Japanese Language and Literature Courses

Japanese 1A is designed to develop basic Japanese language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will learn the Japanese writing system: hiragana, katakana and approximately 150 kanji. At the end of the course, students should be able to greet, invite, compare, and describe persons and things, activities, intensions, ability, experience, purposes, reasons, and wishes. Grades will be determined on the basis of attendance, quiz scores, homework and class participation.


This semester, we will explore a wide range of media works with a focus on experimental and narrative cinema, including eco-horror, melodrama, romance, tech-noir, and anime. Going beyond the concerns of auteurism and national styles, we will approach contemporary Japanese cinema and media as a participant in a series of transnational conversations about cybernetics, media mix, gaming and database aesthetics as well as on emergent forms of sociality (gender, race, sexuality) intimated by the reconfigurations of communication technologies. In addition to discussing the transcultural give and take of media theory, we will explore the various intersections of Japanese cinema with other media forms.

The goal of this course is for the students to understand the language and culture required to communicate effectively in Japanese. Some of the cultural aspects covered are; geography, speech style, technology, sports, food, and religion. Through the final project, students will learn how to discuss social issues and their potential solutions. In order to achieve these goals, students willlearn how to integrate the basic linguistics knowledge they acquired in J1, as well as study new structures and vocabulary. An increasing amount of reading and writing, including approximately 200 new kanji, will also be required. Prerequisites: Japan 1 or Japan 1B.


This course aims to develop further context-specific skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It concentrates on students using acquired grammar and vocabulary with more confidence in order to express functional meanings, while increasing overall linguistic competence. Students will learn approximately 200 new Kanji. There will be a group or individual project. Course materials include the textbook supplemented by newspapers, magazine articles, short stories, essays, and video clips which will provide insight into Japanese culture and society. Prerequisites: Japan 100A; or consent of instructor.


This course is designed for students who have studied Japanese at college level for at least three years (450 hours). Students read a variety of texts in Japanese as sources for discussions that deepen their understanding of Japanese society and people. Additionally, they will research related topics, followed by a short presentation in class. Through these activities, students develop further their knowledge of kanji, vocabulary, and Japanese grammar. They will improve their ability to read and write logically, coherently, and effectively in Japanese so that they can express their points of view and construct argumentative discourse. Prerequisites: J100B, J100X, or equivalent; or consent of instructor.