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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 Major

Japanese is part of Hamilton's East Asian Languages and Literatures Department. 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.

Due to the smaller class sizes in the Japanese department, it’s incredibly easy to get close with the faculty. Professor Omori and Kamiya have been absolutely wonderful mentors to me during my time at Hamilton. They are both great professors, and I am truly glad that I got to get to know them so well in such a small amount of time.

Jack Lyons — Asian studies major with a Japanese focus

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 160

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

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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Introduction to Japanese Film 356FS

This course traces the history of one of the world’s most innovative film industries. Since the early 20th century, Japanese filmmakers have experimented with and improved upon cinema. Their work has been influential not only in Japan but throughout the world. From the drama of early silent movies to anime, we will cover some of the “greatest hits” of Japanese film, whether widely popular or critically acclaimed. This exploration of cinema in Japan will offer both a new perspective on cinema itself as well as an opportunity to view the genre’s development in a specific cultural context. Oral Presentations.

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