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Japanese Literature

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The Department of Japanese Literature consists of two professors who specialize in Heian court literature and Edo literature, respectively. In addition, we have staff from the Department of Japanese Culture whose expertise are Edo literature, Heian court literature, comparative humanities, as well as an assistant professor and an assistant who specialize in medieval literature, and we closely cooperate with each other to operate this department. The lectures are jointly held with the Department of Japanese Linguistics and are open to various researchers from ancient to modern literature with classical literature as the core literature.
Traditionally, the school places emphasis on empirical reading based on data and on the theories that make up the framework of the data. The basic approach taken toward research is a detailed reading of text. The students can determine whether they will choose verification of literature or development of generalized theories depending on each researcher's qualifications. Thus, each student will make his or her own decision regarding the approach taken. In 2006, four students were enrolled in the Master's course and twenty two students were enrolled in the Doctoral course. Three of them were foreign students. Additionally there were three research students and auditors. Although each student can choose their own research subject and how they want to pursue it, each will be under guidance. In a weekly seminar, two students make a presentation. The seminar is attended by all faculty members of the departments related to Japanese literature and they provide collaborative instruction by bringing in other areas of expertise along with providing individual instruction. Students are encouraged to actively participate in academic conferences and study groups and will be involved in the world center of Japanese literature study. It is also the practice of our department to provide students actual exposure to literary documents; this includes voluntary field research at Iwase Bunko Library.

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