Division of Behavioral Studies


The object of the discipline of Geography is diverse phenomena concerned with human beings and nature that take place on the surface of the earth. Examples such as the ancient land division system of jōri, information represented on maps from the Age of Exploration, the recent growth of immigration, globalization, or the distance perception peculiar to children can all be topics for geographical study. Space, maps and humans are the three keywords in the department, but the approaches used to address them are quite diverse.

It is critical that students employ methods effectively; these methods, which may include field surveys, interviews, deciphering ancient documents and maps, mapping using GIS (geographic information system) or computer-based quantitative analysis, will vary depending on the research topic and the approach. For this reason, fieldwork in geography and reading courses are obligatory for students in the department. In the geography fieldwork courses, students select a target area together, conduct field surveys on their respective themes and then collaborate to compile a final report. In addition, seminar courses are important both for undergraduate and graduate students; students are required to present their research outcomes periodically. For undergraduate students, this serves as a step in developing their research interests and issues into a graduation thesis, and for graduate students, it is a step in preparing a dissertation for the master’s or doctoral degree.

The research and education pursuits of the Department of Geography have been traditionally characterized by respect for creative and original thinking, sharp observation for identifying issues in the field and flexible thinking to explore new fields of research. The department has produced not only geographers of distinctive uniqueness but also researchers active in proximate fields in the social sciences such as cultural anthropology, regional studies and regional policy studies. Many graduates now play important roles in a variety of social sectors including education, government, mass media, construction and transport. We hope that the activities of future students who follow in this tradition will also continue to go beyond conventional frameworks.

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TANAKA(SUGIURA), Kazuko Prof. Urban geography; Spatial analysis
MIZUNO, Kazuharu Prof. Physical geography, Ecological geography, Area studies (Africa, Andes,Himalaya)
KOMEIE, Taisaku Prof. Historical geography; Rural studies