Sociology was the first major to be offered by the Graduate School of Human Relations, beginning on April 5th, 1951. From the start the aim was to promote broad sociological research which crossed the boundaries of the undergraduate departments, and so the school was formed primarily with relevant professors from the Faculties of Letters, Economics, and Law in a way that ensured it was independent of these faculties. We have maintained this stance as an independent graduate school until the present day. Furthermore, we keep close ties with not just the undergraduate departments, but also with the Teacher Training Center and other research institutes at the university, and many of our faculty members hold concurrent posts in these institutes.


In the master's course, we offer classes in sociological methodology, quantitative and qualitative research and the history of sociology, which form the basic frameworks of sociology. Furthermore you can take advanced lecture classes and seminars in which you can pursue research in themes and fields of individual interest. In the Ph.D. program, we offer advanced research lectures and seminars in order to facilitate the pursuit of deeper individual research. The Graduate School of Human Relations conducts diverse and multidimensional theoretical and empirical research regarding humans and society, from issues affecting humans on an individual level to issues that involve global societal shifts. Concrete themes and fields of research include theoretical fields such as sociological theory and the history of sociology, as well as other areas including ethnicity, cities and communities, social history, life history, globalization, postmodernism, families, art, culture, social class, medicine, consumer behavior, and rational choice theory. We focus on interdisciplinary research and education, and our faculty includes staff from not only the Faculty of Letters, but also the Faculties of Law and Economics as well as other research institutes.

Cultural Anthropology & Folklore

In the master's course of Cultural Anthropology, we offer classes including ones on the history of various schools of thought, research methods, specific research topics, and regional studies. Students are able to gain a comprehensive understanding of this wide discipline by taking these classes. Research themes are diverse, including families and kinship, religion, politics, medicine, ritual performing arts, oral tradition, ethnology, ethnicity, migration, colonialism, tourism, world heritage, subcultures, gender, globalization, and science studies. Furthermore, we offer folklore classes for conducting the kind of research which would be included in Japanology in the broad sense of the term. Through studying cultural anthropology and folklore together, students are able to enrich their understanding of foreign cultures and to develop a viewpoint with which to compare Japanese culture and other cultures around the world.

In the Ph.D. program, students are required to deepen their theories on their research topics by combining empirical data and theoretical considerations. As cultural anthropology and folklore place importance on primary source materials obtained through qualitative studies, fieldwork is regarded as fundamental practice in the Ph.D. program. Students are expected to conduct research either within or outside Japan based on their own interests and to investigate the actual condition of culture and society, which is changing rapidly due to globalization.

Communication & Mass-Communication Research

This course will provide you with a greater understanding of various communication processes and phenomena including interpersonal and mass communication. The master's course includes advanced lectures and seminars, and specializes in research on a variety of issues such as media use, information behavior, mass communication theory, as well as news production processes and journalism, media policy, and the media industry. Our Ph.D. program is specifically designed to provide advanced lectures and seminars in communication and mass communication research. Some classes on mass communication are offered as "(Seminar) Special Study of Sociology."

Social Psychology

In the master's course we provide a variety of advanced study classes and seminars in which students can study various issues in social, industrial, and organizational psychology including interpersonal behavior (interpersonal communication, interpersonal influence such as requests and persuasion, social support, interpersonal attraction, interpersonal conflict, etc.), gaming, group psychology, career development, and investigative methodology. In the Ph. D. program we offer advanced research lectures and seminars which demand more original and in-depth research than the master's course classes. Graduate students collect data through surveys, interviews, and experiments, and perform empirical studies using statistical analyses.


Kwangho Lee Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Media Communication Studies
  • Diffusion Studies
  • Social Psychology

Akihide Inaba Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Sociology of Family
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Social Statistics
  • Sociology of Social Welfare and Policy
  • Social Research Methods

Yoshiaki Imai Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Social Psychology
  • Interpersonal Influence
  • Social Power

Yutaka Oishi Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Mass Communication
  • Political Communication
  • Journalism
  • Information Society

Norihiro Okubo Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Religious Studies
  • History of Religion
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Latin American Studies

Aoi Okada Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Family Sociology
  • Historical Demography
  • Family History

Masayuki Okahara Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Sociology of Emotions
  • Life Story Studies
  • Visual Sociology
  • Arts-Based Research
  • Disability Studies

Teruya Oda Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Theoretical Sociology
  • Rational Choice Theory
  • Evolutionary Game Theory
  • Social Justice
  • Quantitative Sociology

Nobuo Kanomata Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Social Stratification and Mobility
  • Quantitative Sociology
  • Comparative Sociology

Sayako Kanda Professor, Faculty of Economics

  • Socio-Economic History of South Asia
  • Socio-Economic History of Energy and the Environment
  • South Asian (Bengal) Area Studies

Junko Kitanaka Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Medical Anthropology
  • History of Psychiatry
  • Cultural Psychiatry

Byungchul Kim Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • East Asian Area Studies

Atsushi Sawai Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Social Theory
  • History of Sociology
  • Sociology of Death and Bereavement

Yoshikazu Shiobara Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Global sociology
  • Multiculturalism and migration
  • Australian studies

Junkichi Sugiura Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Social Psychology
  • Environmental Behavior
  • Risk Communication

Akihito Suzuki Professor, Faculty of Economics

  • Social History of Medicine
  • Socio-Ecological History of Diseases

Atsuko Suzuki Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Social Psychology
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Methodology

Masanao Takeyama Professor, Faculty of Economics

  • Economic Geography
  • Urban Media Studies
  • Service Design

Hideo Hama Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • History of Sociology
  • Sociology of Knowledge

Yuko Mio Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • East Asian Studies