The Department of Japanese Studies, previously known as the Japanese Studies Section, was established in 1967 offering minor and elective courses. To meet the growing needs of the community, a multi-disciplinary major program was set up in 1991, offering academic training in Japanese society, culture, and language. Over time, the Department of Japanese Studies has developed into a comprehensive programme providing undergraduate and postgraduate training in Japanese studies and language. Our programme explores Japan through multiple disciplinary fields including anthropology, cultural history, film studies, international relations, linguistics, popular culture studies and sociology.
Our programme has emerged as a leader in research that explores the historical and contemporary relationships between Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Our faculty members publish widely in international journals in English, Japanese, and Chinese, and actively present papers in international conferences around the world. In our scholarship, we use our expertise on Japan to develop fresh insight on critical issues involving Japan, Hong Kong and China.
Our mission is to provide our students with a rigorous education that combines critical perspectives on Japanese society and culture with high levels of Japanese language ability. We have established extensive networks with top universities in Japan that enable all of our major students to spend one year in Japan as exchange students. We distinguish ourselves among our counterparts by the outstanding levels of language ability achieved by our graduates, and our students enjoy nearly universal job placement upon graduation. Our graduates are successful in diverse fields including finance, trade, manufacturing, education, tourism, and government, and a significant number pursue further studies - our graduates hold M.A., MBA, J.D. and Ph.D. degrees from institutions in Hong Kong and overseas. We are committed to educating students who are dedicated to building relationships between Japan, Hong Kong, and China, and who thus serve Hong Kong, the region, and the world.
What is Japanese Studies?
Japanese Studies refers to the academic study of Japan from historical, cultural, and linguistic perspectives, and includes both humanities and social sciences. Japanese Studies has emerged through multiple traditions including Japanese scholars studying their own society, European scholarship on Japan following contact in the Edo Period, and the rise of Area Studies in the United States following the end of World War II. Area Studies emerged from the realization that conventional academic disciplines failed to adequately address particular geographic or cultural areas, leading to gaps in knowledge of our world. Japanese Studies allows students to acquire comprehensive knowledge of Japan grounded in multiple academic disciplines and language training. Japanese studies include comparative and transnational approaches that look beyond Japan’s borders into the ways that culture, people, and ideas move within and through national boundaries. Japanese studies are important to Hong Kong and China because of the great economic, cultural and historical inter-relationships between Hong Kong, China, and Japan. Japanese studies major students learn how to use multi-disciplinary approaches to analyze a cultural region, and how to apply this critical and flexible approach to the study of other societies including their own.