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Japanese Literature and Japanese Historical Linguistics

This course covers all periods and genres of Japanese literature, starting with waka poetry, the monogatari style of literature (e.g.,The Tale of Genji)), setsuwa, and essays from ancient and medieval times. This course also includes the study of haikai poetry, ukiyo-zōshi, yomihon, Sino-Japanese poetry of the early modern period, as well as the literature of the modern period, ranging from Meiji-era voices, like Higuchi Ichiyō and Natsume Sōseki, to contemporary literature. This course prioritizes students’ acquisition of basic techniques, such as bibliographical knowledge, which is required to handle literary sources such as old manuscripts, Japanese bound books, and letters.

Japanese historical linguistics is the historical study of the characteristics that make up the Japanese language, such as phonemes, grammar, and vocabulary. When studying Japanese historical linguistics, students need a logical and systematic understanding of various linguistic phenomena. They are also required to consider social, cultural, and psychological aspects. Any topic connected with the Japanese language falls under the scope of Japanese historical linguistics, whether the classics and other literary works or the language in its modern form. However, the crucial difference between the Japanese historical linguistics and Japanese linguistics courses is that the former focuses heavily on literature-based research and research into the language’s historical development.

An in-depth knowledge of one’s own culture and language (including historical developments)—that is, acquiring “true knowledge” of Japan—is becoming more important as society grows ever more international and social information becomes increasingly complex. Students in this department have an opportunity to learn how to think in a way that will provide them with a strong intellectual foundation for the future.


KINSUI, Satoshi (Ph.D.)
Japanese Linguistics; Historical Study of Japanese Grammar
IIKURA, Yoichi (Ph.D.)
Japanese Literature; Study on Japanese Literature in Edo Period
Japanese Literature; Study on Japanese Literature in Heian Period
OKAJIMA, Akihiro (M.Lit.)
Japanese Linguistics; History of Japanese Language and Japanese Linguistics

Associate Professors

Japanese Linguistics; Missionary Linguistics in Japan, Historical Lexicography
SAITO, Masao (Ph.D.)
Japanese Literature; Study on DAZAI Osamu and ODA Sakunosuke; Japanese Literature in the 20th Century
SETA, Michio (Ph.D.)
Japanese Literature; Study on Japanese Medieval Literature