Department of Japanese Language and Literature

Department of Japanese Language and Literature


Students learn from literary works that have been cultivated throughout Japanese history and on Japanese soil, while constantly maintaining a "modern" perspective.

Covering the three areas of Japanese Literature, Linguistics, and Language Education, our department is one of the country's leading centers for research and education in Japanese Literature. Our curriculum covers all periods of Japanese literature, starting from the Kojiki in the ancient period, and including the Heian, medieval, modern, and contemporary eras up through Haruki Murakami. We also offer courses on Chinese Literature, which has had a profound effect on the course of Japanese literature. For our Japanese Linguistics curriculum — that is, the study of the Japanese language itself — we cover everything from ancient and classical Japanese to the popular Japanese in use today. Our Japanese Education curriculum includes, among other topics, teacher training for teachers of Japanese-as-a-second-language. Our department can thus boast a diversity of faculty unseen at other universities. Our classes are attractive to students because of our innovative pedagogy that puts its focus on practical exercises that encourage students to take the initiative in their learning. We help stimulate the intellectual curiosity of our students by ensuring that we do not only teach to existing frameworks, but also provide intensive courses on the latest research from scholars at the forefront of their fields. It is our goal to, through language, analyze the truths common to humanity, and nurture a perceptiveness in our students that will serve them well when working in a modern, international society.

Our curriculum begins with classes focused on examining what it means to study Japan’s literature and language in the first year, and is followed up in years two and three with classes that cultivate in students a greater specialist understanding of these and other topics. This class content ramps up in stages, eventually culminating in the completion of a graduation thesis in year four that is supported by a research supervisor. First year classes are conducted as large-scale lectures, however from the second year onward classes become smaller seminars that allow for more minute guidance from staff; the formation of tight-knit relationships between students and staff is one of the Japanese department’s defining features.

For those students who wish to pursue a higher level of research in Japanese Literature or Language after graduation, we also have master’s and doctoral courses available.


Lists electives

Required Credits for Graduation / 126 Credits
Elective Subjects
Category Subjects
1st and 2nd year

  • Introduction to Japanese Classical Literature
  • Introduction to Japanese Modern Literature
  • Introduction to the Chinese Literature
  • Data Processing on Japanese Linguistics and Japanese Literature
  • Introduction to the Japanese Language
  • History of Japanese Language
  • Reading of Japanese Literary Works [1]~[4]
  • Reading of Chinese Literary Works
  • Advanced Japanese Linguistics
2nd – 4th year

  • Lecture on Japanese Literature [1]~[12]
  • Lecture on Chinese Literature [1] [2]
  • Lecture on Japanese Language [1]~[3]
  • Theory of Culture and Representation [1]~[3]
1st – 3rd year

  • Seminar in Japanese Literature [1]~[6]
  • Seminar in Chinese Literature [1] [2]
  • Seminar in Japanese Language [1] [2]
2nd – 4th year

  • Seminar in Japanese Literature [7]~[23]
  • Seminar in Chinese Literature [3]~[5]
  • Seminar in Japanese Language [3]~[5]
1st year

  • Introduction to Teaching Japanese
  • Calligraphy l
2nd year

  • Introduction to the Japanese Language
3rd year

  • Seminar in Teaching Japanese B
  • Calligraphy ll
4th year

  • Theories of Calligraphy
The Aoyama Standard Subjects
1st - 4th year :

School-wide universal education system where experts in wide-ranging academic fields transcending the framework of colleges/schools and departments stimulate interest in learning and provide guidance.

Foreign Language Subjects
[ Foreign Language I ] 1st year :

English Reading (I), Oral English (I), English Composition

2nd year :

English Reading (II), Oral English (II)

Free Elective Subjects
1st - 4th year :

Students can freely select from departmental subjects, Aoyama Standard Subjects, Foreign Language Elective Subjects (take at least minimum credits required), Universal Subjects in the College of Literature, subjects in other departments of the College of Literature, as well as subjects offered by other colleges.