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Japan comprises four main islands and about 1000 small islands; these slivers and dots of land are among the most densely populated in the world. The amount of activity on them—in business, engineering, and pop culture—is astonishing. Japanese products, design, thought, and film play a major role in the American consciousness and marketplace. Japanese majors have the opportunity to bridge east and west, to understand the language and culture of this remarkable country.

The Japanese major is a challenging course of study. Japanese majors go through intensive classes in written and spoken Japanese, as well as additional work in Japanese culture and history. Classes in Buddhism, Shinto, Kabuki theater, Japanese film, or Noh drama might be offered as part of the overall curriculum. Most Japanese programs also recommend or require students to study abroad in Japan.

Japanese speakers are in demand in business, technology, and law. Japan’s rich cultural heritage also makes the major appealing to those who are interested in visual and performing arts.


  • Classical Japanese I-II

  • History of Buddhism

  • Japanese History

  • Japanese I-IV

  • Japanese Linguistics

  • Japanese Literature I-II

  • Noh Theater

  • Technical Japanese


If you are fortunate enough to go to a school that offers Japanese as a language, obviously you should take it. Any training in foreign languages will help you become accustomed to college-level language study. Courses in political science and Asian history will also get you ahead of the game.