the stereotypical thinking within each field. However, even advanced innovative research will always require a foundation. We attach great importance to fieldwork or hands-on investigation to collect and analyze primary materials for study. We are not seeking abstract knowledge of a certain principle or way of thinking. What we are aiming for is to study through a concrete understanding of actual human activities such as working, fighting, dancing, singing, praying and thinking. The study of the History of Ideas requires considerable document research, and we also expect students to conduct hands-on research that includes going through dust-covered ancient writings in libraries at temples. With "A Challenge to Common Sense" as the course motto, we are pursuing free-conceptthinking research across different academic fields as well as reevaluating the framework of conventional knowledge. Although we encourage fieldwork around the world, it is important as a starting point to study Japanese culture. Freshmen are required to engage in fundamental anthropological fieldwork within Japan. In order to deepen our research by cross-referencing research results from Japan with other parts of the world, we are planning to invite students from China, Thailand and Argentina and researchers from Cameroon.

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