Placement Test

All students who have studied Japanese previously (high school, university, self-study, at home) and wish to continue studying Japanese at Brandeis must take a placement test to determine their level of proficiency so that the instructor can place them in the appropriate class. The test will be scheduled during the first week of the semester so that there is sufficient time to choose and register for an appropriate class. Please contact Professor Hisae Fujiwara at when you arrive on campus in the fall.

SAT II test scores in Japanese do not satisfy the foreign language requirement.

After Brandeis

Japanese program alumni have developed professional interests in Japan in fields such as translation / interpretation, software development, business, art, and international relations, and many have participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program sponsored by the Japanese government.

Alumni have also entered graduate studies in such field as law, economics, politics, history, East Asian Studies, fine art, computer science and medicine at such institutions as the London School of Economics, Cambridge University (UK), Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Duke, Columbia, Michigan, Stanford, etc.


The Japanese Language Program offers a four-year curriculum in the Japanese language as well as Japanese literature courses. The Program maintains a five days-per-week instruction for the initial four-semester sequence of Japanese language courses (JAPN 10A, 20B, 30A and 40B) and four days-per-week for Japanese 105A and 105B. Through these intensive courses, Brandeis students gain strong Japanese language skills and understanding of its culture. In JAPN 120A and 120B (fourth year Japanese courses), students will read Japanese literary texts from the contemporary period in order to further develop their Japanese language skills while appreciating Japanese literature and deepening their understanding of the Japanese culture and society.

The four-semester sequence of Japanese courses 10A through 40B, or its equivalent, fulfills the language requirement for the East Asian Studies major and minor.

The course offerings for Fall 2017 are listed below. You can view all courses of instruction in the University Bulletin.

Fall 2017 Courses

For course times, locations, and additional details, please visit the Fall 2017 Schedule of Classes on the University Registrar's website.

Courses Taught in Japanese

JAPN 10A: Beginning Japanese
Professor Hisae Fujiwara and Professor Mayumi Tamaki
Section 1: M,T,W,Th 10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Section 2: M,T,W,Th 11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Section 3: M,T,W,Th 1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Section 4: T,Th 5:00 PM–6:20 PM & W 5:30 PM–6:20 PM

Meets four days per week for a total of four class hours per week and one half-hour tutoring session per week.

Intended for students with little or no previous knowledge of Japanese. This course offers intensive training in the basics of Japanese grammar, listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Students acquire Japanese language proficiency through various interactive classroom activities, workbook, audio, video, and computer-assisted exercises. Usually offered every fall.

JAPN 30A: Intermediate Japanese
[ fl ]
Professor Yukimi Nakano
Section 1: M,T,W,Th 10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Section 2: M,T,W,Th 11:00 PM–11:50 AM

Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in JAPN 20b or the equivalent. Meets four days per week for a total of four class hours per week and one half-hour tutoring session per week.

Continuation of JAPN 20b. This course aims to further develop a student's four language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Japanese through various classroom activities, workbook, audio, video, and writing essays. Usually offered every fall.

JAPN 105A: Advanced Conversation and Composition I
[ fl hum wi ]
Professor Yukimi Nakano
M,W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM & Th 5:00 PM–5:50 PM

Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in JAPN 40b or the equivalent. Four class hours per week.

Continuation of JAPN 40b. For advanced students of Japanese who wish to enhance and improve their speaking proficiency as well as reading and writing skills. Students will develop their proficiency in reading and speaking through texts, films, videos and discussions on current issues on Japanese society. Various forms of writing will be assigned to improve students' writing skills. Usually offered every year.

JAPN 120A: Topics in Contemporary Japanese Culture and Society
[ fl hum nw wi ]
Professor Hisae Fujiwara
M,W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM

Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in JAPN 105b or the equivalent.

Provides advanced students of Japanese an opportunity to develop reading and writing skills through class discussion, presentation, group work and writing in different genres as a preparation for further advanced studies in Japanese. Familiarizes students with different facets of contemporary Japanese culture and society. Readings are supplemented by films and related visual materials. Usually offered every fall.

Courses Taught in English

JAPN 125B: Putting Away Childish Things: Coming of Age in Modern Japanese Literature and Film
[ hum nw ]
Professor Matthew Fraleigh
M,W 3:30 PM–4:50 PM

Explores the ways in which modern Japanese writers and filmmakers have represented childhood, youth, and coming of age. A variety of short stories, novels, and memoirs from the 1890s to the present day are read, and several recent films are also screened. Usually offered every third year.