Languages and Culture

Japanese Language and Literature

Understanding and identifying the Essence and Current State of Japanese Culture through Words Sparkling in a Forest of Literature

Native Japanese speakers find themselves speaking the language before they knew it. But when did the language originate, and why did it arise? You may want to understand the mechanisms and functions of all the words you might not know as well as you think you do. Why is it that those of us living today believe that we can understand the poems of the Manyoshu, which were written by people who lived such a long time ago?

The Japanese people of every era have entrusted their thoughts to words that have become steadily more sophisticated over time. Literary works are the treasure troves that contain these thoughts. Why not explore the wide forest of literature, branching off into the distant past or the modern era? This discipline will serve as a reliable compass to lead you forward.

 Objective: Focusing on Literary Works

Students in the Japanese Language and Literature program attain a fundamental ability to learn Japanese and Japanese literature, as well as to express their insights in words and master techniques for analyzing works of literature.

There are various methods of doing research. You can read old manuscripts written on traditional Japanese paper with sumi ink; meticulously reconstruct the lives of people who lived during the Heian Period; apply the latest theories for focusing on works of literature; or statistically process huge amounts of linguistic data on a PC. Whichever path you choose, you will come to learn that the crucial thing is to carefully read and deeply consider the texts for yourself.

Graduates apply their specialties by teaching or working in the media, for general corporations or as government officials. Many students continue their studies in graduate schools.

Features: Broaden Your Studies

The curriculum allows students to examine a broad range of literature from every era, starting from before the Nara Period all the way up to modern times. Language studies are also broad, and encompass everything from the basic theories of grammar and lexicology to analyses of actual everyday conversations. Although it is possible for students of other universities to graduate by only studying subjects that interest them, this program emphasizes the importance of orthodox and systematic studies. By studying a broad range of subjects, students can clearly understand what they like to focus on.

The program offers various courses such as the history of literature to overviews and outlines, as well as courses that focus on in-depth reading of literary works, and seminar courses where students investigate, think for themselves and present their findings. Finally, students are expected to put them all together and complete a B.A. thesis.

Chinese Language and Culture

From “Zǐ yuē” (“Confucius says”) to “Nǐ hǎo” (“Hello”)
The Rich Tapestry of Language Woven through Three Thousand Years of Chinese History

Chinese is one of the most significant languages in the modern world.

Although China is grappling with various contradictions domestically, its presence is rapidly growing stronger around the world both politically and economically. It is also a country that possesses three thousand years of literary history stretching back into ancient times, as well as a robust network around the globe. The Chinese language features words with deep meanings that transcend space and time, and yet is used even now with a sense of modern realities.

The Chinese Language and Culture program uses language to explore Chinese culture, which exhibits “abundance” in various meanings. This linguistic journey of learning through human thought and emotion provides students with the power to live in society.

Objective: Develop Talented People Who Take Action on the Global Stage

Chinese-language skills are extremely useful in international society. In fact, the Chinese language is seen as invaluable in the U.S. and Europe. Some schools are even providing Chinese classes starting at the compulsory education stage.

The Chinese Language and Culture program provides a broad range of knowledge and awareness of everything from language to theories of culture. For example, the program’s full-time teachers cover the four areas of modern language studies, contemporary literature, classical language studies and textual scholarship, and classical literature. Foreign instructors who speak Chinese as their native language teach classes that nurture proficiency in the Chinese language.

The program also offers a variety of learning opportunities outside the classroom, such as Chinese-language training that brings students directly into contact with China as well as Sinological Society Ochanomizu University, where students can examine the latest research results.

Graduates of this program work for the government, local municipalities, broadcasting and publishing companies, trading companies, finance companies, manufacturers and in other positions. The program has also produced large numbers of specialized researchers.

Features: A Variety of Seminars with Small Class Sizes

The Chinese Language and Culture program takes six or seven new students per year—the smallest class size of any program at Ochanomizu University. Most classes are presented as seminars and are small in size. Although preparing for class can be difficult, the rewards make it worth the effort. The curriculum is built on a foundation of courses designed to teach practical Chinese-language skills, and is divided into four research areas: modern Chinese culture, modern Chinese language studies, classical Chinese textual scholarship, and classical Chinese literature. Courses are offered at three levels in each area, including an introduction designed to impart basic knowledge, lectures for research methods, as well as seminars aimed at improving these skills.

