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Japanese Language Program

Poised just off the edge of the Asian continent, Japan has been an important bridge between Asian and Western cultures since the l9th century.

Japanese Placement Test

Gateway to the East

Many vocabulary items in modern Chinese and Korean were coined from Japanese inventions for English words such as "electricity" and "democracy." In addition to serving as a mediator of Western scientific and technological knowledge for Asia, Japan is a center of commerce, trade, education, and culture in East Asia. Today, in Asia, "Japan is in vogue," writes a Taiwanese scholar. Japan is a trendsetter for Asian fashion, and "Japanese cultural commodities are ubiquitous" throughout Asia (and, one might add, through manga, anime, Godzilla, Ultraman and the Pokemon, throughout the West as well.) Japan, one might say, is the gateway to the East.


Careers

Students who have studied in KU's Japanese Language and Literature/Culture program have found employment in countries around the world. One student who combined computer science studies with Japanese worked for a Japanese computer firm in Japan and then for an American film that based him in Zurich, Switzerland. Another student added Japanese studies to his business major, attended Sophia University through KU's Study Abroad Program, and is today a CPA with the Deutsche Bank Group in Tokyo. Another combined Japanese with computer science, acquired a law degree, and became a legal expert on technical affairs in charge of Microsoft's Pacific Region. Yet another former Japanese major now teaches English at a Yokohama National University and acts in Japanese television dramas and t.v. commercials. Many who majored in Japanese have gone on to graduate studies at Michigan, Columbia, the University of California, and other universities. Many are now teaching Japanese language and literature/culture at universities, colleges, and high schools.


Fascinating

Beyond the practical advantages that come to those who learn it, studying Japanese possesses its own intrinsic rewards. Learning a language whose syntax is virtually the reverse of that of English and whose writing system of two phonetic syllabaries and several thousand Chinese characters is the world's most complex, exercises the mind in unique ways. Learning the language opens the door to the world of a very different culture, with very different thinking patterns and over a millennium of outstanding cultural achievement. And as anyone who has made the effort to learn Japanese can attest, studying the Japanese language can be the beginning of a fascinating, all encompassing relationship with a people that grows richer and more interesting as one goes on.

 


JET Program

Applications for the 2015 JET Program are now available at this website: http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/. The deadline is Friday, November 14th.

New M.A. Program

The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at The University of Kansas is offering a new M.A. program in Contemporary East Asian Studies, beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year. Full-time students with prior East Asian language training will be able to complete the degree within 12 months. For more information about this M.A. program including specific requirements for admission, visit www.ceas.ku.edu/degrees, or contact Ayako Mizumura, Assistant Director of CEAS, by email (ceasma@ku.edu) or call 785-864-1478. You can also download our program flyer (PDF) Please share this information with your friends, colleagues and students! We are looking forward to hearing from you.

KU Works for Kansas: A Free Undergraduate Study Tour of Japan

CEAS conducted a Kakehashi Project-Bridge for Tomorrow study tour to Japan for 23 students from colleges and universities throughout Kansas in summer 2014. The tour, which was funded by the Japan Foundation and led by CEAS members Maggie Childs (core faculty) and Nancy Hope (staff), visited selected sites in Tokyo and Shizuoka June 23rd - July 3rd.  For more about the Project, view the video, the itinerary, or excerpts from participant reports. This fall, the Kansas students will make presentations about Japan at local elementary and secondary schools, while CEAS will host 23 students from Shizuoka University who are visiting KU in early spring as part of their Kakehashi tour of America.  

A couple of items of interest from the Lawrence Public Library: For kids: This Saturday's multicultural storytime is all about Korea! http://www.lawrence.lib.ks.us/news-events/events/multicultural-storytime-4-2014-11-01/ For adults: Fans of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami can find a list of reading recommendations here: http://www.lawrence.lib.ks.us/2014/10/like-try-why-murakami-edition/
Multicultural Storytime at the Lawrence Public Library Tomorrow features Korea! http://t.co/d00xDNIy7G
Inside KU: Protein research, biodiesel fuel, and KU's Bioscience & Technology Business Center "Inside KU" takes a look at how the expanded Bioscience & Technology Business Center (http://bit.ly/1zzPvrw) brings a number of beneficial services to small start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Also: A KU startup at the BTBC, KanPro, is producing proteins for research in medicine, biotechnology, and life sciences (See http://bit.ly/1DSY3s9). KU Innovation and Collaboration focuses on turning the university’s research into industry (See http://bit.ly/ZTOKZF). The "Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative" grows algae to provide a sustainable source for biodiesel fuel (See http://bit.ly/1oPRovz). Undergraduate Research Awards allow students to explore their fields deeper (See http://bit.ly/KUcugr). **The Time Warner Cable Sports Network's "Inside KU" is hosted by Jeannie Hodes.**


Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
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No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined