Chair: Zahi Zalloua, Foreign Languages and Literatures

Hitomi K. Johnson
Yukiko Shigeto
Akira R. Takemoto

Japanese Department Website »

Courses in Japanese are designed to develop proficiency in speaking, writing, and reading the language and to acquaint the student with Japanese literature and culture. The courses in Japanese literature in translation (listed in the World Literature section) will offer students an introduction to classical and modern Japanese literature. Students also can choose to gain an introduction to traditional Japanese art and aesthetics (Art History 248), and independent study classes in calligraphy and tea ceremony, or take courses on traditional and modern Japanese history.

Placement in language courses: Students with previous Japanese language experience must contact Professor Takemoto before enrolling in Japanese 205, 305 or 405.

Distribution: Courses completed in Japanese apply to the humanities and cultural pluralism distribution areas.

The Foreign Languages and Literatures: Japanese minor: The minor in Japanese will consist of Japanese 205 and 206 (or the equivalent of two years of college-level Japanese) plus a minimum of 12 credits in Japanese language, literature, history, or art from courses higher than 200. Courses on Japan offered under Asian studies, world literature, art history, studio art, and history may be used to satisfy the requirements for this minor.

Note: Courses taken P-D-F prior to the declaration of a language major or minor will satisfy course and credit requirements for the major or minor. Courses taken P-D-F may not be used to satisfy course and credit requirements for the major or minor after the major or minor has been declared.

105, 106 Elementary Japanese
4, 4 Shigeto

The grammatical basis for reading modern Japanese literature and for conducting conversations on general topics. Course may meet up to five scheduled periods per week. Prerequisite for 106: Japanese 105.

205, 206 Intermediate Japanese
4, 4 Johnson

This course continues to introduce new grammar patterns and kanji, while providing the student with the opportunity to practice conversational skills and to read cultural and literary materials. Course may meet up to five scheduled periods per week. Prerequisite for 205: Japanese 106 or consent of instructor. Prerequisite for 206: Japanese 205 or consent of instructor.

305, 306 Third-Year Japanese
4, 4 Takemoto

A comprehensive grammar review plus continued instruction and practice in Japanese conversation, grammar, and composition. Focus on development of strong reading and translation skills in order to explore ways to recognize and communicate intercultural differences. Students must know how to use a kanji dictionary. Prerequisite for 305: Japanese 206 or consent of instructor. Prerequisite for 306: Japanese 305 or consent of instructor. Students who have not taken Japanese at Whitman previously are required to take an oral and written placement examination for entrance.

405, 406 Fourth-Year Japanese
4, x Takemoto

The course will begin with a program to develop proficiency in the four communication skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing as well as cultural understanding. Approximately 250 kanji compounds will be introduced, and kanji introduced in the first- , second- , and third-year classes will be reviewed. The focus of the program will be to help students gain a broader background in Japanese language and culture by reading contemporary literary texts and essays, and to explore the challenges of translating those texts into English. Students also will be expected to express themselves orally without having to rely on heavily prefabricated phrases. Prerequisite for 405: Japanese 306 or consent of instructor. Prerequisite for 406: Japanese 405 or consent of instructor.

491, 492 Independent Study in Japanese Language
1-4, 1-4 Staff

This class is designed for students who have completed three years of college-level Japanese and who desire to pursue further study in Japanese language, literature, or culture. The instructor will choose texts on topics in which the student shows interest; students will read and prepare translations of selected readings and write a critical introductory essay. Prerequisites: Japanese 306 or equivalent.

The program in Japanese also includes courses in world literature. These classes are listed in the Art History and Visual Culture Studies and World Literature sections of the catalog.