From Manga art and animation to the world wide economic prominence of corporations such as Toyota, Sony and Nintendo, the influence of postwar Japan makes it a field worthy of academic exploration.

At Franklin & Marshall, the Japanese minor offers students the opportunity to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, including mastery of the Hiragana and Katakana Japanese writing systems and introduction to Kanji characters.

We introduce contemporary Japanese language within the appropriate cultural context, so students also gain the requisite awareness and skills that will enable them to function appropriately and successfully in modern Japanese society.

With four years of Japanese language instruction, our students acquire nuanced expressive skills; beyond this, students may even arrange private tutorials at more advanced levels with the Director of the Japanese language program.

Outside the classroom, we offer regular opportunities for students and faculty interested in Japanese culture and language to gather and enjoy traditional tea and snacks while chatting with each other in Japanese, playing Japanese games, watching Japanese movies and practicing calligraphy.

Studying in Japan affords our students an exclusive opportunity to experience first-hand the Japanese language, culture and people. The six-week summer program at Tohoku Gakuin University in Sendai, Japan, includes homestays with Japanese families. Students also have opportunities to participate in off-campus study programs in Japan for a semester or year.

Additional Course Information

A Japanese Language Area Studies minor consists of six courses. Four of these courses must be Japanes language courses. Additionally, at least two of the courses for the minor should be 300-400 level courses. Students should consult with the Program Director of Japanese to formulate their educational plan for the minor. Below you will find some possible courses

To declare an Area Studies Minor, please:

Email Ken-ichi Miura to set-up an appointment.

Download the declaration form here.


Study Abroad 

  • This summer I spent five weeks in Japan. I stayed with two host families and ate delicious home-made meals. My two host sisters were very kind and patient with my beginning Japanese. I spent three weeks in Sendai learning Japanese language and culture and two weeks touring Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. While in Japan, I went to visit many shrines and temples and tried a lot of new foods.

Students taking Japanese language at Franklin & Marshall have opportunities to use language skills in and outside of the classroom. Consider studying abroad in Japan to enhance your ability to use the language in an everyday context, in addition to learning about Japanese culture and history.

Visit the International & Off-Campus Study pages for more information about these opportunities:


Tohoku Gakuin University and Franklin & Marshall College

Tohoku Gakuin University (TGU) is located in the city of Sendai, approximately 200 miles north of Tokyo, near the Pacific Ocean coast. It takes only two hours by bullet train from Tokyo to reach this economic and cultural center of northern Japan, which has nearly one million residents. Sendai dates back to 1602 when the Date Clan moved to Sendai and built Aoba Castle, which still stands in the heart of this historical castle town.

TGU was founded in 1886 as a boys' school. It is now the largest private university in northern Japan. TGU and Franklin & Marshall College have had a special connection from the beginning: The founders of TGU were William Hoy of Mifflinburg, Pa., an F&M alumnus; and Masayoshi Oshikawa, a Japanese Christian. Another F&M alumnus, David Schneder of Bowmansville, Pa., shortly joined the faculty and became president of the institution for 34 years. A total of sixteen alumni of F&M have served on the faculty of Tohoku Gakuin. One of these faculty members from Kinzo Kaneko, the son of a samurai, who graduated from F&M in 1891 as valedictorian.

Accounts of the roles of Hoy and Schneder in the history of Tohoku Gakuin University can be found in two books by William Mensendiek: Not Without Struggle and A Dream Incarnate.

Each summer, Franklin & Marshall hosts a group of students from TGU's American Studies program. In conjunction with Ursinus College, Franklin & Marshall offers courses, field trips and homestays to these students to further their understanding of US culture and society. In turn, Franklin & Marshall students can experience Sendai during the summer through the F&M in Japan program.

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To celebrate this year’s 25th anniversary of the Japanese language program at Franklin & Marshall College, world-renowned Tamagawa University Dance and Taiko Group will perform for the first time on...

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