6 reasons to major in Japanese studies at UCI

Studying Japan will broaden your understanding of the world and your career opportunities

By Desiree Leong

A collage featuring a map of Japan, a Buddha statue, a fox mask, a red gate and a poster for an anime movie

From anime and technology to art and international relations, Japanese studies incorporates a large number of topics. After taking my first Japanese language course for the School of Humanities’ Language Other than English requirement, I added a Japanese studies minor. I’ve always been interested in Japanese culture, but this class turned my interest into a passion. While many of UCI’s Japanese-focused courses are taught by faculty in the Department of East Asian Studies, the School of Humanities at UCI also offers classes on Japanese topics in other departments. For example, I’m currently taking a course on anime, taught by a professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies, and am planning on taking an art history class on Tokyo!

Below, scholars within UCI’s School of Humanities explain how Japanese studies can broaden students’ intellectual and career horizons:

  1. Japanese studies enrich your cultural understanding of the world.
    “Japan is the world’s 3rd largest economy and 4th largest trading partner for the U.S. The country not only has an enormous impact on the economy, but its unique culture also attracts people all around the world. Japan merges rich traditions, cutting-edge technology and pop-culture to create a dynamic culture of its own. It is known for its natural beauty, world heritage sites, martial arts, and refined manners and politeness. At the same time, the nation is at the forefront of state-of-the-art technology in cars, bullet trains, and robotics. Japan also exports pop culture products such as anime, games and fashion. There is no doubt that learning Japanese will enrich your life and lead you to becoming a global citizen.”

    — Ayako Nagai, lecturer of Japanese
Desiree Leong stands sideways smiling. She is standing on a grass lawn.

Desiree Leong is an English major minoring in Japanese studies and education. She is currently a marketing and communications intern for the UCI School of Humanities through the Humanities Out There Program.



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