The Program

Japanesestudies

Students pursuing a major in Japanese Studies at Earlham combine courses from a variety of departments and programs to gain a broad grounding in the interdisciplinary study of traditional and contemporary Japan. Within a framework of core courses, students choose a focus in (1) Japanese culture and society or (2) Japanese language and linguistics.

All Japanese Studies majors are required to gain competence in the Japanese language. Moreover, because direct experience is essential for meaningful understanding of other cultures, majors are required to participate in an off-campus study program in Japan.

Japanese Studies majors receive basic preparation for careers in such areas as public service, international relations, business and teaching, and for the continuing academic study of Japan. Recent graduates are pursuing advanced degrees in anthropology, education, history, literature and other fields. Others are working for Japanese or American businesses and joint ventures in both the United States and Japan, and in cultural exchange organizations and schools, including the Japanese government's Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) and Earlham's Morioka Assistant Language Teacher (M-ALT) programs.

General Education Requirements

The Program offers 16 courses that fulfill the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, JPNS 172, 226, 228, 236, 238, 342, 343, 344, 357, 362, 364, 366, 374, 380, 472 and 473; one course that fulfills the Domestic component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, 372; three Writing Intensive courses, JPNS 228, 238 and 372; and two that fulfill the Theoretical/Historical component of The Arts Requirement, JPNS 342 and 364. The Program also offers Earlham Seminars.

The Major

Students seeking to major in Japanese Studies should take JPNS 236 before participating in an off-campus program in Japan. Because of the off-campus study requirement, students should work closely with their advisers to shape a four-year course of study that will make it possible for them to satisfy all requirements for the College and the Program. Students pursuing a major in Japanese Studies should choose either Focus One or Focus Two.

Focus One: Japanese Culture and Society

Students must complete:

  • JPNS 236 Introduction to the Study of Japan
  • One advanced-level language course at 300 or above: JAPN 301, JAPN 302, JAPN 382
  • JPNS 473 or 474 or equivalent
  • Four JPNS courses of 3 or more credits each. At least one must be in the Humanities and one in the Social Sciences. At least two must be advanced-level courses. (JAPN 430 or JAPN 431 may be used for one of the four courses.)
  • Off-Campus Study Program in Japan (full year or one semester)
  • JPNS 488 Senior Capstone Experience. Capstone projects should reflect prior coursework and the student's Japanese Studies major focus.

In addition to the Japanese Studies courses listed in the catalog, students may:

  • Apply certain courses taken off campus with the approval of the Japanese Studies faculty.
  • Petition the program to count non-Japanese Studies courses taken at Earlham. These petitioned courses must contain at least 25% Japan content. In addition, course assignments must be adjusted to include Japan content whenever possible. Students interested in pursuing this option must gain the approval of the instructor and the convener of Japanese Studies early in the semester in which the course is taken.

Focus Two: Japanese Language and Linguistics

Students must complete:

  • JPNS 236 Introduction to the Study of Japan
  • Three advanced-level language courses at 300 or above: JAPN 301, JAPN 302, JAPN 382
  • Two JAPN linguistics or pedagogy courses from the following: JAPN 351, JAPN 422, JAPN 430, JAPN 431
  • One additional JAPN linguistics or pedagogy course or JPNS course
  • Off-Campus Study Program in Japan (full year or one semester)
  • JPNS 488 Senior Capstone Experience. Capstone projects should reflect prior coursework and the student's Japanese Studies major focus.

In addition to courses listed in the catalog, students may apply certain courses taken off campus with the approval of the program convener. JAPN 352 may not be applied toward meeting requirements of the Japanese Studies Major.

The Minor

Students pursuing a minor in Japanese Studies must complete:

  • One Japanese language course at the intermediate level
  • JPNS 236 Introduction to the Study of Japan
  • JPNS 473 or JPNS 474 or equivalent
  • Two JPNS courses of 3 or more credits each. One must be in the Humanities and one in the Social Sciences. At least one must be an advanced-level course. (JAPN 430 or JAPN 431 may be used for one of the two courses.)
  • Off-Campus Study Program in Japan (full year, one semester, or May Term)

Off-Campus Study

Students completing a major in Japanese Studies are required to participate in one of the off-campus study programs in Japan offered by Earlham or in another program approved by the Japanese Studies faculty for a full year or one semester.

Students completing a minor in Japanese Studies are required to complete an off-campus program for either a full year, one semester or a May Term.

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
  • (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (ES) = Earlham Seminar
  • (IE) = Immersive Experience
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

*JPNS 118 JAPANESE ARTS (3 credits)
An introduction to the study of Japanese culture through the arts, emphasizing the interrelationships of culture, context and the arts. Studies selected topics, media and historic periods from the Jomon period through the Edo period in Japan. Explores the role of cultural form and conventions in relation to artistic vision and production, the assimilation of influences in cultural expression and the relationship of patronage and form in art. Also listed as ART 118. (A-TH, D-I)

*JPNS 150 EARLHAM SEMINAR (4 credits)
Offered for first-year students. Topics vary. (ES)

