Japanese Studies

Why Japanese?

Relevance:  As the world's third largest economy and one of the United States' most important allies and trading partners, Japan is critical to an understanding of global issues. In the cultural sphere, Japan exerts enormous influence though the borderless appeal of its anime, manga, film, and literature.

Focus:  A minor or double major in Japanese Studies brings geographical focus to majors in International Relations, Global Studies, Finance, Anthropology, Film & Media Studies and more.

Marketable Skills:  Japanese is one of the ten most widely-spoken languages in the world, and a language in which the US State Department has identified a critical need. Japanese language skills give you a rare advantage in the job market.

The Proof:  Check out how Japanese Studies alumni have put their training to use in corporate careers, public service, education, and research.

Opportunities in Japanese

Language:  We offer four levels of language instruction (read more about placement into Japanese language classes), and encourage students to  take advantage of our summer, one-semester, and year-long study-abroad programs at several top universities in Japan.

Culture:  Courses in English on Japanese literature, film, anime, and more encourage a deeply historicized engagement with modern and contemporary culture. (Related courses in Japanese history, politics, anthropology, and more are offered in other departments). 

Independent Research:  We encourage students to develop individual research projects, which can focus on literature, anime, music, fashion, foodways, politics, and more. Check out recent student projects on contemporary Japanese culture and anime.

The Options:  Students can pursue a minor in Japanese Studies, a self-designed major in Japanese Studies, or a major in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, on an East Asian Studies track. Use the links to the left to learn more.