Division of Philology and Literature

Japanese Language and Literature

The department’s research fields encompass all aspects of Japanese language and literature. While they usually specialize in either Japanese language or literature, students and members of the faculty must develop a familiarity with both. A respect for both fields is required because no one can study literature without knowing the language, and no one can study a language without knowing its literature. Courses on Japanese language chiefly trace its historical development in careful detail, and those on Japanese literature are devoted to close readings. Students are expected to learn how Japanese people in earlier times viewed the world through a precise analysis of the meanings and functions of classical vocabulary, as well as to consider what Japanese people have prized as truth, good, and beauty through careful readings of texts.

The department has traditionally allowed students to study whatever they want freely in a liberal atmosphere, respecting students as independent scholars. Only if they are requested do members of the faculty teaching staff advise students on their choice of research theme and methodology; they do not take the initiative or impoae their views. Here, student independence is respected above all.

The daily activities of the department are primarily organized by the graduate students who play key roles in organizing a variety of study sessions. Moreover, a monthly journal Kokugo kokubun and an academic journal Kyōto daigaku kokubungaku ronsō are published under the editorship of the department.

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OTSUKI, Makoto Prof. Japanese language, especially ancient Japanese
KANEMITSU, Keiko Prof. Japanese Literature, especially Kamakura and Heian Period
KAWAMURA, Eiko Assis. Prof. Japanese literature, especially Edo-period literature