Major in Japanese Studies

The Major in Japanese Studies provides a solid grounding in Japanese language, culture, literature, and linguistics, with 32-36 units of core courses covering each of these areas and 4-8 units of elective courses in Japanese history, religion, philosophy, economics, politics, art, and business.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • acquire Japanese language proficiency at the intermediate to advanced level, according to the ACTFL national standard
  • learn the Japanese language through the lens of the rich variety of cultural landscapes in historical and contemporary Japan and will develop substantial cultural knowledge about Japan
  • gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical development and contemporary state of the Japanese language, literature, and selected aspects of culture
  • acquire the competency to employ the analytical and conceptual tools relevant to their study


40 units

The three semesters of lower-division Japanese language courses (Japanese 101, 102, and 201) serve as a prerequisite but do not count toward the units necessary for the major

Core Courses

Required (24 units)

Students take the following Japanese language courses and one Japanese linguistics course:

  • JAPN 202 Fourth Semester Japanese
  • JAPN 301 Intermediate Japanese I
  • JAPN 302 Intermediate Japanese II
  • JAPN 401 Advanced Japanese I
  • JAPN 402 Advanced Japanese II
  • JAPN 410 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics
4 from the following (16 units)
  • JAPN 195 Reading Osaka from San Francisco
  • JAPN 310 Zen and the Art of Japanese Calligraphy
  • JAPN 350 Japanese Culture
  • JAPN 351 Contemporary Japanese Culture
  • JAPN 355 Japanese Literature in Translation
  • JAPN 357 Naturalism in Japanese Literature
  • JAPN 360 Japanese Calligraphy and Ink Painting
2 courses from the following:

These courses can be counted toward the 16 units of electives.

  • HIST 383 Modern Japan Since Perry
  • HIST 387 History of U.S.-Japan Relations
  • HIST 390 Special Undergraduate Studies in History: Traditional Japan to 1868
  • THRS 368 Japanese Religion and Society
  • THRS 370 Zen Buddhism
  • THRS 379 Buddhist Paths
  • BUS 397 Japanese Study Tour