From the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities


Dean Negayama of the Faculty of Humanities

The ancient Chinese Book of Changes (also known as I Ching) compiled during the Zhou dynasty observed the following:

Look to the heavens to feel the passage of time, look to humanity to change the world. (Hike Tanden)

Probe the heavens and humanity and sense the changing seasons and you will contribute to cultural enlightenment. “Heavens” here refers to the various phenomena of nature, while “humanity” refers to those of the man-made world. Despite the intervening passage of some 3000 years, we can still discern roughly the same usage of concepts in our Liberal Arts of today.

However, the wisdom acquired through the study of humanities has long been viewed with some disdain as frivolous and akin to entertainment, though perhaps superior to gambling. This is because the study has been considered as having nothing to do with useful or practical learning.

However, this tumultuous age through which we are living calls upon us to tackle the fundamental questions of mankind head on, to look to both the past and the present, and to chart a way forward into the future. The human insights hidden in wisdom still to be uncovered are desperately needed.

I hope that this Humanities Faculty will be a place students can acquire human insights, turn a new page in their lives, contribute to society and in so doing pass on a better world to the next generation.

Toru Negayama, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities