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The study of Japanese at Waikato involves the acquisition of Japanese language and the study of the history and culture of Japan.

Enrolment into the PGCert, PGDip, BA(Hons) and MA in Japanese will be suspended from 2022.
At undergraduate (Bachelors) level, a Japanese specialisation is offered through a major in International Languages and Cultures.

Japan's 2000 year old civilisation boasts such achievements as the world's first novel and other rich contributions to the fine arts. Japan ("Nihon" – the Land of the Rising Sun) was the first Asian country to modernise, rivalling the West just forty years after making the decision to do so. It made remarkable recovery after World War II and has developed into one of the world's dominant economic forces. While this growth has been driven largely by the Japanese capacity for technological development, Japan is increasingly influential in international politics and the arts.

Japan is a major trading partner of New Zealand and there is a large Japanese business community here. New Zealand is a popular Japanese tourist destination and many of our more advanced students have been able to get holiday jobs tour-guiding. Studying Japan's fascinating culture and language continues to provide a valuable basis for a career and a stimulating insight into an important Asian country.

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Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Diplomat
  • Hospitality Operator
  • International Lawyer
  • Tour Guide
  • Translator or Interpreter
  • Travel Agent

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
JAPAN131Japanese for Beginners15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper assumes no previous knowledge of Japanese. It takes an integrated approach to the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
JAPAN231Basic Japanese 115.024A (Hamilton)
This language acquisition paper is designed as a continuation from JAPAN131, a paper designed for absolute beginners. Students will acquire further basic written and spoken communication skills in Japanese language.
JAPAN232Basic Japanese 215.024B (Hamilton)
This language acquisition paper follows JAPAN231, a paper designed for learners with a rudimentary knowledge of Japanese. Students will acquire further basic written and spoken communication skills in Japanese language.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
INTLC301Research Methods in International Languages and Cultures15.024B (Hamilton)
After workshops covering intercultural contexts in research, bibliography, literature reviews, ethics, data collection and editing, students will prepare a research report.
INTLC303Visual Cultures of East Asia15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper critically examines key forms of East Asian visual culture, with a focus on film and art, and within a comparative context.
INTLC380Study Abroad 115.024G (Block), 24I (Block) & 24X (Block)
This paper will enable students to undertake appropriate individual study abroad programmes as part of their undergraduate degree. Each study programme should have a significant component of time spent offshore, with a series of assessments being agreed in advance with the paper convenor.
JAPAN331Japanese for Communication 115.024A (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on advanced Japanese language learning and is a continuation of JAPAN232.
JAPAN332Japanese for Communication 215.024B (Hamilton)
This paper is the continuation of JAPAN331.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
JAPAN800Japanese MPhil Thesis120.024X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
JAPAN900Japanese PhD Thesis120.024I (Hamilton), 24J (Hamilton), 24K (Hamilton) & 24X (Hamilton)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Subject links

East Asian Studies Programme

Japanese is available as a specialisation within the International Languages and Cultures major for the BA, and as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, or as a minor in any other degree, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

The aim of the specialisation is to provide students with an element of linguistic and cultural competence that better equips them for the professional and personal challenges of a globalised environment; as well as to encourage the study of languages.

International Languages and Cultures major with a specialisation in Japanese
International Languages and Cultures is available as a major for the BA, and may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees. A major in International Languages and Cultures with a specialisation in Japanese requires a total of 135 points and students must complete  JAPAN131JAPAN231, JAPAN232JAPAN331 and JAPAN332.

For more information about subject requirements please refer to the Catalogue of Papers for the most up to date information.

Japanese in other majors
A minor, or specialisation in other majors requires 60 points above 100 level in Japanese, students must complete JAPAN231, JAPAN232 and JAPAN331. Within the BSc and BSc(Tech) a specialisation in Science International in Japanese is available.

The point of entry into the Japanese programme depends on previous experience. Students with little or no previous experience will start with JAPAN131. Students with 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Japanese, or good results in NCEA Level 2 Japanese should start from JAPAN231. Students who are uncertain about where to start should contact the Convenor of Japanese.

If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email: [email protected]

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.


School of Arts
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4932
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]