• <a href="/live/image/gid/495/width/650/86487_Japanese_main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86487"> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/495/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/495/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/495/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/495/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/495/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/495/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/495/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg" alt="Nearly all of our students experience life in Japan through our study-abroad programs, offered for a single semester or for a full year." width="720" height="690" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/495/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/495/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86487_Japanese_main_image.rev.1607647858.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="3067" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a><div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption"> Nearly all of our students experience life in Japan through our study-abroad programs, offered for a single semester or for a full year.</div>

Why Choose a Minor in Japanese?

Our students graduate with advanced Japanese language proficiency and a high level of cultural competency obtained not only through appreciation and analysis of translated texts, but also by reading contemporary and classical literature in the original language. Studying Japanese opens up many opportunities for our students, from travel and life abroad to advanced graduate study to careers in education, translation, law, business, and much more.

What You’ll Study

We offer a minor in Japanese through the Department of World Languages and Literatures. Our classes encompass four years of instruction, from beginning Japanese to advanced readings, allowing students of all abilities to immerse themselves in all areas of language. Literature in translation courses explore both premodern and modern fiction, exposing you to the rich tradition of Japanese writing to contemporary writers like Haruki Murakami.

Nearly all of our students earn course credit on overseas programs. In addition to general cultural programs that are open to all students, there are four programs with a Japanese language focus: Fukuoka, Osaka, Sapporo, and Tokyo.

Outside the classroom, the Keck Interactive Learning Center is a language lab and community area that is packed with linguistic and cultural resources. The Global Languages and Cultures Living-Learning Community is a unique on-campus housing option with an immersive language-based focus. Once a week you have the opportunity to meet with our Japanese language assistant, a native speaker of the language, in a relaxed atmosphere for conversation practice. Every semester, there is a workshop where you can learn about Japanese culture, such as kendo and ikebana, through hands-on experience. You will also have an opportunity to visit a Japanese company in Portland every April, giving you a chance to use your language skills and gain knowledge about the Japanese business world. In addition, members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Portland visit campus for casual roundtable discussions with our students. We also participate in the annual Toyama Cup Speech Contest, where our students regularly place in the top spots.


Complement Your Education With One of These Majors

The most popular majors for our Japanese minors are Asian studies, international affairs, and world languages and literatures.

What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Instructor Satomi Newsom. In learning a new language, it often feels like you’re learning something novel with each lesson because so much is unfamiliar. The sense of discovery is very rewarding.

    Dexter Tatsukawa BA ’24
    Environmental Studies | Japanese | Sunnyvale, California
    More about Dexter
  • Digital Media has been my favorite class! It simultaneously introduced me to the world of coding and expanded my views on what art can be; I have yet to take a class as fun and impactful as that one has been. It was a major factor in my choosing computer science as my major.

    Julian Diaz BA ’24
    Computer Science | Japanese | Los Angeles, California
    More about Julian
  • In the fall of my sophomore year, I took my first sociology class and immediately knew that sociology and anthropology was for me. Since then, I have taken an incredible breadth of classes within the major, and have loved each one partially due to the incredible faculty in the department.

    Helen Guyton BA ’23
    Sociology and Anthropology | Environmental Studies and Japanese (double) | Cologne, Germany
    More about Helen

What Can You Do With a Minor in Japanese?

Our alumni use their minor in Japanese in a variety of careers. Many participate in the Japanese government’s Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program as assistant language teachers and coordinators for international relations positions, both of which require a high Japanese proficiency. Some of our graduates work for firms located in Asia (Fedex Japan, Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., Google, International Concierge) and others have continued their studies in PhD programs, a master’s program in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California at Davis, and law school at the University of Hawai‘i.

Dedicated Faculty

Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.

Meet the Professors

Invest in Yourself

A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate with their bachelor of arts degree in four years that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.

Find Your People

The student-led Japan Club is one of the most active organizations on campus. The club hosts monthly movie nights and various other activities, including the popular Japan Night, a campus-wide annual event to celebrate Japanese culture with food and activities such as calligraphy, a fashion show, singing, and dancing. One of the oldest journals at L&C, Polyglot gives the opportunity to students of all levels to publish their work in Japanese.

Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You

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