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Department of Japanese Studies

Where tradition and modernity coalesce
Founded in 1917, our department is one of the oldest Asian language and culture centres in Australia.

We conduct teaching and research in Japanese modern and pre-modern history, language, society and literature. Our students acquire a combination of language proficiency and an in-depth understanding of cultural difference, enabling professional opportunities in a number of areas ranging from international business to government and non-government organisations. 

The University’s East Asian Collection includes over 120,000 titles consisting of primary and secondary sources from China, Japan and Korea. The library also boasts a rich collection of books on Japanese art and art history.

Our study offering

One of the oldest subject areas of its kind in the English-speaking world, Japanese Studies offers consideration of a rich history and culture, as well as a rewarding language experience. Undertake an in-country exchange with our large network of partner universities in Japan and prepare for employment in education, government, media, international relations and the private sector.


*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies  degrees.  


Our research

Our strengths in research cover the following areas:

  • the interconnections of modern Japanese social, cultural, and political history
  • Japanese pre-modern intellectual history and political philosophy
  • pop and media culture and the literature-anime nexus
  • modern Japanese poetry, comparative literature, and Australian literature
  • modern and contemporary Japanese fiction and literary theory
  • Japanese cinema and mass culture
  • Japanese and East Asian media, the government, media industry, and audience nexus
  • Japanese sociolinguistics and linguistics
  • Japanese language and pedagogy
  • Chinese communities in Australia and Japan
  • pre-modern Japanese urban history
  • early temple and residential architecture
  • spatial theory: spatial-structural history
  • Japan-Korea relations, historical and contemporary
  • postcolonial studies and cross-cultural representations. 


Our advanced exchange programs provide life-changing experiences in Japan where students exercise their language skills and develop an understanding of cultural intricacies first hand. 

  • University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki-Ken
  • Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto
  • Nagoya University, Nagoya
  • Rikkyo University, Tokyo
  • Hosei University, Tokyo

Our people


Visit the School's Events calendar to see our full listing of upcoming events.

Department Chair



School of Languages and Cultures

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