Faculty of Liberal Arts

Please see the FLA brochure from here.

A Frontrunner in International and Liberal Arts Education in a Global Age

The Faculty of Liberal Arts has been offering quality international education in English in Japan for over fifty years. We are a diverse and cosmopolitan community of scholars and students brought together in Yotsuya to pursue knowledge and skills that go beyond the confines of a single country or language. The spirit of our education lies in a holistic approach to training the hearts and minds of our students. In the FLA, students begin their college career with vital training in critical thinking and writing in the Core Program before they select one of the three majors: Comparative Culture, Social Studies, and International Business and Economics. We believe that a firm foundation and a diversity of disciplinary training and thinking will foster a deep understanding of the self in connection to the world we inhabit and share.
In addition to encouraging our students to develop advanced language skills and proficiency in intercultural communication, we nurture individuals with global competency to play active roles in international organizations, multinational enterprises, and other globally and locally active organizations. Above all, we encourage students to think about what it means to be a socially responsible and caring citizen in a global age by reflecting on the Sophia motto, “for Others, with Others.” We are all interconnected and interdependent in this world, and the FLA endeavors to instill in our global education the hope and spirit of sharing our knowledge and skills with others to make this world a better place for all.

A Message from the Dean to All FLA Students

Welcome and welcome back to new and returning students of the FLA in Japan and the rest of the world! And warm greetings to all the parents and guarantors who made it possible for our students to start a new semester.

While we still must take the utmost care to protect ourselves and others, we are happy to enjoy campus life and human fellowship.

The Sophia Spirit is embodied in our school emblem Lux Veritatis (The Light of Truth) and our motto For Others, With Others. Lux Veritatis speaks to our intellect for us to exercise critical thinking to seek light and justice as we encounter darkness and injustice in the world. For Other, With Others appeals to our hearts and compassion for us to share our good fortune and privilege with those who are less fortunate.

The liberal arts education at the FLA trains our mind to see the light and nurtures our soul to give and share.

May you carry the Sophia spirit and share the light and love with everyone you touch.

Angela Yiu, Ph.D.
Faculty of Liberal Arts

<IMPORTANT> To Present and Incoming FLA Students:

The FLA Office is open from 10:00 am to 15:30 pm (except for the lunch hour 11:30 – 12:30) Monday though Friday. You can contact us via telephone (03-3238-4004) during then, in addition to email to fla-co<at>sophia.ac.jp.
For complicated questions about course registration and graduation requirements etc., inquiries via e-mail are preferable in order to avoid misunderstanding and miscommunication. Your understanding will be highly appreciated.

Writing Center

The Writing Center offers writing assistance for all students in the Faculty of Liberal Arts. Whether the student is working on an essay in one of the required courses in the Core Program or a research paper in an advanced course in the student’s chosen major, the tutors at the Writing Center can help. Tutorials can be scheduled Monday through Friday during class hours. These tutorials, mainly conducted by graduate students in the Graduate Program in Global Studies, are given on an individual basis, providing students with an opportunity to examine their ideas and arguments with an accomplished writer. Students can then revise their written work to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. In addition to individual tutorials, the Writing Center offers several workshops each semester, focusing on topics such as grammar, the principles of academic writing, and documenting sources. You will be introduced to the Writing Center at the beginning of your first semester and its helpful services will be available to you throughout your college career.


Comparative Culture Major

Name Field
CHAN Yen-yi Art History
DROTT Edward Religion
FRISCHHUT Akiko Religion
KONO Shion Literature
MURAI Noriko Art History
MURAKAMI Tatsuo Religion
OKITA Kiyokazu Religion
STRECHER Matthew Literature
THOMPSON Mathew Literature
YIU Angela Literature

International Business and Economics Major

Name Fields
ASANO Akihito Economics
DE MAEYER Peter Marketing
FUENTES CORDOBA Gabriel Economics
HAGHIRIAN Parissa Business
HASEBE Takuya Economics
ISAKA Naoto Finance
KHOJASTEH Yacob Business and Management
SAKANE Michiru Economics
UENISHI Junko Business

Social Studies

Name Field
ANNO Tadashi Political Science
BURRETT Tina Political Science
FARRER James Sociology
GRAMLICH-OKA Bettina History
HESS Christian History
ITO Takeshi Political Science
MINAGAWA Yuka Sociology
NAKANO Koichi Political Science
SAALER Sven History
SLATER David Anthropology
WATANABE Takehiro Anthropology

Core Program

Name Field
FOGAL Gary English
HARWOOD Chris English
KOYAMA Dennis English
OKADA Hanako English

Our Alumni

Students Sought After

By the time of graduation, FLA students have acquired many of the skills and attributes highly sought after by potential employers and graduate schools. Such attributes include: full communication skills in English, multicultural communication competence, critical and analytical thinking ability, a passion for knowledge, an appreciation of the global environment, and in-depth knowledge in major subject areas. Hence FLA students readily find employment in Japanese and foreign firms, as well as entrance into some of the best graduate programs in the world.


Research Related to FLA

FLA professors participate in a wide variety of research projects in their areas of expertise and publish widely in international research journals.

For a full list of publications, search for Faculty names in the University Researcher Database.

Journal Publications

Monumenta Nipponica

Monumenta Nipponica (MN), a biannual journal on Japanese culture and society, was founded in 1938, making it one of the oldest English-language academic journals in the field of Asian studies. Published by Sophia, MN provides a fully refereed platform for Japan scholars from around the world to present research. It carries original scholarship and translations in the fields of history, literature, art history, religion, philosophy, and anthropology. MN is edited by members of the FLA.
Monumenta Nipponica

Monumenta Nipponica
AGLOS: Journal of Area-Based Global Studies

AGLOS Journal of Area-Based Global Studies is a refereed online journal published by
the Sophia University Graduate School of Global Studies (GSGS)The journal publishes submissions, in English or Japanese, from current graduate students and alumni of the GSGS in a range of disciplines and from the diverse intellectual perspectives embodied in the three graduate programs: Global Studies, Area Studies and International Relations. It aims to encourage rigorous research activities and serve as a forum for intellectual exchange among students and scholars. Many GSGS professors are also members of the FLA.
AGLOS Journal of Area-Based Global Studies


Reacting to the Past

Contributions to educational innovation have been made by bringing the “Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) pedagogy to higher education in Japan. RTTP is an innovative approach to Liberal Arts Education consisting of interactive classroom activities that promote student engagement in big ideas and improve critical thinking skills. In SophiaUniversity’s Liberal Arts program, since 2012 every semester approximately 100 students–every degree student in the faculty–are learning important, lifelong skills by experiencing RTTP in the core program’s required public speaking course. RTTP-style materials have also been developed and tested that explore important moments in Japanese history (e.g. the arrival of Commodore Perry and the Akō incident) for use in the FLA core, history, and literature programs. This research project includes a plan to publish a series of RTTP textbooks and manuals that will make the RTTP method widely available for use in classes relating to Japanese history or critical thinking not only at Sophia but other Japanese and Western universities as well.

Research Institutes

Institute of Comparative Culture

The Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC), established in 1981, is a research organization for developing and promoting interdisciplinary studies in social sciences and humanities from a comparative perspective. The Institute promotes and assists the research activities of ICC members, hosts guest speakers, holds conferences and workshops, and supports the research activities of visiting researchers. ICC members’ areas of specialization include business, economics, history, literature, art history, political science, sociology and anthropology, focusing strongly on Asia, especially Japan. Because the ICC supports research activities in English, its membership is based largely in the FLA.
Institute of Comparative Culture

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For Others, With Others