Department of Japanese Literature

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Department of Japanese Literature

Goal of the Department

The primary educational goal of the Department of Japanese Literature is to examine the characteristics of Japanese culture and language by systematically understanding Japanese literature and language, and acquire deep specialized knowledge and a greater capacity to think. The study can be considered as identifying and discovering Japan in the world by comprehensively learning about the culture and values that the Japanese people have long nurtured. In this department, students approach the nature of the Japanese people, who have many cultural heritages they are proud to share with the world, including "Manyoshu" and the "Tale of Genji," and who evaluate and cherish the Japanese words and literatures so as to perceive cultural trends and how the Japanese people will develop in a globalized future.

Educational Content

The Department of Japanese Literature puts weight on small-group education, particularly specialized education in seminars (exercise classes). We also place a high value on methods of comparing Japanese with foreign literature and language, and take an interdisciplinary approach. The education system allows students to freely take specialized subjects in other departments in the curriculum so that they can be immersed in their research subjects. In addition, the needed subjects are included in our curriculums to acquire qualifications so as to take them reasonably.

Studies in the Four Years

To understand the outline and appeal of Japanese literature and the Japanese language, we offer a preparatory seminar in the first year. In the Introduction to Japanese Literature, which is one of the preparatory seminar, students acquire basic abilities through learning the outline of the literature and research methods. Studies in specialized subjects start in the first year and we offer a variety of related subjects that will support future research including histories of early modern and modern Japanese literature, comparative literature, Japanese folklore, and the history of Japanese art. In respective basic seminars and specialized subjects in the second year, the students develop abilities across the entire study field centered on ancient Japanese literature, early modern and modern Japanese literature, and Japanese philology, which are the three pillars of Japanese literature. In specialized seminars in the third year and later, each student selects one from ancient, medieval, middle, early modern, and modern literature, and Japanese philology, and deeply studies the specialized theme for two years until the fourth year. The students finalize their work with a written graduation thesis. Over the four years, students will acquire research methods in which they discover their own themes and solve tasks in literary research which self-directing is much valued, as well as gain specialized knowledge and develop the ability to express their opinion in discussions and presentations.

Career Options

Graduates of this department with a detailed knowledge of literature and humanity and an excellent ability to express themselves, take up a variety of positions such as government official or company employee, as well as teacher which can be considered as an extended line of a research subject. There is also an option to explore a specialized field as a graduate student.