Japanese Studies

Interdisciplinary Minor


“Learning Japanese is unlike learning any other language. It has a real beauty. In addition, you get insights into an intriguing culture and you have fun while doing it.”
– Amanda Goodman ’08

OK. No one needs to tell you what sushi is. And you’ve probably got a handle on anime and karaoke as well. But do you know what is meant by the Edo period? And can you explain why there are three forms of writing in the Japanese language? Yes, there’s more to Japan than exotic cuisine, killer animation, Sumo wrestling and ninja films. Add to those an intriguing history, an innovative outlook on technology, a rich and varied culture rooted in ancient customs, and you’ll be getting close. But there’s more — much, much more.

Japan — an island nation of approximately 128 million people – holds a strong role in global commerce and economics. It’s also recognized as a prominent player in the field of science, particularly in technology, machinery and biomedical research. At the College of Charleston, we attempt to provide our students with important context for those realities by offering one of the most comprehensive Japanese programs in the state of South Carolina. Along with language courses and literature taught in translation, we also offer courses in the following disciplines:

  • history
  • art history
  • political science
  • religious studies

Because of Japan’s extensive influence, the minor in Japanese studies can be a valuable complement to nearly every academic program. Whether your studies concentrate on business, the arts, languages, sciences or some other discipline, knowledge of Japan and Japanese culture can enhance your understanding of numerous other fields.

And if you really want to expose yourself to Japan, the College has an exchange program with Kansai Gaidai University of Foreign Studies in Osaka. You can opt to study abroad there for a semester or even a year. Japanese studies; check it out and find out what it takes to be a true world citizen.

Contact Information

Yoshiki Chikuma
Program Director