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After your first year of Japanese language studies you will be able to speak and write about everyday life. After your fourth you will be able to write and present a term paper on a topic you choose. Beyond language, your courses will introduce you to Japanese literature, film, culture and society.

About the Minor

The study of Japanese provides rigorous, intensive training in reading, writing and speaking the language, with upper-level courses conducted entirely in Japanese. The recent growth of the Pacific Rim as an economic and technological giant in world affairs has spurred a fascination with the region's cultures as well as a practical interest in its languages. Hamilton serves both these needs.

At Hamilton, you have lots of resources for studying Japanese: your classmates and teachers, the language lab, the Asian Cultural Society, etc. In Japan, daily life is an opportunity to improve your Japanese! I would recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested in improving their language skills and experiencing a new and different culture.

Karen Haedrich ’06 — Japanese minor

Japanese has become one of the most widely taught foreign languages in the U.S. It has assumed critical importance in a wide range of professions and interests, from politics and diplomacy to business, education and cutting-edge technology.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Youth Coordinator, Mattahunt Wheelock Community Center
  • Business Development Associate, Coleman Research Group
  • Java Developer, Clarity
  • Social Media Coordinator, Keep It Real Acting

Contact Information


Japanese Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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First-Term Japanese 110F


Introduction to basic structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on oral communication with practice in reading and writing, using the two syllabaries (hiragana and katakana) and 28 kanji characters. Four 50-minute classes a week (Monday-Thursday).

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Modern Selves and Ways of Seeing: Japanese Film, Animation, and Literature 160S


Modern technology has changed the ways in which we see and understand the world around us, as well as ourselves. Up to today, technological advancements have continued to inspire artists to create works that depict such sensorial changes in human experience. This course will examine Japanese animation, films, and literary works that draw our attention to new modes of perception and ways of engaging with the world in the modern age. Open to First-years only. Writing-intensive.

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Topics in Japanese Linguistics 205S


This course explores Japanese phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Students will compare Japanese with English and examine universal perspectives of language. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Love, Family and Loneliness in Modern Japanese Literature 235


Love has always been a central theme in Japanese literature. Focuses on how Japanese writers of the modern period (particularly late 19th century to the present) depict the struggle with new concepts and forms of "love" and relationships. As well as basic readings about modern Japanese history and culture, assigned texts range from canonical work, various forms of early twentieth-century modernist mystery, technical and avant-garde writings, to contemporary "coming of age" novels. We will also examine such media as cartoons and films. Readings and discussion in English.

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Modern Japan: Japanese Culture and Society From A(-Bomb) to (Dragon Ball)Z 239/339F


This course explores issues of imperialism, military conflict, pacifism, nuclear victimhood, foreign occupation, national identity, and social responsibility in 19th to 21st-century Japan. Materials include nonfiction, science fiction, poetry, war propaganda, novels, censorship documents, animé, and film.

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Place, Memory, and Empathy: Japan and Its Others 260S


Focusing on Japan as a point of reference, this course will consider how the notion of “place” gets constructed through human emotions as something more than just a set of geographical coordinates. Examining a range of literary works and films, we will study how “Japan” has been imagined, constructed, and remembered in the 20th century through storytelling. Topics to be covered include Japan’s imperialism in Asia, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Vietnam War, minorities in Japan, and anime. Taught in English. No prior knowledge of Japan is required. Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors only.

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