The Department of Comparative Studies
<Photograph>A seminar in process.
The Department of Comparative Studies is designed for students interested in the comparative and cross-cultural study of social systems, religion, technology, languages, arts, and cultural resources. Through the comparative study of ethnic cultures, students are expected to identify the cross-cultural aspects of their research subjects and to develop theoretical interpretations of the comparative data. To foster researchers with high expertise, we encourage new research methods integrating relevant information technology and interdisciplinary approaches with the traditional anthropological methods.
[Educational Policies for the Department of Comparative Studies]
This department is based at Minpaku, Japan's National Museum of Ethnology, an Inter-University Research Institute established to implement large-scale joint research with universities, museums, and other research institutions both in and outside of Japan. It is also an open museum, with exhibitions, talks, and seminars open to members of the general public. In addition to artifacts related to the lifeways of peoples around the globe, its resources also include video and audio recordings, in addition to written and printed materials. Students are trained in both the theory and practice of comparative research and refine their academic writing and presentation skills by writing academic papers and participating in academic meetings, developing the indispensable ability to communicate their findings to the public. Each student has an advisor group constructed to fit his or her research topic and, under the direction of his or her supervisor, receives specialized training in this rich and challenging environment.