Creating a new cultural art that connects Okinawa to the future

Graduate School of Cultural Arts Studies Ph.D. Program

The doctoral program is divided into three research fields: Studies in Comparative Fine Arts, Ethnomusicology and Arts and Expression. Each field offers research concentration areas. Students select one area and will receive research guidance. One course is required of all students: Comprehensive Approach to Comparative Studies in Artistic Expression. In addition, candidates must complete three elective courses and be examined on their doctoral dissertation to receive their Ph.D. in Arts.


Doctorate in Comparative Fine Arts

Doctorate in Ethnomusicology

Doctorate in Arts and Expression

One of the Ph.D. programs designed for artists and performers, focusing on research and advanced skills development.

Message from Degree Holders

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Jiangwei Lu

2010年 Completed the program and received a Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “A Study of Okinawa’s Bubishi:Mainly Relations with Okinawan Karate”

I am from Fujian Province, China. 12 years ago, following the footsteps of my ancestors, the “Kume Sanjyuroku Sei (36 Fujian clans of Kume),” I came to Okinawa, “the land of Kyuyo,” blessed with a rich natural and cultural environment. Here on the island I encountered karate, and learned that its origin was not in mainland Japan, but in Okinawa. Being in a unique geographical position, Okinawa has absorbed various cultures and created many new features of its own. Karate is one such cultural product that Okinawa is proud to present to the world. I was intrigued by this martial art and wanted to research karate from both theoretical and practical aspects. However, there were no universities or research institutes that specialized in karate, and I almost gave up on my dream. Fortunately, Professor Eikichi Hateruma of this doctoral program kindly became my academic supervisor, going beyond the existing research fields of this university, and I was able to complete my dissertation.
Doctoral students in our field are participating in various research themes, stimulating and encouraging one another. Thanks to my fellow doctorate students, I have learned the “joy of acquiring knowledge.”

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Wakana Mishima

2010年 Completed the program and received a Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “A Historical Study about the Acceptance of Western Music in Modern Okinawa;A Look at Traditional Okinawan Music.”

Since enrolling in the Faculty of Music at OPUA as a member of the inaugural class, I have been researching the history of western music. After completing the MA program, I worked at the college level education field in Okinawa, all the while keeping a modest research going while attempting to figure out what kind of research was needed in this modern age. These efforts led me to challenge the traditional historical views that had hitherto been prevalent. Academic research in the history of modern Okinawan music is lagging behind other areas, and what is meant by the term “modern” needs to be reevaluated so as to examine the nature of local culture after World War II.
In my Ph.D. dissertation, I tried to depict Uchinanchu after the Meiji-era and how Okinawans were being made conscious of the “West”, which led them to have a stronger self-consciousness. Their quest to find their unique traditional music is another highlight of my writing.