Skip to content

What is the Japanese program about?

Every other day we read and hear things about the country, but do we really know Japan? With its energetic blend of the contemporary and the traditional, Japan has become a world leader in popular culture fields such as manga, animation (anime), fashion and gaming.

What do the anime of Miyazaki Hayao – such as Spirited Away – tell us about the world today? How are legendary figures from the Japanese past represented in contemporary popular culture? How did cosplay (costume-play) begin?

Japan is a country with a wealth of cultural and intellectual traditions, many of which have links to mainland Asia. But what role has Japan played in the modern era and what is its position in the world today? Our influential Pacific neighbour remains an integral trade partner and impacts our own culture in surprising ways.

The Japanese program at UTAS is not only an opportunity to master the Japanese language, but explore the society and culture behind it. We welcome students of all abilities and encourage a diversity of expression, subjects and ideas. Come and find out how exciting learning Japanese can be.

"When we recognise things such as Geisha, Sushi, and Pokémon, we think we know Japan. But there is much, much more for us to learn."

– Dr Katsuhiko Suganuma, Japanese Coordinator

On the Japan Language & Culture Program

"I was able to participate in the Setsubun festival at local shrines and even with my host family at their place. I also was able to see the lantern festival in Nagasaki which was unbelievable! The school organised a trip around Kyushu for us which took us to Japanese hot springs and to Kumamoto Castle."

More about the Japan Language & Culture Program

Why study Japanese with us?

Participate in our Japan Language & Culture Program in the cities of Fukuoka or Yokohama. With intensive language classes and research, cultural excursions, and its popular homestay accommodation, these program is a perfect way to find your feet in Japan.

Get involved in the UTAS Japan Society, our Japanese student society. Enjoy various Japanese activities with like-minded people, while making friends with native-Japanese and practicing with fellow students.

Taught in English, our Japanese Studies units give you specialist knowledge of society, culture, politics and economics in Japan.

Broaden your knowledge of Asian cultures and languages by combining your studies in Japanese with programs in Asian Studies, Chinese and Indonesian also available through the School of Humanities.

Take part in our exchange program to study at a range of highly-regarded partner institutions in Japan for up to one year. Generous scholarships are also available.

What careers relate to Japanese?

Graduates from our Japanese program have gone on to a wide range of interesting careers in fields such as diplomacy, trade, education and the arts. Many of our graduates work in Japan as part of the JET program, either as Assistant Language Teachers or Coordinators of International Relations, while others have been awarded competitive international scholarships to further their research and academic careers.

With demonstrable language skills in Japanese, you can enhance any career and open doors for employment overseas. Become an effective global citizen with a better understanding of the fundamental changes taking place in this dynamic region of the world. The skills you'll develop in intercultural understanding, communication and team work, independent research and leadership are sought after by employers everywhere.

  • Advocacy and counselling
  • Arts and heritage
  • Communications and public relations
  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Finance
  • Foreign relations and international aid
  • Healthcare and healthcare ethics
  • Historian
  • Interpreter or translator
  • Journalism and publishing
  • Law
  • Manager in private and public enterprises
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Politics and public policy-making
  • Psychology
  • Public health and welfare
  • Researcher
  • Trade and foreign exchange
  • Tourism and travel operator
  • Writer

Image: Tsunami aftermath in Japan

How can I learn Japanese?

Many people who undertake a major in Japanese do so to master the language itself, or as a valuable adjunct to other study in their undergraduate degree. Japanese is also a popular choice as the Arts major in combined degrees with Business, Science, Fine Arts and Education.

If you would like taste of the Japanese program, the breadth unit Introduction to Japanese can be undertaken as part of any undergraduate degree across the University (and is equivalent to the core unit HMJ101 Japanese 1A).

The major involves core and elective units in Japanese which can be identified with HMJ in the unit code. The program provides you with a structured pathway through Japanese language learning (written and spoken), as well as units on modern Japanese society, literature, politics and popular culture.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Each course and unit is linked to its own page with more detailed information and entry requirements on the Courses & Units website.

Your learning experience in Japanese goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; gain a competitive advantage with real-world experience prior to graduation; study abroad for a fortnight, a month, a semester or a year, as part of your degree; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

The College of Arts, Law and Education, including the School of Humanities and Japanese, offers a growing collection of units that are available to be completed either wholly or partially online to enable flexible study.

* The online availability for each unit is indicated on each individual unit page under ‘Availability’, then ‘Attendance options’ by the ‘Off-Campus’ icon .

Read more about Online Study options

We provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Humanities offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to studying the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

If you would like to study a Bachelor of Arts, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

An overseas study program gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, study languages, undertake work placement or internships, make new friends and explore the world while receiving credit toward your degree and creating professional and life experiences. It provides a 'total immersion' experience in a variety of study areas and locations. You can choose a program length that suits you, from a 2-week fieldtrip, a short-term summer program to a full semester (or two).

Find out more about Overseas Study opportunities

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by an area or expertise.

The School of Humanities welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

Masters by Research
Doctorates (PhD)

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, refer to College of Arts, Law and Education Research Degrees.

Our research in Asia

As an interdisciplinary program, the research strengths of the Global Cultures and Languages staff and associates are both geographical (China, Burma/Myanmar, Japan, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Singapore) and thematic. Our small, passionate team of academics share common interests in politics, traditional and popular culture, language, art, literature and film in the countries we research.

The disciplinary background of our staff is broad, incorporating Political Science, History, Area Studies and Literature. Our research strengths include the following areas:

  • Asian cities and urbanism
  • Ethnicity and diasporic communities
  • Gender and sexuality in Asia
  • Literary and translation studies
  • Asia-Australian relations
  • National and regional politics
  • Nationalism and identity in Asia
  • Second and foreign language acquisition
  • Contemporary culture and cultural studies
  • Asian art, film and literature
  • Volunteer tourism
  • Media, internet and youth culture in Asia
  • Language and language teaching

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees at both the Masters and PhD levels, and are pleased to discuss proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries.

Asia Institute Tasmania

Established in a partnership with the State Government of Tasmania, the Asia Institute Tasmania is an organisation that fosters engagement with the Asian region by the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian community. The Institute aims to build professional and institutional relationships with Asia, develop expertise and understanding of Asia, and promote new research activities.

Dr Katsuhiko Suganuma

Featured Researcher | Dr Katsuhiko Suganuma

Katsuhiko is a Lecturer in Japanese, Global Cultures & Languages, in the School of Humanities. His area of interest includes Queer Studies, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, and Japanese Studies. His current research interests include understanding how gender and sexuality are increasingly becoming a primary tool deployed in reshaping our mode of living and consumption culture in recent neo-liberal conditions.

View Katsuhiko's research profile Browse our academic staff profiles