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Japanese Studies

About Us

The biggest characteristic of the Japanese department is in having both Japanese and international students studying together on equal terms. For the Japanese students, this means having the opportunity to learn together with people of different, nationalities, ages, experiences and ways of thinking. This is very different from the homogenous type of education they have received prior to university. For the international students, it means being treated as proper members of class, rather than being isolated as ‘special guests.’ The classroom in the Japanese major, then, is like an international society at the grassroots level where students of various nationalities study about Japanese language, literature, culture, history and society, while at the same time developing their areas of expertise.

Characteristics of the Curriculum

Our curriculum aims that the Japanese and international students study together as far as possible. However, since Japanese is undeniably the mother tongue for most, if not all, Japanese students, we provide some special lessons for the international students to further their Japanese abilities and to supplement their lack of knowledge in the language, culture and society. On the other hand, what the Japanese students need is training in objectifying their native language through comparison with other languages. Thus, the acquisition of other foreign languages besides Japanese is encouraged for the Japanese students. In particular, in the “Comparative Cultural Studies” class in the second year, Japanese students have the opportunity to study or train abroad over the summer holidays in order to objectify their language and culture through experience they gain outside of Japan.

Careers After Graduation

Many Japanese and international students alike aspire to becoming teachers of Japanese as a second or foreign language after graduation. However, it is important to note that this course is not essentially a training course of Japanese language teachers. Becoming a Japanese language teacher is but one of many paths available after having acquired a deep understanding of Japanese language, literature, culture, history and society. Many other choices await our graduates, including work in private companies, becoming teachers of Japanese in Japanese schools, and so on.
Also, many graduates move on to graduate schools in order to gain more knowledge as true specialists in the Japanese language and Japan relations, and also to satisfy the criteria for becoming language teachers. Of these students, quite a few have been awarded the PhD's and are working as researchers in universities and research organizations both domestically and internationally.


HAYATSU, Emiko Professor Japanese linguistics; Modern Japanese
MOCHIZUKI, Keiko Professor Contrastive linguistics between Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and English; Pedagogy of teaching Japanese for Chinese learners; Chinese linguistics
KAZAMA, Shinjiro Professor Contrastive linguistics between Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and English; Pedagogy of teaching Japanese for Chinese learners; Chinese linguistics
UMINO, Tae Associate Professor Teaching Japanese as a Second Language;Second Language Acquisition
KAWAMURA, Futoshi Associate Professor Japanese Linguistcs;Classical Japanese Grammar
MURAO, Seiichi Professor Classical Japanese literature
SHIBATA, Shoji Professor Modern Japanese literature
YONETANI, Masafumi Associate Professor Intellectual history of Japan; History of social thought
NOMOTO, Kyoko Professor Modern history of Japan; Rural history of Japan
YOSHIDA, Yuriko Professor Early modern history of Japan
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