Department of Japanese Studies

  • The GSAL students continue to enjoy high-quality research and education environment based on a long and rich history of research on Japanese thought, language, literature and history (including archaeology). At the same time, putting these research fields under the umbrella of one specialization allows for an unprecedentedly comprehensive integrated advancement of Japanese studies.
  • There has been widespread demand in Japan and abroad for the new type of research on Japanese culture and society that would go beyond the established frameworks. The GSAL introduces the field of Contemporary Japanese Studies to answer these needs.
  • The International Graduate Program in Japanese Studies (GPJS) is a joint project of several graduate schools in the humanities and social sciences (including Tohoku University Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Law, and Graduate School of Economics and Management) to be started in 2019. The program is built upon the network between Tohoku University and major universities outside Japan — the Hasekura League. Department of Japanese studies will closely cooperate with both the GPJS and the Hasekura League in order to promote Japanese studies internationally.

Programs and
specialization fields

Establishing the new field of
Innovative Japanese Studies

Japanese studies have already become an internationally acknowledged discipline. Contemporary Japanese Studies will combine this older research tradition with comprehensive approach and international perspective to become the vanguard of education and research on Japanese culture, history and society. We will assimilate methodology of social sciences and expand our global outlook by inviting local specialists on modern Japanese society together with researchers from overseas. Furthermore, we plan to closely cooperate with Tohoku University International Graduate Program in Japanese Studies (GPJS), which starts in April 2019.

Course groups

Japanese Culture Studies

【Specialization Fields】 

newInnovative Japanese Studies,
History of Japanese Thought

Japanese Culture Studies course group

Japanese Linguistics Studies

【Specialization Fields】 

Japanese Linguistics,
Applied Japanese Linguistics

Japanese Linguistics Studies course group

Japanese Literature

【Specialization Fields】

Japanese Literature

Japanese Literature course group

Japanese History

【Specialization Fields】 

Japanese History, Archaeology,
Cultural Properties Science

Japanese History course group

Educational Goals

Master’s program

We aim to prepare members of society who can utilize their acute knowledge and insights into Japanese culture, language and history to forge dialogic relationships and seek mutual understanding with other people regardless of their nationality. The students are expected to develop keen sense of empathy, as well as practical knowledge and skills necessary for peaceful co-existence and development of multiple cultures.

【Employment/Future Course】

Graduate school (doctoral course); Japanese language teacher (for native speakers); social studies teacher; Japanese language teacher (for non-native speakers); government worker; corporate worker; etc.

Doctoral program

Our goal is to foster high-level professionals who can use general expertise in Japanese studies to advance research in their specialized fields and implement their findings for the benefit of society. Our students must acquire high-level professional research capabilities and be able to efficiently utilize them in solving various problems. Furthermore, they must gain skills necessary to share their findings with the world.

【Employment/Future Course】

Researcher or instructor in university or research institute; archivist or curator; government consultant; etc.

※The GSAL is currently in the process of reorganization. The information above might change.