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Japanese Studies

Students in the Japanese Program have the opportunity to explore the Japanese language and culture. A focus on the language will empower students to cultivate all the fundamental linguistic skills, such as speaking, reading and writing in Modern Japanese. 

Initially, our Japanese language courses provide a solid foundation in speaking, listening and reading. As students progress through the program, they will develop competency in reading authentic modern writings and speaking in formal situations. For those interested in developing their understanding of Japanese culture, they may take courses taught in English, on Japanese film and literature, pop-culture, social concerns, and Japan in the global context. 

Students can also gain first–hand knowledge of all the wonderful nuances of Japanese language and culture by going on an exchange to Japan where they will acquire sensitivity to different cultural perspectives and approaches to contemporary issues for becoming an informed leader with a heart.    

Prospective students are advised that offers of admission to a new program may be made only after the university’s own quality assurance processes have been completed and the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance has approved the program.

Chinese, Japanese and East Asia Studies Brochure

Alumni Stories

Japanese Studies have prepared our alumni for extraordinary success within a variety of careers. Employers look for people with the ability to analyze information, find creative solutions to problems and  effectively communicate their ideas: Graduates of this program of all of these skills - what's more, they're paired with a thorough understanding regarding the historical, cultural, linguistic and social influences that spur and halt change within and between cultures. 

Read stories about alumni from this exciting program, and learn how to distinguish yourself - personally and professionally - as a globally-focused
Leader with Heart.

  • International experiences at Huron have shaped me into the person I am today.
    Nicole Pyszka
    Japan Exchange
    Read More

Program Options

Huron has developed strengths in Japanese languages and literatures, as well as in more general studies of East Asian regions. These disciplines aim to help students see the world from another perspective, so they may actively participate in the globalization of the business world, government and community-focused sectors. Students who actively participate in this enriching learning experience will develop a greater awareness of other cultures that is demanded by our increasingly connected global village. 

Students can minor in Japanese languages; and/or Japan (cultural) Studies. They can also major or minor in East Asia Studies, and programs involving perspectives from the disciplines of history, political science, philosophy, literature, and others. 

Honors Specialization
Specialization
Major
Minor

The Chinese language program offers a balanced four-level program of listening, speaking, reading and writing standard Chinese. A primary goal is to provide a solid foundation in pronunciation, grammar, and proficiency in the four language skills in the first three levels. Courses at the fourth level serve to facilitate students attaining competence in reading authentic modern writings, with the aid of a dictionary.

For students who have attained fluency, elective courses are offered to explore specific aspects of Chinese language and culture, in film, business, literature, and communication.

The Chinese language program offers a balanced four-level program of listening, speaking, reading and writing standard Chinese. A primary goal is to provide a solid foundation in pronunciation, grammar, and proficiency in the four language skills in the first three levels. Courses at the fourth level serve to facilitate students attaining competence in reading authentic modern writings, with the aid of a dictionary.

For students who have attained fluency, elective courses are offered to explore specific aspects of Chinese language and culture, in film, business, literature, and communication.

Minor in Chinese Studies
Minor in Chinese Business Communications 
Minor in China Studies 

The East Asia Studies Major helps students combine language courses at successive levels of study with courses in culture and literature and in social science approaches to understanding the area.

Major in East Asia Studies
Minor in East Asia Studies

Huron University College offers a variety of Japanese courses that provide opportunities for students to acquire the breadth and depth of knowledge of Japan that will prepare them for a range of careers in the international arena. In the twenty-first century, the expanding global demands and dimensions of most fields will require people trained in languages and intercultural communication.

As the second-largest economy in the world, Japan will continue to play a crucial role in international affairs. Japanese studies at Huron equips students with the linguistic and cultural knowledge of Japan that they will need in such careers as international business, law, academics and others.

Huron University College offers a variety of Japanese courses that provide opportunities for students to acquire the breadth and depth of knowledge of Japan that will prepare them for a range of careers in the international arena. In the twenty-first century, the expanding global demands and dimensions of most fields will require people trained in languages and intercultural communication.

As the second-largest economy in the world, Japan will continue to play a crucial role in international affairs. Japanese studies at Huron equips students with the linguistic and cultural knowledge of Japan that they will need in such careers as international business, law, academics and others.

Minor in Japan Studies

Professors

Learn from professors who have a deep knowledge of Japan and East Asia more broadly. This faculty comes together, from across the world, to lead students to a more fulsome understanding of these rich cultures, the societal foundations they are built upon, and the people who define them. This department is dedicated to incorporating critical thought, intensive research elements, interactive activities and community engagement projects to ensure students engage with well-rounded learning environments.

