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Natsumi Hayashi

Asian Studies Program

2 East South Street

K-Box 18

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts


How We Work

  1. We know how our students learn. Our professors run the lectures and the drill sections, which means that the person who understands your strengths and weaknesses is the same person who assesses you in the classroom. Close-knit liberal arts teaching environments ensure that whether the focus is on reading, writing, speaking, or comprehension, no students' progress or needs are overlooked. 
  2. We're in every industry. Japan has the third largest economy in the world, which gives Japanese learners endless possibilities in the language of business. At Knox, our professors are able to tailor independent studies to focus on character study with a work environment in mind. This opens the door to a wide variety of possibilities in tech, fashion, consulting, video games, tv and popular media, and literature. 
  3. Immersion makes all the difference. Studying abroad at Waseda University or Kansai Gaidai improves both comprehension and confidence, and gives Japanese language students the much needed access and exposure that they might miss out on in the West. In addition, programs like JET highly value any type of abroad experience—it just goes to prove that you can adapt to a new culture. At Knox, the Japanese department sees a high percentage of students study abroad each year. 
  4. We're interested in real communication. No matter what brings our students to Japanese—an interest in pop culture, a penchant for linguistics—we want to develop a holistic understanding of Japanese culture and a practical ability in Japanese language. That's why our professors value immersive work, like bringing Japanese speakers to campus or taking students to a Japanese company in Peoria. 
  5. Our Grads Find Success. Robert Tunstall '06 works in translation and localization for Nintendo. Adam Vera '09 worked at Google and is now a full stack engineer for Creative Market. Shaun Kelly '13 is a Japanese translation and localization management graduate student at Middlebury College.


Estimated Salary of Alumni from the Japanese Program

The Program

The minor in Japanese focuses on Japanese language, pre-modern and modern Japanese literature, popular culture, society, history, and religion. Requirements for the minor include:

  • Three credits in Japanese language at the 200 level or above.
  • Two credits in Japanese Area Studies - either Japanese (JAPN) courses or Asian Studies (ASIA) courses designated as "Japanese Area Studies" at the 200 level or above. MODL 260E may also be counted toward this requirement. At least one course must be at the 300 level.

The minor is specially designed to allow for substituting Japanese courses you may take while on an off-campus study program. The minor allows for substitution of appropriate 200-level or 300-level courses in Japanese language or area studies from Waseda University, Kansai Gaidai University, Akita International University, or an accredited Japanese college or university, including summer schools. In addition, you have the opportunity to conduct an independent study course as part of pursuing either minor in Japanese.


The Japanese program at Knox offers the following resources:

  • Seymour Library subscribes to a variety of publications from other countries, including both mass circulation and scholarly journals.
  • Japanese Club and Anime Club work to introduce Japanese culture to the Knox campus through cultural events.
  • Japanese Table offers a chance for students taking Japanese courses to gather once every two weeks over a meal and practice their language skills by communicating in Japanese.

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Students come to the cafeteria in traditional Japanese clothing.
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Printed on Saturday, May 18, 2024