Korea University Department of Japanese Language and Literature

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Structure and History

Structure of the KU Department of Japanese Language and Literature

Established in the College of Liberal Arts in 1983, the Department of Japanese Language and Literature has produced approximately 900 professionals, including the first 34 graduates, who are playing active roles in various fields of society. We accept approximately 50 students each year, and currently 229 students are studying in our department. The number of students enrolled is increasing every year due to a rise in the number of students applying to our department according to the implementation of the division system.

 

Educational Objectives of the Department of Japanese Language and Literature

The educational objectives of the Department of Japanese Language and Literature were established under the following principles. First, the philosophy of “national prosperity through education” was applied, which originated from the educational philosophy of Korea University, “national salvation through education.” Second, by studying Japanese language, literature, and culture, which are closely related to Korea and its people both in history and today, the Department of Japanese Language and Literature tries to understand the ways of thinking, values, traditions, and lifestyles of the Japanese as an academic field related to Japanese studies. Third, our educational objectives were established based on the social and national demands for the cultivation of professionals with a thorough knowledge of Japan.

 

The Department of Japanese Language and Literature belongs to the KU College of Liberal Arts.
Our department consists of undergraduate, graduate, and graduate of education programs, a student council, and the faculty.
The following introduces each of them.

The Department of Japanese Language and Literature belongs to the Division of International Languages and Literature. After completing liberal arts courses in the first year, students decide on their majors.

Those who are accepted to our department will study Japanese language and literature as their major for three years. In the Department of Japanese Language and Literature, students learn theories about the Japanese language, Japanese linguistics, Japanese literature, Japanese studies, and research methodologies.

Our department is an education-centered institution that enables the utilization of Japanese language and literature in each field of society and fosters the research abilities of students.

The Graduate School offers Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Japanese linguistics, Japanese literature, and comparative cultural studies of China and Japan.

These graduate programs focus on conducting research and nurturing researchers.

The Graduate School of Education offers a Master’s program in Japanese language education.

This is a pragmatic program that teaches theories of Japanese language education and produces Japanese language instructors for middle and high schools.

The Student Council consists of the Undergraduate, Graduate School, and Graduate School of Education Student Councils.

These are self-governing bodies created to promote effective education and research as well as friendship among members.

Our department has 11 full-time faculty members (Professors Chaesu Kim, Hanseop Lee, Choongyoung Kim, Gwan Choi, Byeongho Jung, Seongsik Chae, Seungwon Suh, Soomi Kim, Jaejin Yu, Youngnam Cho, and Hidemi Kanazu), 2 foreign visiting professors (Professors Ken Matsumoto and Yoonsoon Suh), and approximately 40 instructors.

The Department of Japanese Language and Literature website was created to provide our undergraduate and graduate students with a space for communication and self-governing activities and to promote our department externally.

 

 

History of KU Department of Japanese Language and Literature

history
March 1983 • The Korea University Department of Japanese Language and Literature is established. • Professor Hyungi Lee and Visiting Professor Taejin Kim  are appointed.  
March 1985 • Professors Choonmie Kim and Chae Su Kim are appointed. • Visiting Professor Naoki Ogoshi is appointed (currently professor at the University of Tokyo).
February 1987 • The department produces its first graduates
September 1988 • Professor Hanseop Lee is appointed
September 1989 • The department’s Master’s Program is established in the Graduate School (Japanese linguistics and Japanese literature majors).  
March 1992 • The Japanese Language Education major is created in the Graduate School of Education
August 1992 • The graduate programs produce their first graduates
March 1993 • Professor Hyunsong Noh is appointed (current member of the National Assembly).
March 1994 • Professor Choongyoung Kim is appointed
March 1997 • Professor Gwan Choi and Visiting Professor Sutomu Kumaki (currently professor at Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University) are appointed. • Majors in the Graduate School are adjusted.
March 1998 • The department’s Doctoral Program is established in the Graduate School
March 1999 • The division system is implemented (belongs to the Division of Korean and Asian Languages and Literature).
June 2000 The Institute of Japanese Studies  at Korea University is founded; it is renamed the Center for Japanese Studies.
March 2001 • Professor Hyungsik Jeon is appointed (retires in March 2009).
March 2003 • Visiting Professor Naoko Nagatani is appointed.
August 2004 • Visiting Professors Chiyo Onzuka and Junichi Ono are appointed
March 2005 • Professor Byeongho Jung is appointed.
September 2005 • Professors Tatsuro Mizuno and Rie Osawa are appointed.  • Visiting Professor Seiji Tani is appointed (retires in March 2008).
March 2006 • The department participates in the BK21 project
September 2006 • Professor Seongsik Chae is appointed.
March 2007 • The Chinese Language and Literature and Japanese Language and Literature programs in the Graduate School are integrated into the Chinese and Japanese Language and Literature program
June 2007 • The construction of the Cheongsan-MK Cultural Center in the Center for Japanese Studies is completed.
September 2007 • Professor Seungwon Suh is appointed. 
November 2007 • The Center for Japanese Studies is selected as an overseas research field for the Humanities Korea (HK) support project. 
March 2008 • Professor Choonmie Kim retires. • Visiting Professors Ken Matsumoto and Hara Mizuho (retires in March 2009) are appointed. • Professor Hidemi Kanazu is appointed.
March 2009 • Professors Soomi Kim, Jaejin Yu, and Youngnam Cho are appointed. 
October 2010 • Our department is ranked 1st nationwide among humanities and social sciences departments in Korea according to the Korean University Evaluation by JoongAng Daily.
March 2011 • Professor Momoyo Shimazu and Visiting Professor Masaaki Yoshida (retires in February 2013) are appointed. 
October 2011 • Our department is ranked 1st nationwide among humanities and social sciences departments in Korea for the second year in a row according to the Korean University Evaluation by JoongAng Daily
October 2012 • Our department is ranked 1st nationwide among humanities and social sciences departments in Korea for the third consecutive year according to the Korean University Evaluation by JoongAng Daily.
September 2013 • Our department is selected as the only Graduate School BK21 PLUS agency in the field of Japanese language (for the next seven years).
December 2013 • The 30th anniversary celebration of the Department of Japanese Language and Literature is held.
March 2014 • As the division system changes back to the department system, new students begin to enroll in the Department of Japanese Language and Literature.
August 2014 • Professors Hanseop Lee and Chaesu Kim retire.