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Welcome to our Japanese Literature Research Lab!

Ehime University
Faculty of Law and Letters
Japanese Literature Research Lab


A great literary work can be a key to finding your own way of living

About Us / Introduction to our Japanese Literature Research Lab

 Our Japanese Literature Research Lab is part of the Faculty of Law and Letters at Ehime University, which is located in Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime Prefecture. From days of yore, sea travel on the Seto Inland Sea has been an important part of the culture in this area and has contributed to the exchange of cultural ideas with not only other areas in Japan but also with other cultures from abroad. Matsuyama is well known as “Haito” (Haiku Capital), and many famous poets such as Kurita Chodo and Masaoka Shiki lived here in Matsuyama.

 Our lab consists of four specializations: Classical Literature (from the Nara and Heian periods), Medieval Literature, Early Modern Literature, and Modern and Contemporary Literature. Four faculty members work with about 100 students, including graduate students, in these areas.

 Our main activities include;
1. Managing the “Ehime-Daigaku Hobun-gakubu Kokugo-Kokubungakkai” (Association for Japanese Linguistics and Literature of Faculty of Law and Letters, Ehime University)
2. Publication of academic journal; “Aibun”
3. Overseeing the university’s “Kokugo-Kokubungakkai” (Society of Japanese Linguistics and Literature) student activities

 Following is a brief description of what we do. If you are interested in Japanese language, literature, culture, and our lab, we would love for you to come and join us in our laboratory!


Name Job Title Research Fields Research Interests
NISHI Kosei Professor Classical Japanese Literature
(Nara and Heian Periods)
Literary history, Fiction, Classical Japanese poetry
TANAKA Naoko Professor Classical Japanese literature
(Medieval period)
War chronicles, Comparative literature, Shomono
KAGURAOKA Yoko Professor Classical Japanese literature
(Early Modern period)
Joruri, Kabuki, Illustrated books
NAKANE Takayuki Professor Modern Japanese literature
(Modern and contemporary period)
Contemporary literature, Novels, Literary criticism

Individual Seminar Descriptions (with messages from students)

Nishi Seminar; Nara and Heian literature, Japanese Literature Ⅰ



Nara and Heian literature

Japanese Literature Ⅰ

Research Interests;

Fiction, Japanese poetry, Essay, Myth, Diary literature
“The tale of Genji”, “Taketori Monogatari”, “Manyo-shu”, “Kokin Wakashu”, “The pillow book”, “Kojiki”, “The Izumi-Shikibu Diary”

 In the “Seminar on Japanese Literature Ⅰ”, we study “The tale of Genji”, which is one of the most famous masterpieces from classical Japanese literature. We read “Shusho-Genjimonogatari”, published in the Edo Period, focusing on the use of Hentaigana (Anomalous Japanese Cursive Syllabary). We practice transliterating Hentaigana. Transliteration of Hentaigana can be rally fun like a puzzle.
 Why don’t you join us in learning about and appreciating each attractive word and verse used in “The tale of Genji”? You will one day grasp the whole picture of this text!

Tanaka Seminar; Medieval literature, Japanese Literature Ⅱ



Medieval literature

Japanese Literature Ⅱ

Research Interests;

War chronicles, Narrative literature, Chusei Nihongi (medieval Japanese mythologies), Wakan (Japanese and Chinese) comparative literature,
“The tale of Heike”, “Taiheiki”, “Gikeiki”, “Tsurezuregusa” (Essays in Idleness)” “Sanguo-zhi”

 In our “Seminar on Japanese Literature Ⅱ”, we study “The tale of Heike” in its various forms, such as Kakuichi-bon and Engyo-bon. This war chronicle is based on historical events, but since it is a “tale”, there are, of course, aspects of fiction and divergence from the historical facts. We look into the difference between fiction and nonfiction.
 For research topics, you can choose from a wide variety of subjects you want to study—for example, war chronicles, narrative literature, Chusei Nihongi. It’s up to you!

Kaguraoka Seminar; Early modern literature, Japanese Literature Ⅲ



Early modern literature

Japanese Literature Ⅲ

Research Interests;

Kusazoshi (Illustrated books), Kabuki, Joruri, Haikai,
Matsuo Basho, Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Ihara Saikaku, Jippensha Ikku,

 In our “Seminar on Japanese Literature Ⅲ”, we mainly look at Kusazoshi. Kusazoshi is genre of illustrated story books that were written in Kana (the Japanese syllabary). Through investigation into the vocabulary found in the texts that is unfamiliar to us and the culture and the environment in which they were produced we deepen the understanding of the works themselves.
 We are also able to learn more about performing arts during the Edo Period because Kusazoshi deeply shows many connections to performing arts such as Kabuki and Joruri. If you have an interest in literature, performing arts, and culture from the Edo Period, come join us!

Nakane Seminar; Modern and contemporary literature, Japanese Literature Ⅳ


NAKANE Takayuki

Modern and contemporary literature

Japanese Literature Ⅳ

Research Interests;

Literary criticism, Narratology, Cultural studies, Postcolonialism, Adaptation Studies
Masaoka Shiki, Natsume Soseki, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Tanizaki Junichiro, Miyazawa Kenji, Kanai Mieko, Murakami Haruki, Tawada Yoko

 In the “Seminar on Japanese Literature Ⅳ”, we can study any work in any genre that we are interested in. It is OK even if you choose movies or cartoons adapted from novels! In our classes, we carry out active and exciting discussions from various view points on literary works. We also hone our presentation and discussion skills through these class activities.
 Flexibility defines this seminar, which means we have great freedom in choosing the subject of our graduation research.

For more information

You can learn more at the links below…
 Ehime University: https://www.ehime-u.ac.jp/
 Faculty of Law and Letters: http://www.ll.ehime-u.ac.jp/
 Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences: http://graduate.ll.ehime-u.ac.jp
For even further information, feel free to contact us!
 Address: Faculty of Law and Letters, Ehime University
 3 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8577 Japan