About our Major

Cultural Resources Studies is a new major, established in 2000 in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology at the University of Tokyo. Degrees are offered only at the graduate level, with students choosing one of three degree courses: Cultural Management, Configurative Resources and Graphic Resources. The Graphic Resources course is further divided into two specialized fields, Documentary Resources and Philological Resources.

Cultural Management

This course was founded upon the idea that form and language give rise to culture, which in turn, affects society. Management, as a major, refers to the study of the relationship between culture and society and the pursuit of an ideal in the future. Cultural management arises in response to the production of a culture of form and language; it does not precede it.

Configurative Resources [Studies of Forms]

There are majors in Art History and Archaeology majors in the graduate school. These are existing fields in the study of "forms". However, many "forms" have been driven out of these fields. We study not only such visual cultural forms as photographs, films, television and comics, but also all performative arts that are produced by the human body.

Graphic Resources

Documents are "language" which has been written, and texts are "language" which has taken the form of books. In most disciplines of the humanities and sociology to date, thought has been mainly constructed through those "languages". However, the advance of academics has brought about an increasing segmentation of domains of knowledge, and the development of communication technology has weakened the relationship between "language" and the media.

Yet, no matter how many changes in media --handwriting, woodblock printing, typography, and the e-book, which is now being developed-- we encounter,we tend to consider texts as unchanged. "The Tale of Genji" will always be "The Tale of Genji", and "The Divine Comedy" will always be "The Divine Comedy". However, "language" is strongly bound to the form that conveys it. So we think it is important to pay attention to the materiality of "language".

"Cultural Resources Studies" was created to return to the sources of cultural production and to reconstruct the concept, taking various "languages" and "forms" into consideration. We investigate methods for extracting new information from various viewpoints and returning them to society. On the other end of the continuum from cultural sources there is cultural practice. So it is also important to consider the past, present and the future of various institutions and practices, such as museums, art museums, libraries, archives, historiographical institutes, documentary collections, theaters, music halls, cultural policy, cultural administration, and cultural properties protection.

In order to achieve these purposes, The Cultural Resources Studies major has two special features. One is to connect loosely with other majors in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology. This reflects our borderless character. Various people have joined our staff, including faculty from the Archaeology, Art History, Aesthetics, Japanese Literature, Chinese Literature, French Literature, Classics, and Japanese History majors.

Furthermore, we also cooperate with various research organizations outside and inside the university. Within the university, we cooperate with The Historiographical Institution, The University Museum, and The Institute of Oriental Culture. The staff at these organizations are in charge of education, especially at the Historiographical Institution which inaugurated the cooperative lecture series "The Study of Historiographical Analysis" in 2004. Three staff members teach this course in Cultural Resources Studies. Outside of the university, we cooperate with The National Museum of Western Art and National Institute of Japanese Literature. They offer a practical curriculum, such as internships.

Another special feature of our course is our open door to working students and foreigners. It is our precise wish to open our university to society. Since half the number of people accepted are working students, a variety of constituents, nationalities, ages, and occupations have become members of our organization. Some students work in cultural facilities, such as libraries, art museums, and theaters. These students do not merely remain in their affiliated places; they also share a mutual relationship in the department offices. The result is the construction of something similar to the internet. The typical role of universities in the past, which only accepted students from high school and sent them out to society is not the case here. We build the structure in a positive way so that working students may return to the university and non-working students may participate in professional activities.


The Office of Cultural Resources Studies
TEL:03-5841-3722 E-mail:bunka@l.u-tokyo.ac.jp All rights reserved. ©2000-2014