Department of Japanese Literature

The department aims to educate people about the language, culture, and literature distinctive to Japan from an international perspective, and to utilize their Japanese ability to comprehend various situations through the use of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will research Japanese literature and culture to gain a deeper understanding of Japan, and form a cross-cultural awareness to cope with our increasingly internationalized society through their acquired knowledge and competence.

We study Japanese language, literature, and culture, peruse books, analyze regions, and understand minds.

Our native tongue, Japanese, is a beautiful language. While Japanese is a language of the present, it is also a repository of literature and culture that conveys the thoughts of people through the ages.

At the Department of Japanese Literature, we seek to take a broad approach to study and deepen our understanding of Japanese language, literature, and culture from a global perspective.

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Incorporating Chinese literature into our conventional framework of Japanese literature ranging from the Nara period to present and adopting an international outlook on research and education, we offer a Japanese literature program that befits a new era. By engaging in studies of classical literary works that are set in the Tohoku region and in research on local figures such as Kenji Miyazawa and Takuboku Ishikawa, students can pursue interests in human-environment relationships and the unique characteristics of Tohoku culture. We also offer opportunities to pursue scholarly interests in a wide range of disciplines such as folkloristics and dialectology. Furthermore, we are making efforts to train teachers who can teach Japanese to international students.

We hone our skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and thinking. Japanese language skills are a requisite to pursue any academic discipline.

“Man is a thinking reed.” As illustrated in these words by Pascal, we humans are constantly using words to reason, and reason is the basis of our actions. Language forms the basis of all academic endeavors and communication in a society. Thus our department is committed to learning Japanese, the language used in this country.

Literary works have passed down the Japanese mindset from Manyoshu’s era to present. Studying the works from each era opens the door to learn more about the Japanese mind through the ages.

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Furthermore, studying at our department also offers the opportunity to get involved in original local area studies that are only possible at a university based in Iwate. Analyzing the works of figures like Kenji Miyazawa; Takuboku Ishikawa; the linguist, Kyosuke Kindaichi; and the Edo era’s travel writer, Masumi Sugae and furthering our knowledge of them will greatly benefit the region. We also offer courses in Chinese literature, writing, and folklore studies. We hope you seize the opportunity to immerse yourself in studies offering new perspectives, become refined thinkers, and follow in the footsteps of our alumni who now fill exciting roles as teachers, researchers, and business people.

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