School of Human Cultures

Understanding Human Cultures from "local" and "global" perspective

School of Environmental Science Shiga, with its treasure trove of history and culture, becomes the teaching material by which students can gain a comprehensive understanding and practical strength of judgment concerning the variety of social phenomena found in the study of human life and culture. The study focuses on the exploration of all aspects of human culture, through the observation of the "Community," the basic sphere of human life, and the rapidly changing "lifestyle" of modern society. The School of Human Cultures consists of five departments. The Department of Regional Studies focuses on the study of the cultures of Japan and Asia, as well as the history of Ohmi (Shiga Prefecture), which has been a hub of communication with East Asia from ancient times. The other three departments, The Department of Living Design, the Department of Nutrition, and the Department of Human Relations, concentrate on the study of human life styles by observing clothing, food, housing and human relationships... each working to understand the concept of the "quality of life" (QOL). The department of Intercultural Communications aims to train individuals who have a real interest in foreign cultures and a talent for language learning. Within each department, various approaches are taken from the cultural, social and natural sciences in order to better assist students in the understanding of human life more fully and to obtain the academic background necessary for creating a new human lifestyle. Student will gain firsthand experience with both community culture and everyday culture. This would include studying the cultural assets and folk traditions of the areas arounding Lake Biwa, which will allow students to acquire a certain perceptive of the "Community" and the "Lifestyle," enabling them to further pursue local studies on Japan, Asia or other countries.