In order to achieve the breadth of a liberal education, the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures introduces students to China and Japan, two of the great ancient and distinct civilizations of Asia. Language study forms the core of exposure; cultural awareness is enhanced through a focus on selected literary texts and through participation in study groups. Students may take as little as one term of Chinese or Japanese and receive credit toward graduation. The courses on Chinese and Japanese literature in translation presume no knowledge of either language.

Courses in Chinese provide training in understanding, speaking, reading and writing modern standard Chinese, the national language of China, known as putonghua in the People's Republic of China and as kuo-yü in Taiwan, the Republic of China. The pinyin romanization system and both complex and simplified characters are taught. Four levels of Chinese are regularly offered.

Courses in Japanese provide training in comprehension and communication of both spoken and written language. Four levels of Japanese are regularly offered.

Qualified students may arrange independent study beyond these levels in both language and literature.


The Japanese painting found at the top of this page, Mount Fuji and Seashore at Miho No Matsubara, was painted by Kano Tanyu (1602-1674).

The stamp located at the upper right of most pages (used as a navigational device) is that of Kano Yö and was taken from the painting Bird with Long Tail Feathers.


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Last updated September 18, 2002.