Japanese

(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.

Special Programs

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.

Requirements
Core Language Courses 1
JAPAN 231Intermediate Japanese I1.00
JAPAN 232Intermediate Japanese II1.00
JAPAN 301Advanced Japanese I1.00
JAPAN 302Advanced Japanese II1.00
One Language Course Above JAPAN 302 21.00
Four courses, taught in English, focused on Japan/Japanese language and culture 34.00
One course must be transnational/regional/global/comparative
Minimum of one course at the 300-level
Recommended
FLAC course(s), study abroad, internships, or other immersion experiences in Japan.
Total Credits9

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. Does not count toward Japanese major.

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. Does not count toward Japanese major.
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. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the fall semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and concentration.
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. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the spring semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.
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. Offered annually in the fall semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.
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. Offered annually in the spring semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.
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. Also counts toward Asian studies major and concentration.
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 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

ASCON 210 Asian Conversations I

ASCON 215 Asian Conversations II (abroad)

ASCON 216 Asian Conversations IIB (on campus)

ASCON 220 Asian Conversations III

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 240 Major Seminar: Histories of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (depending on content and instructor)

HIST 345 East Asia Seminar

PHIL 117 Confucius, Buddha, and Socrates

PHIL 127 Zen and the Art of Judo

PHIL 249 Asian Philosophy

PSCI 245 Asian Regionalism

Director, 2020-2021

Hiroe Akimoto

Visiting Instructor in Asian Studies

Japanese language instruction

Rika Ito

Professor of Asian Studies

language change and variation; sociolinguistics; language and gender; Japanese

Joanne Quimby

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

modern Japanese literature