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About the Faculty of Letters

The Faculty of Letters at Nara Women's University has contributed significantly to women's higher education, and there are many international students who are playing significant roles in their countries after they have graduated from our faculty. In 1995, in order to meet the needs of globalization and interdisciplinization, we implemented a drastic (large-scale) reform in our system and started an interdisciplinized education in three departments. Moreover, in 2007, our faculty introduced a new system into each of the departments. It is a course system which offers more specialized and intimate study while enabling students to take relevant subjects flexibly.

Advantages in Studying at the Faculty of Letters

  1. High Degree of Professionalism
    Nara Women's University marked its 100th anniversary in 2009. NWU is well-known as one of the two Japanese national women's universities, attracting excellent students from around the country.
  2. Small Class System
    There are only about one hundred and eighty students in each grade. Therefore most of our lectures, as well as seminars, are delivered in small classes which offer highly-enhanced education.
  3. Flexible and Interdisciplinary Curriculum
    We had started a new course system in 2008, and made it possible for our students to study in a wide range of fields. We try to offer our students the best environment to foster and develop their academic interest and independence.

The Structure of the Faculty of Letters

The Faculty of Letters at Nara Women's University consists of three departments and eleven courses:

Department of History, Sociology and Geography

In the Department of History, Sociology and Geography, you will study foreign countries, ancient times, and things you were not aware of. Such training will help you solve problems in your life, and may contribute to the world. Yet immediate utility is not the only purpose of study. Let's enjoy exploring the knowledge of human culture and make a profound study of how human beings and the world should be!

Studies in Ancient Culture

Nara is the birthplace of the ancient Japanese culture and had been the center of international cultural exchange on the Silk Road. In this course, you will study ancient culture from many viewpoints: archaeology, ancient Japanese history, ancient oriental history, historical geography and art history.

Historical Studies

In this course, you will learn how to decipher and interpret ancient texts, ancient records, iconographic texts, historical sources of Chinese classics and European and American documents in various topics, such as history of life culture, social history and political history in Japan, China, Europe, and America. By taking this course, you will acquire historical thinking and its methods.

Social Information Studies

In this course, you will study the basic knowledge of sociology and area informatics in order to analyze the issues of modern society. You will also achieve the skill in survey analysis, such as questionnaire survey, media analysis, fieldwork and Geographic information system and spatial analysis.

Regional Environment Studies

In this course, human geography, physical geography and environmental sociology will cooperate to consider the issues of local life, culture, landscape, environment, disaster and society. In your research, you will make use of our advanced measurement instruments, aerial photographs and satellite image analysis tools, and a collection of various maps.

Studies in Cultural Media

Cultural media is a field, which ranges from places, things and systems that create culture to structures of their transmission. You will consider what kind of value and information cultures create and should create through cultural media, such as festivals, sightseeing, museums, and mass media.

Department of Language and Culture

What is language? What kind of cultures have humans produced from it? How does each language in the world work and function? Why does it convey ideas to us, and why do we become touched by it through literary works? Such questions are the basis of our studies on language and literature. Refined sensibility and fluent command are necessary in the study of any language. Our goal is to nurture "sprachgefuhl" or sense of language and intimate knowledge of literature and culture.

Japanese and Asian Literature

In this course, you will study Japanese and Asian literature in various ways, such as gender studies and comparative study. The research will mainly be through intensive reading of literary works and documents. You will also use the internet to search information and database of literary documents and picture scrolls.

European and American Literature

In this course, you will study languages and cultures through languages and literature in Britain, America, Germany and France from various point of views, such as gender and language structures.

Department of Human Sciences

In the Department of Human Sciences, you will learn about human beings ourselves theoretically, and also study them realistically. Have you ever felt suddenly suffocated or empty although you are enjoying material wealth and freedom? Have you ever been comforted by someone you have just met, or felt liberated when you engage in physical activity like a child? To address such questions is the aim of our four courses.


In this course, you will research on wide range of phenomena related to character formation and human existence, such as education, art, physical culture, and ideas and ethics, by means of various methods from reference books to empirical research. You will obtain the ability to take empirical and theoretical approaches to the issues in modern society, and to solve them in a creative manner.

Child Studies

In this course, "child" is the keyword to examine issues of modern society and human relations. You will carry out pragmatic research on child existence in society, and what we could do for self-reliance support of the next generation.


In this course, you will comprehensively learn psychology from basic study to clinical. By means of examinations, interviews, and surveys, you will consider individual human being in society as a whole. By taking this course, you can acquire the ability to think, act and communicate yourself, and think about human happiness from a technical perspective based on mutual cooperativity.

Sports Science

This is the only Sports Science Course at national universities which belongs to the faculty of letters, and we take full advantage of it in our study. You will take both scientific and empirical approaches to physical phenomena and sport behaviors. By taking this course, you will nurture sinuous somesthesis through interactions between theory and practice, and will learn how to contribute to society.