Through the research, study and reinterpretation of local traditional cultural resources (roots), students explore their own new artistic expressions

By incorporating three approaches (“basic theory,” “fieldwork,” and “art production”), students learn a variety of themes and techniques rooted in local culture and history, and apply these research results to their own artistic practices.



Arts & Roots attempts to discover new modes of artistic expression by tapping the “roots” of Japan’s local cultural resources, histories and traditions. This major course aims for the creation of art linked to the roots of culture, including language and place-names, festivals and rituals, and formed objects.

In pursuit of this aim, students examine local cultures and contexts through fieldwork. Next, they compare their findings with the cultural resources of other regions, incorporating anthropological considerations as they narrow down their choice of themes. Then they learn the skills and techniques for expressing their artistic vision through a variety of media including painting, drawing, and sculpture.

Students also explore a range of current topics such as the ideal relationship between human activity and the natural environment, the development of new local art festivals, and the establishment of gallery networks, thereby developing a flexible and practical sense of connecting the past with the present, and the local community with the wider world.

Teaching Staff