*JPNS 172 BUDDHIST TRADITIONS: CONTEMPORARY MASTERS
(4 credits)
The Buddha taught radical inquiry into the nature of the self, the world and suffering. This discussion-based practicum will be guided by the teachings of contemporary masters and the lives of current practitioners to conduct one's own inquiries in a Buddhist style. Students will practice a variety of forms of meditation and reflection, read and discuss writings from the Theravada, Mahayana and Tantric traditions, called "The Three Turnings of the Wheel," and view films and documentaries that embody Buddhist worldviews. Also listed as REL 172. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 226 TRADITIONAL EAST ASIA (3 credits)
A survey of traditional culture in China, Viet Nam, Korea and Japan, with emphasis on China and Korea, and on East Asia as an international system. Attention to the historical development of the great tradition in literature, art, religion, politics and social institutions. Also listed as HIST 226. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 228 MODERN EAST ASIA (3 credits)
A survey of East Asia since about 1800, with emphasis on China and Korea, and on East Asia as an international system. Special attention to the historical development of politics, economics, society and social institutions, literature, thought and international relations. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar, an Interpretive Practices course or consent of the instructor. Also listed as HIST 228. (WI, D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 236 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF JAPAN (3 credits)
This course explores Japan as an object of intellectual inquiry. While looking at various aspects of culture and society in Japan, students will critically consider the ways that scholars approach the study of Japan. Students will also contemplate how scholars contribute to productions of “Japan” and things “Japanese.” Though this course is required for Japanese Studies majors, it is open to any student who is interested in thinking about Japan. (D-I)

*JPNS 238 INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN LITERATURE (3 credits)
A survey of literary texts from Asia, especially China (Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan), South Korea and Japan. Readings and discussions of short stories, novels, poems and essays in English translation that reflect each society's changing views of traditions, modernization and literary values. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar, an Interpretive Practices course or consent of the instructor. (WI, D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 342 JAPANESE CINEMA (3 credits)
A survey of Japanese cinema from early films to anime, comparing the development of Japanese cinema with other national contexts. Develops analytical skills that focus on technical details of films and how they inflect narration, character and theme. Also listed as FILM 342. (A-TH, D-I)

*JPNS 343 MODERN JAPANESE LITERATURE (3 credits)
Introduces representative literary texts from modern Japan, mostly from 1900 to present. Develops more advanced skills for literary analysis. Some topics include: I-novel autobiographical fiction, women's writing and modern poetry. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 344 TRADITIONS IN JAPANESE LITERATURE (3 credits)
Introduces representative classic texts from premodern Japan, approximately from 9th to 19th century. Develops more advanced skills for literary analysis. Some topics include: Heian women's literature, war epics, waka/haiku poetry, and Edo popular literature and theater. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 362 CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)
Examines the relationship of individual psychological functioning and cultural systems, utilizing a cross-cultural analysis of Japan vs. the U.S. as an illustrative case. Includes a major project focused on the culture(s) of a student's choice. Prerequisite: PSYC 115, 237, 238 or 239. Also listed as PSYC 362. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 364 MUSICS OF JAPAN (3 credits)
Also listed as MUS 364. (A-TH, D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 366 THE FAMILY: EAST AND WEST (3 credits)
A seminar engaging in an interdisciplinary approach to the family from a psychological perspective. Comparative analysis of Japanese and American families allows examination of the universality of psychological processes and concepts and their dependence on the contexts of culture, social class, ethnicity and gender. A major project allows students to investigate the family in a culture of their choice. Prerequisite: PSYC 115, 237, 238 or 239. Also listed as PSYC 366. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 372 ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY (3 credits)
A survey of the history of Asians and Americans of Asian ancestry in the United States from the 18th century to the present, with emphasis on phases of immigrant history and interactions with recipient communities in the context of U.S. historical development, and on issues of race, ethnicity, gender, naturalization and citizenship and cultural identity. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar, an Interpretive Practices course or consent of the instructor. Also listed as HIST 372. (WI, D-D) (AY)

*JPNS 374 MODERN JAPAN (4 credits)
A study of Japanese historical and institutional development in the early modern and modern periods, from the 15th century to the present. Topics include the Tokugawa period; the Meiji Restoration and modernization; the periods of colonialism, imperialism and militarism; postwar recovery and the economic miracle; and the challenges of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Explores economic, political, social, intellectual and international perspectives. Attention to prominent theories of development. Also listed as HIST 374. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 380 RELIGIONS OF EAST ASIA (4 credits)
An exploration of the religious and philosophical thought and practice of East Asia, focusing on Popular, Shinto, Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist traditions as manifested in the classical periods of cultural development as well as contemporary society. Prerequisite: One course in Religion (preferably in World Religions), one course in Japanese Studies or consent of the instructor. Also listed as REL 380. (D-I)

*JPNS 472 MODERN CHINA (4 credits)
A survey of Chinese historical development from the first dynasties to the present day, with emphasis on the period from the mid-14th century through the liberalizing reforms of the post-Mao era. Investigates problems of historical continuity and change, Chinese perceptions of themselves and of the West, attempts at economic and political modernization, the Maoist revolution, and the interplay between institutions and ideas. Also listed as HIST 472. (D-I) (AY)

*JPNS 473 TRADITIONAL JAPAN (3 credits) Research Credit.
A survey of traditional life and culture in Japan in a historical and institutional framework, from earliest times to around the 18th century. Topics include the state, the relationship between authority and power, social structures, economic life, philosophy, religion, the arts and literature. Also listed as HIST 473. (D-I) (AY)

JPNS 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
An individually designed advanced study of topics in the history, culture and historiography of Japan, China, Korea and other areas of East Asia, including thought, religion, literature, and literary theory and criticism. Results in a thesis or research paper.

JPNS 488 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (2 credits in the Fall, 2 credits in the Spring)
Japanese Studies majors enroll in this course for both Fall and Spring semesters of their senior year. In Fall semester they complete the majority of their capstone project including project proposal, solicit faculty readers, development of project in consultation with faculty evaluators, penultimate draft and related reading assignments. In Spring semester they complete final revisions of project in consultation with faculty evaluators, student presentations, professional/career development and related reading assignments. Students develop their capstone project in consultation with faculty. Projects should reflect prior coursework and the student’s major track focus: Japanese Culture and Society or Japanese Language and Linguistics. Submission of the final project and a public presentation take place in Spring Semester and are required for graduation.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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