• Total units 48 Units
  • Major code JPST-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Academic contact


A Japanese studies major has many benefits in today's globalised world and the Asian Century. As one of Australia's key trading partners, private and public sector employers actively recruit ANU graduates with detailed knowledge of and experience in Japan. 

This major provides students with a nuanced understanding of the historical, political and cultural forces that have shaped the development and current state of modern Japan. Armed with this understanding students will be able to engage meaningfully with the culture, society and people while helping to bridge the divides separating Japan and Australia.

Though designed to complement the Japanese language major, knowledge of the Japanese language is not required for the Japanese studies major.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand and evaluate historical and current events and developments that have shaped Japan,
  2. Identify and critique the contemporary socio-cultural and political systems of Japan,
  3. Analyse developments in Japan in their regional and global contexts,
  4. Understand the processes and disciplinary approaches through which current knowledge about Japanese studies has developed.


Course Lists

The course lists in the "Requirements" section below is a definitive   list and includes all courses that can be counted towards the major,   whether or not they are offered in the current year. For a list of   courses that will be offered in the current year, please see the Summary of Courses page.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Speak and write about theories, factual content and research approaches relevant to Japanese Studies;

2. Identify relevant regional and international literature relevant to Japanese Studies;

3. Demonstrate an analytic understanding of the meanings that have been attached to the variety of Japanese experiences

4. Determine the processes through which current knowledge about Japanese Studies has been developed;

5. Marshal evidence in support of arguments, and construct analytical narratives in response to empirical and theoretical research.

Additional Information

The following courses can only be included if the material covered lies within the discipline of Japanese Studies, in the judgment of the major coordinator:
  • ASIA3006 Practical Assignment in Asia and the Pacific
  • ASIA3012 Readings in Asian Societies and Histories
  • ASIA3026 Advanced topics in Asian Studies
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Study Options 
Students may take up to two courses outside of this list with advanced permission from the Undergraduate Convenor, provided the courses contribute to the major's learning outcomes. The College of Asia & the Pacific encourages students to consider applying to take a Vice Chancellor's undergraduate course (VCUG) as part of this major.
Please Note: To see the pre-2012 rules for this major, students can navigate to the 2011 version of Study@.


Major Requirements

This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ASIA1025 Asia and the Pacific: Power, diversity and change 6
ASIA1030 Asia and the Pacific in Motion 6

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ASIA2009 The Making of Modern Japan: From Samurai to Economic Superpower and Beyond 6
ASIA3040 Literary and Cultural Discourse in Modern Japan 6

A minimum of 18 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ASIA2017 History of International Relations in Northeast Asia 6
ASIA2031 Japanese Politics 6
ASIA2058 Japanese Popular Culture: Manga, Anime, Film & the Visual Arts 6
ASIA3011 Samurai Society and Social Control in Japan 6
INTR2018 Japanese Foreign and Security Policy 6
ASIA3027 Issues in Japanese Policy in their global context 6
LING2028 Japanese Linguistics 6

A maximum of 6 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ASIA2016 The Mongol Empire in World History 6
ASIA2074 Popular Culture in East Asia 6
ASIA2304 What is Literature? Asian Perspectives 6
ASIA3021 Engaging Asia: Australia and the Asian Century 6
ASIA3029 Reconciliation and the memory of conflict in East Asia 6
ASIA2067 Economies of Emerging Asia 6
ASIA2065 Asian Politics: From Concepts to Causes 6
ASIA2301 Prehistoric Origins: Archaeology of Asia and the Pacific 6
ASIA2302 Culture and Modernity in Asia: Anthropological Perspectives 6
ASIA2307 History of Empire in Asia 6
ASIA2001 Language in Asia and the Pacific 6
ASIA2103 Language in Asia and the Pacific (L) 6
ASIA2311 Gender and Cultural Studies in Asia and the Pacific 6
INTR2016 US Foreign and Security Policy in Asia 6
INTR2012 Chinese Foreign and Security Policy 6
INTR2010 International Relations in the Asia-Pacific 6
JPNS3102 Debating Japan: Contemporary Intellectual Debates 6
JPNS3005 Advanced Japanese: Issues in Contemporary Japan 6
JPNS3006 Advanced Japanese: Language in Context 6
JPNS3007 Advanced Japanese: Readings in Culture and Society 6
JPNS3008 Advanced Japanese: Readings in Literature 6
JPNS3023 Research Topics in Japanese A 6
JPNS3024 Research Topics in Japanese B 6
WARS2004 War in the Islands: The Second World War in the Pacific 6
STST2001 International Security issues in the Asia Pacific 6
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