Japanese Studies

Why Japanese?

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 addition, Japanese writers and artists have long exerted an influence over literature, visual arts, pop culture and the avant garde internationally—an influence evident in the borderless appeal of Japanese film, manga, and anime. Japanese is one of the ten most widely-spoken languages in the world, spoken by 120 million people. It is also a language in which the US State Department has identified a critical need. Check out how Japanese Studies alumni have put their training to use in corporate careers, public service, education, and research.

Opportunities in Japanese

We enable students to explore all aspects of language and culture. We offer four levels of language instruction (read more about placement into Japanese language classes). We have summer, one-semester, and year-long study-abroad programs at several top universities in Japan. We also offer courses in English on Japanese literature, film, and popular culture (related courses in Japanese history, politics, anthropology, and more are offered in other departments).  And 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. 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.