Japanese Language and Literature
Study the language and literature of one of the globe’s biggest economies
In the past, the world started to take notice of Japan because of its economic success and innovative technologies. Today, it is Japan’s traditional culture, pop culture, and, at a more fundamental level, its language and literature that are attracting the world’s attention. This course gives students the opportunity to learn about three different areas: classical Japanese literature, contemporary Japanese literature and Japanese linguistics. Japanese started out as the language of the Yamato people. Chinese characters were subsequently introduced and used as part of the language, which gave rise to the kana system. Japanese has also incorporated a great number of words from foreign languages. To understand why Japanese has been so linguistically permeable, students analyze and research the poetry, stories and essays from antiquity until the present day, examining their defining features and the context within which they were written. Students on the course may also branch out to other related areas, such as classes that introduce methodology for the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language, Japanese history, Chinese literature, library science and even foreign literature. Every year, the course produces open-minded schoolteachers, who specialize in the instruction of Japanese in middle schools and high schools.