(Offered within the Department of Asian Studies)
Learning Japanese introduces you to a dynamic nation of 120 million people at the hub of technological innovation, trade, and diplomatic relations in the world’s fastest-growing market: the Pacific Rim. It introduces you to a modern country that has maintained a distinct cultural identity; to a society that still emphasizes the individual’s responsibilities to family and group; and to an economy with distinctive solutions to problems of productivity, management, and motivation in the work place. It introduces you to the earliest non-Western nation to become a modern world power. St. Olaf teaches four full years of Japanese language and sends language students to three different campuses in Japan.
The Japanese Major
To fulfill a Japanese major, students will demonstrate both linguistic and cultural competence. For linguistic and language skills, Japanese majors will possess proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Intermediate-High level as well as metalinguistic and intercultural awareness of the use of Japanese language in different social milieus.
Additionally, students will be able to analyze, interpret, and critique various discourses and cultural productions from and about Japan through their liberal arts studies, which may include literature, art, history, religion, philosophy, and/or politics.
Study programs in Japan are available at Waseda University in Tokyo through the ACM, Nagoya University in Nagoya, and Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo.
The Japanese major consists of nine courses.
|I. Core Language Courses 1|
|JAPAN 231||Intermediate Japanese I||1.00|
|JAPAN 232||Intermediate Japanese II||1.00|
|JAPAN 301||Advanced Japanese I||1.00|
|JAPAN 302||Advanced Japanese II||1.00|
|II. One Language Course Above JAPAN 302 2||1.00|
|III. Four Courses, Taught in English, Focused on Japan/Japanese Language and Culture 3||4.00|
One course must be transnational/regional/global/comparative
Minimum of one course at the 300-level
|FLAC course(s), study abroad, internships, or other immersion experiences in Japan.|
If a student has previous background in Japanese language and is initially placed (after the Japanese placement test and interview) in upper division classes above JAPAN 231 Intermediate Japanese I (e.g. JAPAN 232 or JAPAN 301), the student will fulfill the total 9 credits requirement by taking additional classes in categories II (language courses above JAPAN 302) and/or III (courses in English that focus on Japan/Japanese language and culture).
The following courses currently fulfill this requirement: JAPAN 320 Special Topics in Japanese or the equivalent of a fourth-year-level course taken during the partnered study abroad programs in Japan and/or other approved study abroad language programs.
At least one course must examine transnationalism/regionalism/global perspectives or compare Japan/Japanese with other countries/cultures through specific disciplines (e.g. art, religion, literature, history, philosophy, economics, and political science). At least one of these four courses must be 300-level, and no more than one at 100-level. One of these courses can be an Independent Study (Capstone project) or the Asian Studies senior seminars (ASIAN 397 or ASIAN 399). The Asian Conversation sequence (ASIAN 210, ASIAN 215 or ASIAN 216, ASIAN 220) will count for no more than two courses.
For information about the Japan studies concentration and the Asian studies major, see Asian Studies.
JAPAN 111: Beginning Japanese I
This course is an introduction to speaking, reading, and writing Japanese; writing includes the learning of all syllabic letters (Hiragana and Katakana) and basic Kanji (Chinese characters). Class meets four times weekly. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the fall semester.
JAPAN 112: Beginning Japanese II
This course is an introduction to speaking, reading, and writing Japanese; writing includes the learning of all syllabic letters (Hiragana and Katakana) and basic Kanji (Chinese characters). Class meets four times weekly. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 111 or equivalent.
JAPAN 231: Intermediate Japanese I
Students continue to develop the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills that enable them to deal not only with topics of daily life, but also cultural themes and authentic materials. Class meets four times weekly. Offered annually in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 112 or its equivalent.
JAPAN 232: Intermediate Japanese II
Students continue to develop the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills that enable them to deal not only with topics of daily life, but also cultural themes and authentic materials. Class meets four times weekly. Offered annually in the spring semester. Counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 231 or its equivalent.
JAPAN 294: Academic Internship
JAPAN 298: Independent Study
JAPAN 301: Advanced Japanese I
This third-year-level course aims to increase the knowledge of Japanese people, language, and society by comparing with students' own cultures in their target language. Various authentic "texts" (images, video clips, written texts, etc.) support student learning. Counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 232 or equivalent.
JAPAN 302: Advanced Japanese II
This course builds on Japanese 301 and aims to increase the knowledge of Japanese people, language, and society by comparing with students' own cultures in their target language. Authentic "texts" (images, video clips, written texts, etc.) support student learning. Counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 301 or its equivalent.
JAPAN 320: Special Topics in Japanese
In this fourth-year-level Japanese course, students explore a specified topic or theme in language, in various text/media (literature, newspaper, manga, and films), in culture/civilization, or in a combination of these, through close examination of texts (written or visual), discussion, analysis, and interpretation of selected materials. Sample topics include" Best Sellers and Film Adaptations" and "Haiku and the Concept of Nature." May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Japanese.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 302 or equivalent.
JAPAN 394: Academic Internship
JAPAN 398: Independent Research
Courses Focused on Japan/Japanese
ART 260 The Arts of Japan
ASIAN 126 Language in Japanese Society
ASIAN 130 Japanese Science Fiction in Global Perspective (English translation)
ASIAN 230 The Philosophy of Anime
ASIAN 235 Modern Japanese Literature (in English translation)
AS/ES 277 Environmental Sustainability in Japan (abroad)
HIST 252 Japanese Civilization
HIST 253 Modern Japan
Courses Focused on Japan/Japanese with Cross-Cultural/Regional/Global Comparative Perspectives
ASIAN 121 Asian Cultures in Comparative Perspectives
ASIAN 123 Asia in America
ASIAN 200 Topics in Asian Studies
ASIAN 210 Asian Conversations I: Mapping Journeys
ASIAN 215 Asian Conversations II: Encountering Asia (abroad)
ASIAN 216 Asian Conversations II: Encountering Asia in America
ASIAN 220 Asian Conversations III: Interpreting Journeys
ASIAN 240 Talking in Japan and the U.S.: Language, Identity, and Beyond
ASIAN 268 The Art of Calligraphy: Techniques and Appreciation
ASIAN 282 Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy in an Asian Context
ASIAN 300 Topics in Asian Studies
ASIAN 310 Buddhism through Text and Image
ASIAN 333 What is a Hero?
ASIAN 397 Seminar: Human Rights/Asian Context
ASIAN 399 Seminar for Asian Studies Majors
AS/PS 255 Politics in Asia
AS/RE 256 Religions of China and Japan
AS/RE 257 Buddhism
AS/RE 289 Buddhism, Peace and Justice
HIST 345 East Asia Seminar
PHIL 251 Science, Ethics, and Religion
PSCI 245 Asian Regionalism