Statement of Purpose
The objective of the Japanese major is to develop an understanding of and appreciation for Japanese culture and to develop language knowledge and skills to facilitate significant interaction in Japanese society personally and professionally. The program seeks to foster self-managed learning skills for life-long learning and provide a university experience consistent with the mission and aims of Brigham Young University.
The program accommodates those with no previous experience with Japan, its culture and language, as well as those who have received previous instruction at other institutions and/or who have otherwise had prior exposure to the language and culture, including heritage learners. The major is designed to help learners develop sound thinking and effective communication skills, as well as a sense of historical perspective and global awareness relative to Japan.
As part of the College of Humanities, the major seeks to foster an understanding of and respect for the meaning and significance of life as a Japanese. The program also seeks to provide a spiritual foundation for Japanese studies in light of scriptural injunctions to gain “knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:79) and to “study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people” (Doctrine and Covenants 90:15).
We expect that program graduates will be able to:
- enact the principles expressed in the Aims of a BYU education through the acquisition of language and cultural fluency, thereby enabling the interpretation and presentation of Japanese language and culture to others in a manner that will promote mutual understanding and respect for peoples of the world.
- analyze and discuss salient aspects of Japanese thought and their effect on language, behavioral patterns, and interpersonal relationships.
- analyze and discuss Japanese literary genres, works, and authors in their social, historical, and religious contexts.
- apply critical thinking skills and write well in English and Japanese (in various genres).
- converse and act in Japanese in linguistically, socially, and culturally appropriate ways on a broad variety of topics in a wide range of settings.
- analyze and discuss the structure of the Japanese language, including aspects of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
- read and engage effectively texts of various genres (covering the range of jooyoo kanji).
- discuss basic differences and continuities between modern and pre-modern Japanese and read and analyze pre-modern texts.
- effectively utilize learning tools, such as dictionaries (electronic, paper, and web-based) and cultural literacy resources (such as Kokugo benran).
- demonstrate self-managed learning skills that will facilitate life-long learning.