Cultural Knowledge

  • Learning Japanese opens up a unique window into one of the world’s ancient civilizations. As soon as you begin studying the Japanese language, you begin learning about Japanese history, cultural values, philosophical and religious beliefs, and aesthetic traditions.
  • The more proficient you become, the more you will be able to appreciate and understand Japan’s past and present.
  • Japanese is the language of Mishima, Kawabata, Enji, Endo, Kurosawa, Ozu, Kenzaburo, Oe, Soseki Natsume, and Oogai Mori.

Career Opportunities:

  • Japan is ranked as the third economic power of the world, even though the country is smaller than the state of California.
  • With a large population and the fast growing economy, Japan has a great potential as a market for U.S. goods.
  • Japan is widely expected to become a major geopolitical force in the new Millennium.
  • Graduates with proficiency in Japanese will be well-positioned for jobs in government, international relations, finance, tourism, translation, teaching and much, much more.
  • The USA. today is actively promoting a healthy relationship with Japan, both politically and academically.
  • In turn, Japan sees the U.S. as a very important political partner. For that reason, it too promotes a strong transpacific communication by sponsoring study exchanges and research visits for Americans each year in many cities.
  • The U.S. and Japan are allies, and both are among the top five economies in the world. Japan is a gateway to other Asian cultures. Although other countries are important to the U.S., such as our close neighbors Canada and Mexico, not to mention the rise of other Asian nations in the Pacific Rim, the U.S.-Japan economic relationship continues to be strong with close connections that show how deeply integrated our trade and national-security interests are.
  • “Japan and the United States are the two largest economic powers. Together they account for over 30% of world domestic product, for a significant portion of international trade in goods and services, and for a major portion of international investment. This economic clout makes the United States and Japan potentially powerful actors in the world economy. Economic conditions in the United States and Japan have a significant impact on the rest of the world. Furthermore, the U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship can influence economic conditions in other countries.” (See the complete report from the Congressional Research Service on the US-Japan relationship at

Other reasons:

  • Japanese civilization is one of the oldest and richest in the world.
  • Japanese is one of the few languages which remain pictographic. Japanese calligraphy is a form of art.
  • Are you interested in writing the language of the people who have developed such superb arts as Kabuki, wood block prints, and the tea ceremony, and. . . . .
  • . . . . . . are you interested in speaking the language of the people who make Toyota, Honda, and Mazda?
  •  The Japanese are innovators, designers, and creative engineers in cultural exports. Anime, sushi, Sony Playstation, Nintendo, Hello Kitty, Sudoku, karaoke, manga, martial arts, origami and more – just think about how our daily lives are enriched and entertained by products from Japan. The Japanese are known for their love of design, precision and mastery. Whether it is designing electronic gadgets or high-end fashion clothing, the Japanese value craftsmanship, quality, and pleasing the consumer. Japanese pop culture has a universal appeal around the world. Some say Japan has reinvented the concept of “soft power,” and if something is created or made in Japan it is part of “Cool Japan.”
  • Learning Japanese is not as hard as you think!

The CORE language requirement and beyond!

  • The Japanese Section participates in the university CORE curriculum by offering several levels of language instruction, from elementary through advanced.
  • Courses in Japanese culture and literature are occasionally taught in English and may fulfill other additional core requirements.

But what can I myself do with Japanese?
(What’s your major?

  • Japanese is important for art history, business, diplomacy, engineering, humanities, law, philosophy, political science, technology (including computer science), and religious studies majors, as well as for students intending to pursue a graduate degree in one of the natural sciences.
  • A knowledge of Japanese can be extremely useful for future scientists and engineers.
  • Are you considering majoring in Business? Japanese  is an excellent choice for Business majors wishing to tap into the as-of-yet unsaturated markets in many Asian countries.
  • There are many marketing and other business exchange opportunities in Japan and other Asian countries. Many businesses are eager to engage in import/export with the U.S.



  • JCU often sponsors study tours to Japan! Japan is an ideal study-abroad destination. Japan is one of the best study-abroad destinations for students who are venturing abroad. It is one of the safest countries in the world, with its low crime rate, secure borders, and renowned transportation system. The Japanese have a profound respect for learning and are proud of sharing their language and culture with international visitors and students alike. Internet access is non-censored and the Japanese, who are constantly on the move, are linked to the world through mobile devices. They are likely to know the weather in New York as well as that in Tokyo.
  • For more information, see the JCU Japanese web page.
  • You can join the JCU Japan Club, or the R.愛.C.E. club (Realizing Your Love for Cultures of the East) for exciting extra-curricular activities!