Welcome to the Department of History

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From the Department Chair

(In preparation)

Characteristics of the Department of History

The Department of History at this university is housed in the College of Literature. Now it is true that the Greek word historia is the origin of the English words "history" and "story," and that the French word histoire is used for both concepts even today. In that sense, one might say that human history has a certain story-like quality. However, the study of history is actually a bona fide science (scientia), the field of study that seeks to figure out the truth behind the stories about people and their societies.

It is well known that history is the most empirical of the humanities and social sciences. In our everyday lives, we often make judgments about the right and wrongs of a situation or express our opinions, based on firm facts. The experience of struggling with difficult historical questions in the Department of History will certainly serve you well in your lives after graduation.

All of us feel a certain attachment and nostalgia for our own childhoods, and our attraction and romantic feelings about history may be instinctive, and an important starting point for historical research. However, the objective of studying history is not merely learning about the past as if it were something over and done with but gaining a correct understanding of contemporary society. The world we live in becomes more complex every day, and whether we like it or not, we find ourselves involved in closer relationships with other regions. We are being asked to acquire unbiased knowledge about trends in world history, to gain an accurate understanding of other cultures, and to adopt a receptive, broadly based viewpoint.

For these reasons, it is fair to say that the fundamental guiding principle of the Department of History at this university is to foster a wide-ranging, deep understanding of human beings and their societies through study of their past history.