Academic Programs

Department of Japanese and Global Cultures

The Department of Japanese and Global Cultures provides students with a global perspective through the comparative study of various cultures—including Japanese culture—with the aim of enabling students to bridge the gaps between their own culture and those of other people. The Department of Japanese and Global Cultures offers two major areas of study: Japanese Language and Culture, and Global Culture. Interdisciplinary knowledge of cultures, languages, and media communication helps students integrate their appreciation and understanding of humanity from multiple perspectives, and develop skills for cultural exchange in the contemporary world.

Speech Communication Program

Conveying, expressing, or otherwise communicating one’s own thoughts can be a challenging task. In the Speech Communication Program, expert instructors teach students about using their voice and about presentation skills and basic techniques for making speeches.

Small-Group Instruction

In small-group seminars conducted throughout four years of study, each class of around 10 students receives detailed and individualized assistance from the instructor in charge. This program fosters close teacher-student relationships; students are therefore free to consult their instructor about any topic of interest. Students also develop their ability to learn in cooperation with their colleagues.

Two Majors of Study

Students at Notre Dame can take advantage of a versatile curriculum and a system of flexible academic credits to meet their diverse interests and goals. Subjects from different courses can be combined to design a curriculum tailored to a unique personalized goal—for example, becoming a Japanese-language teacher with information-processing expertise or a museum curator with cross-cultural communication skills.

Japanese Language and Culture

The Japanese Language and Culture major enables students to gain a deep understanding of the Japanese language as well as traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Language courses focus on the history of the Japanese language and advanced skills in contemporary Japanese. Culture courses offer a broad chronological range of topics including the most up-to-date issues. Students deepen their knowledge of Japanese history and culture through the study of literary and artistic works and through fieldwork in the rich cultural environment of Kyoto. In addition, courses include studies in reading, library and publication.

    Sample Course Offerings:

  • Japanese Culture through It's Literature
  • Outline of Japanese Language
  • Annual Events in Japan
  • Studies in Kyoto
  • Field Work in Kyoto
  • Instruction for Reading Historical Documents
  • Cultural History of Printing
  • Japanese Monstrosity

Global Culture

In the Global Culture major, students investigate various cultures around the world through the study of the arts and humanities. Students explore the languages and cultures of Asia, the Middle East, and the West. Instructors with real-life experience of living abroad offer rich presentations on the customs and everyday life found in various countries. Students can also develop communication skills and understanding of media that are necessary to effectively participate in the contemporary society. By understanding the ideas, values, and lifestyles of other countries, students are able to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in the global society.

    Sample Course Offerings:

  • Principles of International Relations
  • Comparative Studies on Modern-Terms of Japanese and Chinese
  • Middle Eastern Culture
  • History of Western Art
  • Special Lecture for Ritual Music
  • Media and Information Literacy
  • Current Issues in Music
  • Cool Japan: Japanese Popular Culture

Elective Certificate Programs

  • First Class Certificate for Upper Secondary School Teacher (Japanese)
  • First Class Certificate for Lower Secondary School Teacher (Japanese)
  • Teacher Librarian Certificate
  • Librarian Certificate
  • Museum Curator Certificate
  • Qualification for Social Work Officer Social Welfare
  • Web Design Professional Certificate
  • Presentation Professional Certificate
  • Data Processing Specialist Certificate