The Japanese minor program at the University of Louisville is among the newest minors offered by the Classical and Modern Languages Department. The Japanese minor introduces students to the foundations of the Japanese language, the globalization of Japanese culture, and the historical relationship between Japan and the rest of the world. The Japanese language courses help students gain language skills, to develop effective communication skills in speaking and writing, in addition to listening and reading comprehension. Students will be guided to develop the ability to recognize the varied contexts of language nuances in speaking and writing, as well as the understanding the historical and cultural contexts that have shaped Japanese media. Today’s successful global citizens are engaged in language learning to be a part of the Global Conversation and having experience in language learning helps students build fellowship with those from different cultural backgrounds. Learning Japanese is an excellent opportunity to not only add to a student’s language skills but also provides a deeper insight into a culture different from their own. Aside from being a country known for their rich culture and tradition, Japan is among the top five global economies. Studying Japanese and its culture opens to the doors to understanding cultural exports and the concepts of soft and hard power that have allowed Japan to succeed as an economic power.
Completing a minor in Japanese combined with a student’s major could allow students the opportunity to go on to jobs with the government, in education, and for further study in graduate programs. This minor would give students an edge, for instance, in their application to the JET Program, for studying abroad, or working in a field that requires skills in language and cultural understanding.