Japanese Studies Program

103 Guilford House
Phone: 216-368-2232, 216-368-6188; Fax: 216-368-2216
Linda C. Ehrlich and Takao Hagiwara, Directors
E-mail: linda.ehrlich@case.edu; takao.hagiwara@case.edu

Today’s students find themselves in a world of increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multicultural contexts. Through a long history of receiving, reworking, and incorporating influences from nearby cultural centers on the Asian mainland and surrounding Pacific islands and from the world beyond, including Europe and the Americas, Japan has developed a tradition of multiculturalism—a tradition that is best understood through interdisciplinary study. Following this thread, the Japanese Studies program seeks to foster the student’s global and interdisciplinary perspectives, while at the same time maintaining a flexibility that allows individuals to pursue their own areas of interest. To further foster the students’ linguistic and cultural development, the Japanese Studies program strongly encourages study abroad in Japan for a year, a semester, or a summer.

Students may pursue a major or a minor in Japanese Studies. The program offers a variety of courses to fulfill the requirements, ranging from four levels of the Japanese language to courses about Japanese cinema, literature, and pop culture. Besides these core courses, we encourage the student to take related courses in such interdisciplinary areas as Asian art, cinema, comparative literature of Japan and the West, Japanese religion and history, and international business. Taking advantage of the varied resources of the University and University Circle institutions, the Japanese Studies program makes the study of Japanese culture an integral part of the student’s undergraduate education. Furthermore, the Japanese Studies program provides an excellent foundation for graduate or professional school or for careers in international business and finance, careers involving technological or medical exchange, and careers in law, journalism, foreign service, or the arts.

Program Faculty

Linda C. Ehrlich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures
Co-Director, Japanese Studies Program

Takao Hagiwara, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures
Co-Director, Japanese Studies Program

Margaret M. Fitzgerald, M.A.
Lecturer in Modern Languages and Literatures

Yoshiko Kishi, M.A.
Lecturer in Modern Languages and Literatures

Hiroko Takada Amick, M.A.
Lecturer in Modern Languages and Literatures
Program Advisory Committee

William E. Deal, Ph.D.
Severance Professor of the History of Religion, Department of Religious Studies

Charlotte Ikels, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology

Leonard H. Lynn, Ph.D.
Professor of Management Policy, Weatherhead School of Management

Undergraduate Program


The B.A. major in Japanese Studies requires a minimum of 33 credit hours. For students beginning the major at the 200 level, the course requirements are as follows:

Students beginning the major at the 300 level do not take JAPN 201/202, but do take one “directed reading” in Japanese in an area related to their major research. All other requirements for the B.A. are the same.

Courses in other disciplines also form an important component of the Japanese Studies program. They provide an international, as well as interdisciplinary, perspective on Japanese culture. A faculty advisor supervises each student’s selection of these courses.

In addition to the courses required for the major, the following courses are offered in the Japanese Studies program:

Program Honors

Exceptional papers written for the senior colloquium may qualify for program honors.

Study Abroad

A year of study in Japan is highly recommended, as is additional study in another language. All efforts are made to grant appropriate credit for courses taken at a Japanese university during the year abroad.

Minor (15 credit hours)

For students beginning Japanese at the introductory level, the course requirements for the minor are as follows:

For students beginning Japanese at the 200 level, the requirements for the minor are five courses at the 200 and 300 level, approved by a program director.