History | What is Anthropology? | Major Areas of Research | Undergraduate Education | Graduate Education
* Please see Contact Us for the Department Office mailing address and contact information.
* For information on the research of graduate students in the Department, see the Graduate Student Site.
The Department of Anthropology at the University of Tokyo at Komaba
was founded in September of 1954 as the Cultural Anthropology and Human
Geography Department. Since sending off its first graduating class of 5
students in March 1957, through March of 2011, the department has
graduated 339 undergraduate majors. The Department has played a very
important role as an early pioneer of anthropological education in
Cultural anthropology is a field of study centered around research
based on participant observation and other methods that are carried out
during careful fieldwork in order to explore the daily cultural
practices of various societies across the world. The discipline,
beginning with subjects of "traditional" or tribal societies, has
expanded to make crucial contributions to many of the problems of modern
society. Not limited to research conducted in foreign cultures, our own Japanese
culture has been an important subject of research. A cultural
anthropologist's work is done with an approach toward varied human
activity that stresses observational skills that take under
consideration details of people's actions, the social skills to create
relationships with collaborators and the tenacious and dynamic thought
that can tease out the special characteristics of human society and
Currently, research areas being undertaken by faculty of the Cultural Anthropology Department can be divided into 3 major axes.
This is not all our faculty does. For more information on the interest of each, see the Faculty page.
The curriculum of the undergraduate program in cultural anthropology
is focused on encouraging a student's systematic acquisition of the
methodology of fieldwork and data analysis, as well as developing the
ability to analyze many cultural and social phenomena. Overall, the
department offers classes in: various aspects of culture including
economics and religion, various dimensions of society from the family to
government. We hope to encourage a sense of balance that allows the
freedom of dynamic thought between micro and macro, or between theory
and reality. Post-graduation, students from this department go on to
careers in researcher, international cooperation organizations,
government and municipalities, think tanks, journalism, media and many
other private corporate jobs.
At the graduate level, the goal of education is to develop experts in the field of cultural anthropology. This expertise is centered on qualitative research in the three main research areas detailed above, while also including an understanding of quantitative research methods to enable students to master the levels of thinking that multidimensionally grasp complex variables. As such, students graduating from this program go on to career paths in research and teaching in anthropology and regional studies, fusion and frontier area research, international cooperative and other public organizations and research organizations.