The Japanese track develops students’ skills in analysis, writing, and foreign languages by teaching the language and literature of a country with more than 1400 years’ rich cultural tradition. The broad historical sweep of the courses examines narrative traditions as diverse as court poetry, folktales, sutras, kabuki plays, novels, films, manga, and animation.


  1. Lower-division requirements (16 units plus language proficiency)
    1. Japanese 001 through 006 or the equivalent proficiency. Students may pass out of some or all of the lower-division language courses for the Japanese major through previous coursework or by taking a language proficiency exam.
    2. Eight (8) units from lower-division lecture courses on Japanese literature and culture: AST 022/JPN 022/MCS 22, AST 023/JPN 023/CPLT23, AST 032/JPN 032, AST 034/JPN 034, AST 056/JPN 056/CPLT56, JPN 035, and any other lower-division lecture course on Japanese literature, culture, and film chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
    3. Eight (8) units: CPLT 001 or CPLT 001W, 1 lower-division CPLT course
  2. Upper-division requirements (36 units)
    1. Twelve (12) upper-division units in Japanese language from JPN 101A, JPN 101B, JPN 101C, JPN 110. Students whose proficiency exceeds the 101 series should take the 12 required units by taking 110 more than once, by using EAP language courses, or, under the JPN 190 rubric, by converting an existing “content” course into a language course with the instructor’s help.
    2. Twelve (20) units in upper-division Japanese literature and culture from AST 150/JPN 150, AST 151/JPN 151, AST 152 (E-Z)/JPN152 (E-Z), AST 153 (E-Z)/JPN 153 (E-Z), AST 184/JPN 184, AST 190, CPLT 134/GER 134/JPN 134/MCS 134, CPLT 142J/WMST 142J, CPLT 145/JPN 145, JPN 110, JPN 190, KOR 112, and any other upper-division lecture courses on Japanese literature, culture, and film chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
    3. Four (4) units: CPLT 193, Senior Capstone Seminar (CPLT 196 strongly recommended but not required)

Language Placement:

For information about placement exams contact Suzy Sharweed.

Committee in Charge

  • Anne McKnight, Director, Ph.D., Japanese/Comparative Literature
  • John N. Kim, Ph.D., German/Japanese/Comparative Literature
  • Traise Yamamoto, Ph.D., English/Asian American Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Setsu Shigematsu, Ph.D., Media and Cultural Studies
  • Daryle Williams, Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, ex officio