A future just over the horizon

Interest in Japan is higher than ever – not just here in Oregon on the Pacific Rim, but worldwide. It’s a time of dynamic, dramatic change in Asia, spawned primarily by globalization and economic growth.

Why choose Willamette for Japanese studies?

Students come to Willamette for the rich, interdisciplinary learning environment that provides the broad knowledge and skills needed to excel in today’s fast-changing world. Students in our Japanese Studies program can take courses in language, modern culture, history, literature, film, as well as art history and religion. Students can earn a major in Japanese Studies, and a minor in Japanese language.

Our Japanese Studies program includes four years of Japanese language. Many students study abroad at our sister university, Tokyo International University in Kawagoe, Japan. Others take advantage of the language and cultural exchange opportunities with Japanese students at Tokyo International University of America co-located on the Willamette campus. Small classes are led by faculty with expertise in history, language, literature, modern culture and film. Students write senior theses on Japan and present them at the Japanese Studies Senior Summit. They also have opportunities to conduct independent research and collaborate on faculty research projects.

Our learning environment is also enhanced by social activities including festivals, movies, game nights, and language tables. We have an active, well-organized Japanese community at Willamette University.

A degree that can take you far

At Willamette, you will gain the tools needed to succeed in an increasingly complex and diverse world. Opportunities exist in many different career fields, including international business, foreign service, tourism, teaching and law. Many of our students go on to graduate school and others move to Japan to teach English (e.g., JET program in Japan) and gain more understanding of the culture.

Key features

  • Small classes and extensive curriculum including Japanese language, history, literature, film, modern culture and other subjects
  • Student research experiences such as Senior projects, internally and externally funded research programs, and collaborations with faculty members
  • Exchange programs with Tokyo International University in Japan
  • Language and cultural exchange experiences with Japanese students at Tokyo International University of American on the Willamette campus.
  • Campus cultural programs including language tables, native-speaker study partners, films, games, plus several student organizations Taiko club, Japan Student Leader club and Shodou club

Activities Fair: JSSL
Activities Fair (Japan Studies Student Leaders, 2014)

Taiko Club
Willamette Taiko

Karaoke Night: JSSL
Karaoke Night (Spring 2014)