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Tohoku University Bachelor in Literature
Tohoku University

Bachelor in Literature

Sendai, Japan

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Apr 2024

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Introduction

The Department of Literature at Tohoku University was born from the Tōhoku Imperial University Faculty of Law and Literature, established in Katahira-chō, Sendai in 1922. A creation of the "Taishō Democracy" period that followed the First World War (1914-1918), the Department of Law gathered professors leading the work in modernizing the liberal arts, their lectures attracting the interest of not only students of the humanities, but also students studying education, law, and economics. The foundation of the Faculty of Law and Letters came 15 years after the establishment of Tohoku University in 1907, but from the start, it was blessed with a research-friendly environment, particularly in connection with the university library, where students could make full use of its catalog, including such resources as the former library of Kanō Kōkichi (which today remains in the library's possession as the approximately 108,000-book "Kanō Collection" concerned mostly with the humanities).

There were troubled times in the years that followed, as during the Second World War when the very thought of scholarship and research were abandoned, but even in the midst of these difficulties the extraordinary research environment was preserved and brought to fuller completion (for example, in the continuing growth of the library's collections of precious books, like the "Sōseki Collection" of approximately 3000 volumes from the library of Natsume Sōseki). Tōhoku University was relaunched as a university under the new education system in 1949 and the Department of Literature was established. The campus was moved from Katahira to its present location in Kawauchi in 1973, and the university, along with the other national universities, was privatized in 2004. Its traditions, however, together with the university-wide ideal of "research first", were carried forward, and live on in the diverse fields of the Department of Literature and the wealth of opportunities it offers to experience their hidden strength.

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