Geography is the study to find the relationships between natural phenomena such as geographical features, water balance, weather, and human activities, as distinct from memory work, the memorization of names of areas or trade items, etc. What is important in studying geography is the pursuit natural phenomena that occur on the earth in connection with the ways of living, industry, history and culture of the peoples of regions. When we gather facts relevant to unfamiliar places and peoples, we ask questions such as “How can these be ordered systematically?” or “Why are there differences between the various phenomena depending on the area?” and we attempt to consider such integrally from various aspects. This is the essence and distinguishing feature of geography.
The Department began with the establishment of the Department of Geography and History in the higher normal school department of the time in 1937, and at present it belongs to the Faculty of Letters. The Department is unique in that it is a general and interdisciplinary Department with the character of humanities, social and natural sciences all together. The area covered is vast and made up of three fields, with the types of “Culture and History” (Cultural Geography, Historic Geography and Tourism Geography)”, “Society and Economy” (Social Geography, Economic Geography, Urban Geography), and “Nature and Environment” (Geomorphology, Climatology and Hydrology). The curriculum is made up of a variety of things as in lectures such as Introduction to Geography, Regional Geography (Japan), Regional Geography (World), Geomorphology, Climatology, Socio-economic Geography, Cultural Geography, seminars in individual fields, and, on top of this, Field Excursion (Fieldwork Training), Practicum in Physical Geography, and Practicum in Geography.
Field excursions (fieldwork) performed away from the classroom and in lodging are a subject unique to the Department of Geography, where students observe, investigate and think about various phenomena independently, such as observation and measurement of ground configurations, observation of weather and meteorology and conducting interviews with farmers, in factories and in public offices. After the daytime activities, the results for the day are summarized in the evening in the lodgings, and students make presentations before each other and hold discussions. This is a genuine joy specific to the Department. Summarization of the results of research accumulated over the four years is required. Additionally, in response to the development of computerization, related subjects are provided so that students can learn information processing technologies systematically.