Take time to get to know the names and faces who will be supporting you every step of the way as you embark on an enriching exploration of Japan.

  • I am so excited about the opportunity to teach students about Japan - its language, culture and people. Our community creates cross-cultural learning experiences so Huron students are able to really engage with this unique place and its personalities, from half a world away.
    Rie Shirakawa
    Lecturer, Japanese Program
    Read More
  • Japan, with its aesthetic, cultural and social intricacies, is a beautiful place that Huron students have the opportunity to explore through our Japanese program
    Sawako Akai, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Japanese
    Read More
  • Asian Studies gives students the unique opportunity to learn about a beautiful culture - thousands of kilometres away - while learning critical thinking, creative writing and developing their global perspective
    Michiya Kawai, PhD
    Associate Professor and Co-ordinator, Japanese Program
    Read More

Japanese Faculty Department

Tenure-stream

  • Dr. Mariana Ionescu, Chair & Associate Professor, French and Asian Studies, 519.438.7224 ext. 259, Rm A210
  • Dr. Michiya Kawai, Associate Professor and Co-ordinator, 519.438.7224 ext. 330, Rm A214
  • Dr. Sawako Akai, Assistant Professor, 519.438.7224 ext. 243, Rm A213

Program sessional and per course instructors 

Japanese Courses

Explore Japan's role in the world! At Huron, you'll find a highly flexible program featuring small, intimate classes, personalized coaching and opportunities for imaginative, independent research and hands-on learning. Broaden your global perspectives, because to lead, you need a heart that understands the world. 

Japanese Exchange Opportunities

Gunma Prefectural Women's University • Exchange Information Sheet
Program of Study: Japanese Language
Language Requirement: Japanese

Kansai Gaidai University • Exchange Information Sheet 
Program of Study: Asian Studies, Economics, English, Political Science
Language Requirement: Japanese

Kobe University • Exchange Information Sheet
Program of Study: Asian Studies, Economics, English, Political Science
Language Requirement: Japanese

Kwansei Gakuin University •  Exchange Information Sheet
Program of Study: Japanese and East Asian Studies
Language Requirement: Japanese

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies • Exchange Information Sheet
Program of Study: Japanese Language and Culture
Language Requirement: Japanese

Ryukoku University • Exchange Information Sheet
Program of Study: Japanese and Asian Studies OR Japanese Culture and Language Program
Language Requirement: Japanese

Japanese Studies Careers

Japanese Studies will prepare you for a variety of careers; employers today are looking for people with the ability to analyze information, to find creative solutions to problems and to effectively communicate their ideas. These skills are acquired when studying language and literature.

Where will a degree in Japanese Language take you?
  • Teaching (Foreign Language in Canada)
  • Teaching (English in Japan)
  • Graduate studies on Japan
  • Interpreters/translators
  • Canadian and International Business
    (in Japan)
  • NGOs
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • Diplomatic services
  • Intelligence analyst 
  • Foreign services
  • Marketing
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Extra-curricular activities

Groups
Events

Conversation Group 
Join in the conversation and practice Japanese! Drop-in conversation groups are held through the school year and everybody is welcome! 

  • Time: Fridays, 12:30-1:30
  • Location: Apps house 

 

JLPT Study Group
Let’s study together for Japanese Language Proficiency Test which is held in December in Toronto. Please register in advance.

  • Time: Fridays, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Location: Apps house
  • Registration: Contact Sawako Akai

Japanese Student Association 
JSA is a student club at Western. For more information, click here.  

Ontario Japanese Speech Contest
The Ontario Japanese Speech Contest is held in March every year in Toronto. 

In 2019, Myeongkeun Yang from Japanese 3350 won the grand prize and the 1st place of the advanced category. Please contact your instructor if you are interested in participating.
More information click here.  
 

 

 

Japan Bowl Ontario
Japan Bowl Ontario is a Japanese language and culture competition for high school students in Ontario, co-hosted by Huron and the Japan Society.

Kakehashi Project
Japan’s Friendship Ties Program, Kakehashi Project, is conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. In 2018, Nicole Pyszka was selected as one of two students from Ontario to participate.

More information about Nicole, click here
Kakehashi Project 

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Find a Mentor

More details

Key Contacts

Mariana Ionescu, PhD

Chair & Associate Professor, French and Asian Studies
519.438.7224 ext. 259
mionesc2uwo.ca
A210

Michiya Kawai, PhD

Associate Professor and Co-ordinator, Japanese Program
519.438.7224 ext. 330
mkawaihuron.uwo.ca
A214

Sahana Mazumder, MES

Program Assistant, Faculty of Arts and Social Science
519.438.7224 ext. 277
smazumd2uwo.ca
A116

 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.                  Monday - Friday