Creating a new cultural art that connects Okinawa to the future

Graduate School of Formative Arts (Master’s Program)

Standing upon the foundations of the Faculty of Arts and Crafts, the Graduate School of Formative Arts offers three areas of study based on new principles of art: the Life Design Major, the Environmental Design Major and the Comparative Art Studies Major. Thereby it aims to cultivate individuals who possess a broad outlook and who are able to meet the demands made by the modern age and to contribute to today’s diversified artistic environment as formative artists, scholars and educators.

Viewing art from a universal point of view, the school focuses both on an education that encompasses Eastern and Western artistic sensibilities and on training in advanced technical skills related to the characteristics of Ryukyuan arts and the historical/cultural elements that have formed them. The school works in close cooperation with the university’s Research Institute, actively striving to incorporate new theoretical ideas and techniques and to foster scholars who specialize in Okinawan artistic culture.


Life Design Major

Master’s Degree in Crafts


The MA in ceramics consists of specialized training in porcelain (overglaze enameling technique, the study of its basic material, etc.), and stoneware and earthenware (glazed, unglazed, etc.). In each of these specializations, students acquire technical expertise as well as theoretical knowledge.

In terms of educational content, first-year students undergo practical training in the adjustment of basic materials including clay and glaze, also in shaping techniques and comparative firing (including black-burnished and pit-fire ware). Second-year students conduct research on advanced shaping and firing techniques as well as decorative methods while working on their study projects.

Weaving and Dyeing

The MA in weaving and dyeing is divided into weaving (kasuri-splash, raised and tsuzuri pattern-style textiles) and dyeing (stencil-dyed and bingata stencil-dyed textiles). Utilizing traditional Okinawan practice as a foundation, students acquire technical expertise and theoretical knowledge in order to undertake creative activity so as to meet the needs of the modern world.

Creating a Kimono pattern

Master’s Degree in Design

The MA in design consists of two areas of specialization: visual communications and environmental design. In the visual communication field, students make a thorough investigation of the modality of visual expression through study and creative activity in graphic design, image design and spatial production.

In environmental design, students perform research on formative aspects of public space, furniture, living space, etc., along with a study of design development and production based on an understanding of the local environment.

Reviewing students works

Environmental Design Major

Master’s Degree in Painting

This program is comprised of oil painting and Japanese painting. For oil painting, students strive to enhance their experience in advanced artistic expression, focusing on canvas painting, printmaking, photo, installation and performance art. For Japanese painting, students aim for expertise in materials and techniques as well as the study of diverse artistic expressions. Furthermore, special training classes with multiple and diversified study approaches for materials and techniques serve to enhance the evolution of formative arts.

Drawing a traditional japanese painting

Master’s Degree in Sculpture

Focusing on molding and a materials-based approach, this program lays the foundation for future sculptors by having the students conduct research in the program’s varied areas of study. This program strives for a high degree of substantiality in relating to the special characteristics of the materials and methods used in sculpture.

Students sculpture work

Comparative Art Studies Major

Master’s Degree in Comparative Art Studies

The curriculum is firmly based on the foundations of comparative research on Japanese, Eastern and Western art studies and art history. It is also founded on historical perspectives that cover the eras of classical through to contemporary art. The master’s program in comparative art studies aims to cultivate a constructive and critical philosophy of contemporary art through a variety of approaches so that its graduates will be able to adopt a broad perspective towards both regional and international societies.

Master's thesis presentation