Tama Art University

Department of Fine Arts

Observing society through painting,
and experiencing the fun of creative work

The Department of Fine Arts is the only department in Japan that offers specialized evening classes in painting. Over the course of four years, around a core of Japanese-style painting and oil painting, students are trained in such classical techniques as fresco and tempera, while also practicing a variety of other expressive means including printmaking and filmmaking, in order to develop descriptive and creative skills as basic abilities for "representation". Students further enhance their aesthetic consciousness in the specialized field of their choice – "Japanese Painting" or "Oil Painting" – and cultivate their own individual styles as artists engaging in creative activities with their fingers on the pulse of contemporary culture. With numerous adult students enrolled, the department provides an environment for learning together regardless of age differences, and is therefore a place where students can lead a fulfilling campus life also in terms of mutual communication.


The curriculum comprises courses focusing on general, historical and technical theory in the realm of painting encompassing Japanese-style painting and oil painting, as well as exercise in practical creative work, and the creation of graduation works. For the purpose of training artists with a broad vision, it was designed to convey in a cross-sectoral manner techniques and traditions of both Japanese-style painting and oil painting, which tended to be separated in conventional art education. Around a core of studies and practical work exploring the unique spatial sensation and perception of Japanese painting, its materials (glue, paper, ink, powdered mineral pigment) and tools, classical painting methods, as well as techniques of oil painting, fresco and tempera, students carry out in-depth discussions on each subject. Through further productive work in various categories such as portrait and still-life painting, with the addition of three-dimensional figurative thinking and research into new materials, students explore the possibilities of new creative areas.

Prospects after graduation

More than half of the graduates continue their creative activities, while many also choose to continue studies at a graduate school. Other career options include pursuing artistic activities in other genres such as game/video production or TV/stage set art, or, as a recent trend, going into such art-related professions as museum curator, art therapists/trainer for people from infant to middle and old age.