The Division consists of three departments: Departments of Japanese Culture, Japanese Linguistics/Applied Japanese Linguistics, and Eurasian Languages and cultures. The disciplines covered by these departments include the study of Japanese language, literature, ethnography, folk arts, intercultural communication, applied Japanese linguistics (in particular the theory of teaching Japanese as a foreign language), and languages and cultures of the Ainu and Japan's Eurasian neighbors. Linguistics and sociolinguistics are also taught in the Division.
The Department of Japanese Languages and Cultures covers the study of general issues of Japanese culture as well as its particular aspects. The internationalization of contemporary world cultures requires that even in Japanese literature, teaching and research be conducted with constant reference to global contexts. Courses are offered on a wide range of topics, including ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern literary genres. It also offers courses in oral literature, folklore, and theater studies. In order to achieve deeper understanding of Japanese culture, students are required to obtain basic knowledge of Japanese linguistics, history of ideas, folklore, religion, as well as historical sociology, the history of images and documents and comparative literature.
And Courses Japanese Linguistics/Applied Japanese Linguistics are grouped in two different fields: Japanese linguistics and Japanese applied linguistics. The Japanese linguistics field covers four areas: origin and history, dialectology, language and culture, and the structure of Japanese. Students in this field usually seek employment in the areas of communications and information, journalism, trade or teaching. The applied Japanese linguistics field introduces students to studies connected with the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language (TJFL) . The basic areas of inquiry are the acquisition of Japanese, intercultural communication (particularly discourse studies), and classroom analysis. A course in sociolinguistics is also available. Apart from creating the opportunity for students to become teachers of Japanese to foreign speakers, this program also provides the possibility to view Japanese language and culture from a different point of view: that of the learners.
The Department of Eurasian Languages and Cultures is a section of linguistics and cultural anthropology of the peoples of Eurasia, including the Ainu. The Japanese archipelago lies in the easternmost region of the Eurasian continent and forms a part of the Pacific Rim. This fact implies the significance of the Eurasian studies for the Japanese language and cultures as well. The aims of the Department is to study the structures, typology and histories of the languages and cultures in Eurasia especially from the Ural to the Pacific coast. The Department offers general linguistics, phonetics, phonology, morphology, linguistic typology and functional linguistics; the structures of Ainu, Miao-Yao and other Asian languages; cultures and cultural contact of the Ainu, Chinese, Korean,Uralic, Altaic peoples and Siberian indigenous peoples.