Language Variation Division


Hundreds of years ago, the Japanese archipelago boasted an abundant diversity of languages and dialects. Rapid change in Japanese society, however, has precipitated a crisis for Ainu, the Ryukyuan languages, and a great number of Japanese dialects. Outside of Japan also, the language that was used by Japanese emigrants decades ago is now fading away due to the loss of its speakers. The Language Variation Division is engaged in surveying these endangered languages and dialects and documenting their grammar, texts, and vocabulary items for their future preservation.

Research Topics

Regional and social variation of Japanese

Collaborative Research Projects

Title Type Leader Period
Endangered Languages and Dialects in Japan Institute-based Projects KIBE Nobuko April 2016 -
Reformation of local community through recordings and researches of dialects Multidisciplinary Collaborative Projects [NIHU] KIBE Nobuko April 2016 -
A survey, study, and use of the Japan-related documents and artifacts in North America: Socio-historical approach to ‘modern oversea material informatics’ Network-based Projects [NIHU] ASAHI Yoshiyuki April 2016 -

Researchers List

Alphabetical Order, : Additional Post

Research and Education Staff

  • KIBE Nobuko
    Deputy Director-General
    Division Head / Professor

Invited Scholars

  • Anna BUGAEVA
  • IGARASHI Yosuke
  • IWASAKI Shoichi
  • KARIMATA Shigehisa
  • NITTA Tetsuo
  • OSADA Toshiki
  • SASAKI Kan
  • SHIBUYA Katsumi
  • SHIMOJI Michinori

Temporary Researcher

  • AOYAMA Kazuki
    Adjunct Researcher
  • CELIK Kenan Thibault
    Adjunct Researcher
  • HUANG Haiping
    Adjunct Researcher
  • KAMIMURA Kentaro
    Adjunct Researcher
    Adjunct Researcher
    Adjunct Researcher
  • NAKAZAWA Kohei
    Adjunct Researcher
  • OSHIMA Hajime
    Adjunct Researcher
  • SATO Kumiko
    Adjunct Researcher
  • YOSHIKAWA Yoshimi
    Adjunct Researcher