Student abroad

Major in Japanese Studies

What is a Japanese studies degree?

Although a relatively small island nation, Japan wields enormous historical and present-day influence in the global community. This influence must be considered by anyone who seeks a complete understanding of the world around them, especially those pursuing a well-rounded education and postgraduate success in an increasingly diverse society. Graduates holding a Japanese studies degree will be prepared to engage with the people, ideas and issues that shape one of the world’s most dynamic regions.

Why major in Japanese studies at Furman?

The Japanese studies program offers undergraduates a wealth of opportunities for hands-on research, internships and study of the country’s diverse society. You’ll benefit from the small class sizes and mentoring opportunities within a private liberal arts and sciences university environment. You won’t just study a culture, language or religion in our program – you’ll study it all. Take your first steps by contacting admissions or reading more about how to apply.

How will you learn?

The Japanese studies program at Furman will take you beyond the traditional classroom experience. Explore a curriculum infused with a broad range of courses and a strong liberal arts and sciences foundation. Conduct internships and field and text-based research and study abroad in Japan. You’ll also experience Asia without leaving campus in our modern language center, language houses, reading room and authentic Japanese temple.

Careers for Japanese studies majors

Many B.A. holders go on to further studies, including postgraduate programs and training in Asian languages.

The Furman Japanese studies department can help prepare you for a variety of careers in this increasingly vital field, including:

  • Journalism
  • Diplomacy and international relations
  • International business and marketing
  • Tourism and cultural exchange
  • Translation and interpreting
  • Purchasing
  • Education
  • Customer service

Japanese studies courses: What will you study?

Sample courses include:

Japanese Popular Culture

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Realizing Bodymind

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1,101
books in the Asian studies reading room
4
study away programs
3
exchange opportunities in Japan

What our students say

Furman mall

“The Japanese studies major gave me more than just a degree ¬ it gave me opportunities to immerse myself in language, culture and customs that would prepare me for a future involving Japanese in any situation. Now, I'm working at a Japanese company based in the U.S., and I can feel the passion and knowledge that started from my time as a Japanese Studies major grow daily. There isn't another major at Furman I'd rather have chosen.” – Nicole Hartley ’21

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s Asian studies faculty represents decades of study and field expertise in multiple academic departments.

  • Eiho Baba
    Title:

    Associate Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies

    Eiho Baba

    Eiho Baba
    Title:

    Associate Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942389

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  • Sam Britt
    Title:

    Professor of Asian Studies and Religion

    Sam Britt

    Sam Britt
    Title:

    Professor of Asian Studies and Religion

    Phone Number: 8642943518

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  • Alexander Francis-Ratte
    Title:

    James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

    Alexander Francis-Ratte

    Alexander Francis-Ratte
    Title:

    James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943389

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  • Lane J Harris
    Title:

    Associate Professor and Chair, History

    Lane J Harris

    Lane J Harris
    Title:

    Associate Professor and Chair, History

    Phone Number: 8642942798

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  • Nadia Kanagawa
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History and Asian Studies

    Headshot of Nadia Kanagawa, new professor

    Nadia Kanagawa
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History and Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942281

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  • Katherine Palmer Kaup
    Title:

    James B. Duke Professor of Asian Studies and Politics and International Affairs

    Katherine Palmer Kaup

    Katherine Palmer Kaup
    Title:

    James B. Duke Professor of Asian Studies and Politics and International Affairs

    Phone Number: 8642943150

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  • Lisa I. Knight
    Title:

    Professor, Religion, Asian Studies, and Anthropology; Chair of Asian Studies

    Lisa I. Knight

    Lisa I. Knight
    Title:

    Professor, Religion, Asian Studies, and Anthropology; Chair of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943293

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  • Harry Kuoshu
    Title:

    Herring Professor of Asian Studies

    Harry Kuoshu

    Harry Kuoshu
    Title:

    Herring Professor of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942278

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  • Savita Nair
    Title:

    Professor, History and Asian Studies; Director, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow, FDC

    Savita Nair

    Savita Nair
    Title:

    Professor, History and Asian Studies; Director, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow, FDC

    Phone Number: 8642943332

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  • Izumi Tokunaga
    Title:

    Lecturer of Asian Studies

    Izumi Tokunaga

    Izumi Tokunaga
    Title:

    Lecturer of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943189

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  • Andrew Womack
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Asian Studies, Anthropology

    Andrew Womack

    Andrew Womack
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Asian Studies, Anthropology

    Phone Number: 8642942486

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  • Edward Yazijian
    Title:

    Assistant Professor of Religion and Asian Studies

    Edward Yazijian

    Edward Yazijian
    Title:

    Assistant Professor of Religion and Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943682

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  • Qiaosi Joyce Yuan
    Title:

    Visiting Instructor, Asian Studies

    Qiaosi Yuan

    Qiaosi Joyce Yuan
    Title:

    Visiting Instructor, Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943772

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  • FAQ

    What can you do with a Japanese studies degree?

    The Furman Asian studies department can help prepare you for a variety of careers in this increasingly vital field, including journalism, customer service, translating and interpreting, purchasing, education, tourism and cultural exchange, international business and marketing, and diplomacy. Many B.A. recipients go on to further studies, including postgraduate programs and training in Asian languages.

    What is the average salary for Asian studies majors?

    The average annual pay for graduates with an undergraduate degree in Asian studies is $57,299, according to ZipRecruiter. While salaries can reach as high as $121,000, the majority of majors earn between $38,500 and $66,500, with top earners making $94,000 annually.

    How long does it take to earn a Japanese studies degree?

    Furman’s Japanese studies B.A. program is typically a four-year program.

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