The Japanese Language and Culture Program prepares you to study abroad in Japan by building necessary skills such as reading and writing, understanding basic to advanced grammar and vocabulary, and exploring social customs and traditions in Japan.

An Individualized Education

Student cooking with Japanese man

I make my best efforts each day to teach each class session with a refreshed mindset, so that I can help new students and their new needs each school year.

Hiroshi Matsumoto, PhD
Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Culture

Course Offerings

These courses are taught in Japanese.

Introduction to the basic structure and function of the modern Japanese language, covering the basic sound system, grammatical constructions, writing system, and basic vocabulary and expressions. Important cultural aspects of the language are discussed as well.

Prerequisite: JPN 101 or instructor consent.

Continuing development of the fundamental aspects of the modern Japanese language as in JPN 101 with more Kanji characters and grammatical constructions.

Prerequisite: JPN 102 or instructor consent.

Aims at further developing students’ Japanese language proficiency in the six aspects of listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, and cultural understanding.

Prerequisite: JPN 201 or instructor consent.

Continuation of JPN 201 while further enhancing students’ proficiency level in listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, and cultural understanding. Necessary linguistic, cultural, and sociolinguistic orientation for study abroad studies is included.

Prerequisite: JPN 202 and pre-study abroad status, or instructor consent.

This course is geared primarily for students who have completed JPN 202 and are preparing to study abroad in the following semester. Focuses on developing listening and speaking skills for conversations in various situations where the appropriate use of grammatical constructions and knowledge of language functions/sociolinguistics are required.

Prerequisite: Any 300-level Japanese courses, completion of a study abroad program in Japanese, or instructor consent.

Aims at further developing listening and speaking skills while learning more advanced language functions and sociolinguistics.

Prerequisite: Any 300-level Japanese courses, \completion of a study abroad program in Japanese, or instructor consent.

Intends to develop reading and writing skills while strengthening the mastery of vocabulary, expressions, Kanji characters, and grammar. Main reading materials are short essay and expository readings. Writing activities include message, letter, and journal writing.

Prerequisite: Any 300-level Japanese courses, completion of a study abroad program in Japanese, or instructor consent.

Aims at achieving more advanced-level reading and writing skills. Main reading materials are extended discourse of expository, journalistic, and literary readings. Writing focuses on expository and essay writing.

Prerequisite: Completion of a study abroad program in Japanese, or instructor consent.

Introductory survey of Japanese culture in the ancient, medieval, and (pre-war) modern periods. Significant aspects of each period are discussed while shedding light on its culture (everyday life of the Japanese) and “Culture” (including thoughts, values, religions, aesthetics, political and economic circumstances).

Prerequisite: Completion of a study abroad program in Japanese, or instructor consent. 

Exploration of socio-cultural aspects of contemporary Japan through analysis and translation of literature and film. Thematic messages represented in the works are discussed in the scope of their social and cultural significance.

Prerequisite: Completion of a study abroad program in Japanese, or instructor consent.

Introduction to practical aspects of Japanese linguistics, including comparisons to other languages.

Prerequisite: Completion of a study abroad program in Japanese, or instructor consent.

Survey of modern Japanese culture and in-depth analysis of crucial issues in contemporary Japanese society and popular culture.

Japanese Language and Culture Faculty

Adjunct Instructor - Japanese
Generic Portrait Outline
Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Culture
osamu ishiyama
Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Culture
hiroshi matsumoto
Adjunct Instructor - Japanese
chieko miyama