What is Japanese Studies?
Japanese Studies is the study of all aspects of Japanese culture, including Japanese language, history, music, religion, philosophy, business ethics, and even tourism. One of the fascinating things about Japanese culture is its extreme syncretism or absorbing and blending of other cultures. Thus, the Japanese written language is heavily influenced by Chinese writing forms with numerous European loan words. For example, Japanese orthography is heavily influenced by Chinese characters. Thousands of characters, known as kanji , are even taken straight from Chinese. Also, Japanese has its own characters, know as katakana , which are employed solely to express numerous European loan words. The same is true for Japanese social ethics, which stress hierarchical familial and social relations. This system is heavily influenced by Chinese Confucianism and its views about the importance of family ties, respect of elders, duties, and obligations. Likewise, Japanese religion and philosophy are a fascinating blend of Indian thought, Chinese Taoism and Buddhism, Western philosophy, and their own indigenous Shinto religion.
Despite this absorption of other cultural ideas, the Japanese have managed to produce their own cultural expressions, each of which displays the well-known Japanese concern for aesthetic quality and natural beauty. The Japanese garden, flower arranging, Zen temples, the tea ceremony, origami, haiku poetry , and No and Kabuki theatre, are but a few of these better known cultural expressions.
In addition, Japan has one of the most important export economies of recent times. This grew out of Japan 's role in the Second World War. Here Japan invaded and occupied most of East Asia and much of the Pacific while attacking the United States . This led to a massive war and finally to Japan's defeat in 1945. From this moment of total economic collapse Japan has steadily risen to the point where, now, high quality Japanese cars, cameras, computers, and numerous other technologies are purchased worldwide in large quantities. This has given Japan an economic presence on the world stage that only a handful of other nations have achieved.
Japanese Studies at the University of Guam
The Japanese Studies Program offers basic knowledge for understanding of and interaction with the people of Japan . To this end the University of Guam is ideally located. Being a major tourist destination for the Japanese, Guam attracts one and a half million Japanese tourists per year.This means that the Japanese language and Japanese culture are readily heard and seen on the streets, beaches, and tourist centres of Guam This gives the University of Guam student of Japanese studies numerous possibilities to interact with Japanese visitors and to observe and participate in their culture.
Also, because Japan is only three to four hours away by air, those taking Japanese studies at the University of Guam have the excellent opportunity to visit Japan , practice their language skills, and explore Japanese culture first hand. Students enrolled in the program study the language, history, politics, culture, philosophy, and other aspects of Japan . This involves acquiring a special knowledge and appreciation of the relations of Japan with other countries of the Pacific basin. Students in the program will also be encouraged to attend, when possible, courses taught in Japan
Associate Professor of Japanese
PhD, University of Mississppi
Dr. Toyoko Kang
Associate Professor of Japanese
PhD, University of Texas at Austin
For further information on
Japanese Studies contact
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
University of Guam
Mangilao, Guam 96923
Telephone: (671) 735-2814
Fax: (671) 734-7930
Or contact the Division of Humanities
JAPANESE STUDIES MAJOR
REQUIREMENTS (Total: 44 Credit Hours)
Required Courses (32 credit hours): 20 credit hours in Japanese selected from courses numbered JA101, JA102, JA105, JA106, JA201, JA202, JA301, JA302, and JA401 and JA402; 6 credits hours in history selected from among HI371, HI372, HI474, HI478 and HI480 (when Japan or the relationship between Japan and one or more of its East Asian neighbours is the topic/problem of study); 3 credit hours in PS304 and PS485 and three credit hours in Japanese culture selected from among AR322, MU301, CO310, PI103, PI480 (when Japanese Philosophy is the topic of study) PI486 (when Japan is the destination) and EN470 (when Japanese literature is the topic of study).
Electives (12 credit hours): Selected from among the above listed not used as required courses, transfer credits (when the primary focus is Japan ) and BA341 and special courses (-90 series pertinent to Japan ).
JAPANESE STUDIES MINOR
REQUIREMENTS (Total: 29 Credit Hours)
Required Courses (17 credit hours): 8 credit hours in Japanese; 6 credit hours in HI372 and HI474; 3 credit hours in Japanese culture selected from among those identified above in requirements for the major.
Electives (12 credit hours): These may be selected from among any of the courses identified as electives from the major, except that no more than 6 credit hours may be language courses.
JA101 (4) ELEMENTARY JAPANESE I
This course provides beginners with basic skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in Japanese. Special Emphasis is on oral-aural skills.
JA102 (4) ELEMENTARY JAPANESE II
This is a continuation of Elementary Japanese I with increasing emphasis on reading and writing skills. Prerequisite: JA101 with a grade of C or better or equivalent.
JA105 (4) BUSINESS JAPANESE I As Resources Permits
This is an alternative second semester course for Elementary Japanese, introducing the student to the vocabulary and practices peculiar to doing business with Japanese. This course (like JA102) completes the GE requirement in language. Language lab required. Prerequisite: JA101.
JA106 (4) BUSINESS JAPANESE II As Resources Permits
This is the continuation of Business Japanese I, introducing the student to the vocabulary and practices peculiar to doing business with Japanese. Prerequisite: JA185 or JA105.
JA201 (4) INTERMEDIATE JAPANESE I Fall
This is a course continuing the development of oral-aural, reading and writing skills begun at the elementary level. Prerequisites: JA102 or demonstrated control of its content.
JA202 (4) INTERMEDIATE JAPANESE II Spring
This is a course with emphasis on reading competency and further development of oral-aural skills. Prerequisites: JA201 or demonstrated control of its content.
JA215 (4) JAPANESE FOR TOURISM Spring
This course is designed to develop Japanese language skills and cultural knowledge for the use in the tourism industry on Guam. Prerequisites: JA102 with a grade of C or better or equivalent.
JA301 (4) THIRD YEAR JAPANESE I Fall
This course continues the emphasis on reading competency and further development of oral-aural skills
JA302 (4) THIRD YEAR JAPANESE II Spring
This is a continuation of Third Year Japanese I. Prerequisites: JA301 or demonstrated control of its content.
JA401 (4) FOURTH YEAR JAPANESE I As Resources Permits
This is a course with primary emphasis on reading authentic Japanese materials, i.e., newspapers, magazines, novels, rather than material developed for instructional purposes. Prerequisites: JA302 or demonstrated control of its content.
JA402 (4) FOURTH YEAR JAPANESE II As Resources Permits
This is a continuation of the reading of authentic Japanese materials. After completion of this course, the student should be able to read most Japanese publications. Prerequisites: JA401 or demonstrated control of its content.