Japanese Program

Why Study Japanese?

Japanese Blossoms

Japanese is spoken by the more than 127 million inhabitants of Japan, but also by the substantial numbers of overseas Japanese.  Although very different from Chinese, Japanese borrowed from the Chinese script and developed a complex orthography of its own.  This includes a limited number of individual Chinese characters and a syllabary written with two separate sets of about fifty symbols. One of those sets is now basically reserved for the spelling of foreign words, an arrangement that has facilitated the absorption and transformation of foreign vocabulary by Japanese speakers.

Japanese literature has a long and rich tradition. The first novel in the world, The Tale of Genji, was written in Japan. More recently, Japanese authors have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Japanese films enjoy international renown, and Anime has won huge numbers of fans around the world.

Japanese Language Program Faculty

Mayumi Oka, Program Director

    Kenji Endo

    Junko Kondo

    Yoshihiro Mochizuki

    Ariha Ota

    Yoshimi Sakakibara

    Ayaka Sogabe

    Satoko Tsuda-Petty

    Masae Yasuda

Japanese Language Resources


 Michigan Links

 Opportunities for Studies in Japanese

 Useful Japanese Links

 Japanese Newspapers

 Japanese On-line Broadcasts

 Japanese Bookstores

 Japanese Business and Job Opportunities

 Japanese Books On-line

 Japanese Search Engines

 Information on Japanese Computing

Japanese Conversation Tables

The Japanese Language Program hosts Japanese conversation tables about once a month where students are welcome to gather, practice their Japanese language skills, and enjoy Japanese tea and snacks.

Fall 2014 Dates and Times:

September 17 (Wednesday) at 4:00-5:00, Third Floor Lounge South Thayer Building
September 26 (Friday) at 4:00-­5:00, Greene Lounge East Quad
October 8 (Wednesday) at 4:00-­5:00, Third Floor Lounge STB
October 24 (Friday) at 4:00-­5:00, Greene Lounge East Quad
November 5 (Wednesday) at 4:00-­5:00, Third Floor Lounge STB
November 14 (Friday) at 4:00-­5:00, Greene Lounge East Quad
December 5 (Friday) at 4:00-­‐5:00, Third Floor Lounge STB