The Japanese Minor allows students to engage in rigorous language and cultural study while pursuing their chosen major.  Many students in Asian Studies choose to pursue a Japanese minor, as do students in such diverse majors as Biology, Physics, International Affairs, English. In fact, the Japanese minor can be paired with any major on campus. 


A minimum of 20 semester credits (five courses) beyond 202, distributed as follows:

* Japanese 230 or 290.

* A minimum of four courses from the following list: Japanese 251, 252 (if two courses are taken); 310, 320, 410, 420; overseas offerings 308, 309, 315, 316, 408, 409, 415, 416.  At least one 4-semester-credit language course must be taken on campus.

Participation in an overseas program in Japan is highly recommended.  No more than two courses applied toward the minor may be used to complete requirements for another major or minor.


The Japanese minor requires 20 semester hours (five courses) beyond 202 including:

  • JAPN 251, 252 (Japanese Conversation)
  • JAPN 310 (Readings and Composition in Japanese)
  • JAPN 320 (Readings and Composition in Japanese II)
  • JAPN 410 (Advanced Readings in Japanese: Society and Culture)
  • JAPN 420 (Advanced Readings in Japanese: Fiction and Nonfiction)
  • JAPN 315, 316 or 415, 416 (advanced language offered overseas) or other courses taken on an approved overseas program.

Students are strongly advised to participate in an approved overseas program.

Outside the Classroom

  • Company visits: You have an opportunity to visit a Japanese company in the Portland metropolitan area every April. This gives students a chance to use their Japanese language skills by talking to the company representatives and gaining knowledge about the Japanese business world.
  • Toyama Cup Speech Contest: Toyama Prefecture and Oregon have been Sister States for over 20 years. This annual event, which brings together university students from all over Oregon, southwest Washington, and Idaho, is extremely competitive. In 2018, Giulia Cordella ’21 took second place and Kai Swift ’21 took third place at the beginner’s level. Sara Wilky took third place at the advanced level.
  • Intercultural communication in the community: Members from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Portland visit Lewis & Clark for round table discussions with students learning Japanese and Japanese national students on campus.
  • Japan Night: This is a campus-wide annual event to celebrate Japanese culture with food and activities such as calligraphy, a fashion show, singing, and dancing.
  • Japan Club: This is one of the most active clubs on campus. Monthly movie nights with Japanese snacks and various activities to draw both American and Japanese students.
  • Japanese Language Table: Twice a week you have the opportunity to have dinner with our Japanese Language Assistant, a native speaker of Japanese. This provides a relaxed atmosphere for conversation practice.

Publishing your Japanese writing: The world languages and literatures department annually publishes a beautiful booklet called Polyglot. Our students in Japanese always contribute.