Japan – a country full of contrasts. On the one hand, “the land of the rising sun” is one of the most important industrial nations in Asia . Mega-cities, flashing neon signs, ultra-modern office towers, high-speed high-speed trains and futuristic-looking robot technologies shape this image of Japan. On the other hand, the country has retained its centuries-old culture : ancient temples, winding streets, traditional gardens and traditions such as the cherry blossom festival and the tea ceremony are still part of everyday life for many Japanese.
Anyone who would like to learn more about the culture of the East Asian island state has the opportunity to do so by studying Japanese Studies.
Contents of the bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies
According to Microedu.com, the Japanese Studies course deals with the culture and language of contemporary and premodern Japan . The study of Japanese Studies is accordingly divided into two areas :
- Japanese or Japanese language
- Japanology, i.e. Japanese cultural and social sciences
The focus of the course is language acquisition , as the language forms the basis for dealing more closely with Japanese culture. Most universities focus on the contemporary Japanese language. Old Japanese is also taught at some universities.
In the course of their studies, students should acquire language skills that will enable them to have everyday conversations and study Japanese sources. In the Japanese Studies sub-area, you can choose from a variety of specializations . Depending on the university, students can specialize in cultural studies , literary studies or the history of religion, for example . Depending on which focus you choose, topics as diverse as manga literature, the geisha cult or Zen Buddhism are on the curriculum.
The master’s degree in Japanese Studies
If you want to deepen your knowledge after completing your bachelor’s degree, you can add a master’s degree. In addition to professional qualifications, this also serves to prepare for management positions in business or for a doctoral degree. The universities offer very different focuses in their master’s programs . As a rule, however, the students specialize in one of the subject areas of language , social or cultural studies.
Study opportunities for Japanese Studies
At the moment, only a few German universities offer Japanese studies. As part of a two-subject bachelor’s degree , students can usually choose an additional subject and thus give their studies a sharper profile. The combination options vary from university to university. You can choose from subjects such as German studies , economics or political science .
Studying Japanese Studies: Requirements
Prospective students should be enthusiastic about the Japanese language and culture. Knowledge of Japanese studying are beginning usually not necessary . However, a good knowledge of English is required, as a large part of the specialist literature is written in English. Some universities also require knowledge of a second modern foreign language or Latin .
After studying Japanese studies – possible occupations for graduates
The Japanese studies subject does not provide training for a specific professional field . This makes the choice of the second subject all the more important . Anyone studying a subject in the field of economics in addition to Japanese studies can, for example, find a job in German companies that are expanding into Japan. A job with a Japanese company is also possible.
Those who take communication science or political science as a second subject can, on the other hand, work as a foreign correspondent or PR consultant. Other employers for Japanologists are Goethe-Instituts, museums, libraries and international organizations. Graduates work there, for example, in the scientific departments, administration or public relations. Activities in the tourism industry are also possible. Masters graduates can also do a PhD and pursue an academic career at the university.
Reasons for studying Japanese Studies abroad
A semester abroad in Japan is compulsory for students of Japanese Studies . A stay on site consolidates language skills and offers an insight into Japanese culture and society. Studying abroad in an English-speaking country can also be useful in order to improve the English language skills required for the course and to acquire intercultural skills.