University events include study camps and parties where students from the sophomore level up to the graduate school’s doctoral program can enjoy studying and socializing together.

English Language and Culture

A Common Language for the World of the Future 
Learning English as a Language and as a Culture

Used to produce many world-class works of literature as far back as the medieval and Renaissance eras, English remains the most widely spoken language on the planet, and it is the language of the future as internationalization moves forward.

This program teaches the characteristics of English as a language and how to use and master it, as well as literary and cultural representations produced by English speakers to express thoughts, feelings and the imagination, and presents methodologies of analyzing them.

Students not only acquire advanced English-language proficiency and specialized knowledge, they also polish their ability to think, communicate and express themselves. This will enable them to become experts with the ability to think deeply and communicate confidently with the world.

Objective: Attain the Ability to Communicate with the World

This program gives students a comprehensive understanding of literature and culture in English and the English-speaking world from a global perspective. Students read deeply and widely to attain both specialized knowledge and skills. The course's aims are to have students develop a high level of English proficiency as well as a deep understanding of culture. Students completing this course should be able to contribute socially and academically on an international scale.

Specialized language skill courses include, among many, advanced English-language speaking and composition. These are not only the tools for learning English linguistics, British and American literature, they provide the groundwork for writing graduation theses in English. Courses examining the society and culture of the English-speaking world to provide students with a complete understanding of the English language and its related culture. Graduates of this program utilize their English-language skills and work in a variety of different fields, including teaching, trade, the civil service and publishing. Some students choose to go on to graduate school to continue researching their area of expertise.

Features: Polishing the Ability to Think, Communicate and Express

To prepare for learning about the literature and culture of English and the English-speaking world, first-year students take basic lectures on grammar, and second-year students take the Seminar: English Grammar, Seminar: English Phonetics, Introduction to English Linguistics 2, and other courses that build on the basics. These are all offered with the goal of helping students attain advanced levels of ability. Second- and third-year students can select their specialties from British literature, American literature, and English linguistics. They take seminars and lectures to deepen their specialized knowledge. Students of English linguistics take the Advanced Seminar: Methodology in Linguistic Research I and various Advanced Lectures in English Linguistics courses. Students of American literature take the History of English Literature, Advanced Seminar: Literary Theory, Advanced Lecture in English Literature (U.S.), and so on. Fourth-year students also take advanced seminars and various special lectures designed separately for linguistics and literature, deepening their specialized knowledge, and write their graduation theses in English.

French Language and Culture

Europe as Viewed from France, and France as Discussed in Europe 
Traversing the Entire French-Speaking World, from Immigration Issues to Modern Thought

France has been at the center of European politics and culture since the seventeenth century. In the second half of the twentieth century, France played a major role alongside Germany in founding the European Union, and continues to wield considerable influence throughout Europe.

Therefore, when considering French culture and society, it is vital to keep in mind Europe as a whole, as well as the pivotal role France played whenever discussing issues facing Europe.

Students also expand their perspectives to include the cultures and societies of other nations within the French-speaking realm, and study a wide array of topics beyond language and culture, including everything from movies to philosophy, and from fashion to immigration issues.

Objective: Foster Human Resources with a Global Outlook

Students attain practical proficiency in French and a deep understanding of the various linguistic cultures existing within French, as well as the state of societies in the French-speaking world. They also gain an interest in exchanges between different cultures, including the German-speaking language cultures and other European countries as well as other cultures in the French-speaking world. This program is designed to produce people with these capabilities and a strong intellectual curiosity.

Students gain a wider perspective and the ability to think flexibly by studying the culture and society of the French-speaking world, including everything from literature and philosophy to movies and art, and from food culture to immigration issues.

Graduates go out into the world with the ability to meet the needs of modern global society, working for private companies in trade, finance and other fields, as well as in government, the media and other areas.

Features: Learn French through Both Current Events and Literature

This program’s curriculum is based on the assumption that newly enrolled students have not studied French at all. Students develop basic French linguistic proficiency by taking core French courses during the first and second years.

In the specialized courses that start in the second year, students strengthen their ability to write and converse, and study a diverse range of French texts regarding current events, business, literature and social issues. At the same time, they gradually deepen their professional knowledge regarding culture and society in the French-speaking world.

The graduation thesis is compulsory in the fourth year, and should be fruit of what the student learned over four years.

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