The Department of Chinese Literature at National Taiwan University has established a tradition of scholarly excellence since the beginning of the Taihoku Imperial University period (1928-1945). As the first Chair professor of Oriental Literature, Professor Kubo Tokuji initiated his series of lectures on Chinese literature in 1928. Aside from Professor Kubo, Professor Kanda Kiichiro, Lecturer Harada Suekiyo, and the visiting Professor Shioya Yutaka from Tokyo Imperial University all made significant contribution to the studies of Chinese literature in the early stage of the department. Kubo’s personal book collection in Taiwan was later acquired by the University and established as a research collection named after him. Kanda helped to obtain more than 30,000 volumes of ancient books from the Gong family of Fuzhou, China, founding the Collection of Wushi Shanfang. As the basis of what is now the University’s rare book collection, the two collections are frequently consulted by researchers in Taiwan and overseas.
After Taiwan was handed over to the Nationalist government of China in 1945, Taihoku Imperial University was renamed as National Taiwan University, and the Department of Chinese Literature was officially inaugurated and resumed the tradition of academic scholarship in China. Tai Ching-nung, serving as the department chair for twenty years since 1948, made major contribution to the growth and stability of the department in its early stage. During his chairmanship, the M.A. program was founded in 1957, and the Ph.D. program in 1967. From 1972 to 2011, the department had offered a program of continuing education leading to bachelor’s degree. From academic year 2008, the department started the Bachelor’s Degree Program in Chinese Literature for International Students to provide international students with a well-informed environment to pursue studies in Chinese language and culture. Thanks to many who made serious efforts to shape the administrative and academic infrastructure of the Department of Chinese Literature, NTU has become a leading center of multi-disciplinary research and comprehensive education in Chinese literature.