UM’s Japanese section ranks among the strongest programs in the northwestern United States. We offer a full four years of rigorous Japanese language instruction, as well as courses on Japanese history, historical linguistics, popular culture (including manga, film and anime), and Japanese literature of the classical, early modern and modern periods. Courses covering Japanese religion, political science, East Asian history and Chinese studies are also offered at UM and may be counted as outside electives for the Japanese major.
Japanese is one of the most popular languages in the department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, with a consistent core of majors and minors. Our course offerings equip students with the language skills and cultural knowledge necessary for a career in Japan-focused fields, whether in Japan or elsewhere.
Why Study Japanese at UM?
Japan is the world’s third largest economy, and home to a number of major international firms, particularly in the worlds of finance and high technology. It boasts a uniquely rich history and literary tradition, which also informs its current status as a world leader in cultural media such as animation, graphic novels, fashion, film, food culture, and video games. The city of Tokyo will also play host to the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Our language and content courses are designed to give you the skills to study and appreciate Japanese culture, literature and history first hand. To help our students develop their skills and experience Japan for themselves, UM also offers a diverse range of study abroad options via our partner universities in Japan. Students may study abroad for a semester or full year, usually during their third year. In recent years, UM students have studied abroad at universities in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kumamoto, and Beppu. For qualified students, the section recommends scholarships to assist with the costs of studying in Japan.
What can you do with a Japanese degree from UM?
Our graduates have gone on to work in Japanese and Asian business, the arts, IT, architecture, ESL, academia, translation, and government; a number have also pursued higher degrees in accounting, law, business and medicine. Our majors have won internationally competitive scholarships for further study at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama. In addition, many UM Japanese majors have participated in the Japanese government’s JET program, either as Assistant Language Teachers or Coordinators for International Relations.
Click here for testimonials from UM graduates working in Japan-related fields.