Japanese Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


Note: The Asian Studies Major and all of the associated minors have been retired and folded into Global Studies.  We are no longer accepting Asian Studies declarations.  Please visit the Global Studies website or the Global Studies page on the Berkeley Academic Guide for more information.

The Group in Asian Studies offers a minor in Japanese Studies. This minor program gives students an introduction to the study of one region of Asia through social science and humanities courses. Students who wish to pursue a major program in Japanese Studies should refer to the major program in Asian Studies: Japan, in this Guide.

Declaring the Minor

Students must see the undergraduate major adviser in 101 Stephens Hall to fill out an Intent to Declare Minor form. It is recommended that students do this either before or, at most, shortly after they decide to pursue a minor.

Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Group in Asian Studies

Asian Studies: Multi-Area (Area 1): Includes all countries and regions of Asia (Major only)
Asian Studies: China (Area 2) (Major only)
Asian Studies: Japan (Area 3) (Major only)
Chinese Studies (Minor only)
Korean Studies (Minor only)

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Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, please see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Upper Division
Select FIVE upper division courses focusing on Japan:
50% or more of each course's content must deal with Japan, in order to fulfill the minor requirements.
Only 2 language and literature courses (e.g., the Japanese 100 series) may count toward the five courses.
2 of the 5 courses can be taken as part of an approved study abroad plan. Courses must be selected in advance by consulting with the minor adviser.
There are no language requirements for this minor.


Japan-Focused Courses

Use this list to choose five upper division courses on Japan. Note that this is not an exhaustive list: if you think a course could count, discuss with major adviser.

ANTHRO 171Japan4
ANTHRO C125BArchaeology and Japanese Identities4
ASIANST 150Special Topics4
BUDDSTD C115Japanese Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C130Zen Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C132Pure Land Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C141Introductory Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts4
FILM 108Special Topics in Film Genre4
HISTART 134ATopics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Temple Art & Architecture in Japan4
HISTART 134BTopics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Icons in Japan4
HISTORY 118AJapan: Japan, Archaeological Period to 18004
HISTORY 118BJapan: Japan 1800-19004
HISTORY 118CJapan: Empire and Alienation: The 20th Century in Japan4
HISTORY 119ATopics in Japanese History: Postwar Japan4
HISTORY N119ACourse Not Available4
JAPAN 100Intensive Advanced Japanese10
JAPAN 100AAdvanced Japanese5
JAPAN 100BAdvanced Japanese5
JAPAN 100XAdvanced Japanese for Heritage Learners5
JAPAN 101Fourth-Year Readings: Social Sciences4
JAPAN 102Fourth-Year Readings: Japanese Culture4
JAPAN 103Fourth-Year Readings: Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 104Fourth-Year Readings: Japanese History4
JAPAN 111Fifth-Year Readings: Reading and Analysis of Advanced Japanese Texts4
JAPAN 112Fifth-Year Readings: Japanese for Research and Professional Use4
JAPAN C115Japanese Buddhism4
JAPAN 116Introduction to the Religions of Japan4
JAPAN 120Introduction to Classical Japanese4
JAPAN 130Classical Japanese Poetry4
JAPAN 132Premodern Japanese Diary (Nikki) Literature4
JAPAN 140Heian Prose4
JAPAN C141Introductory Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts4
JAPAN 144Edo Literature4
JAPAN 146Japanese Historical Documents4
JAPAN 155Modern Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 159Contemporary Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 160Introduction to Japanese Linguistics: Grammar4
JAPAN 161Introduction to Japanese Linguistics: Usage4
JAPAN 163Translation: Theory and Practice4
JAPAN 170Classical Japanese Literature in Translation4
JAPAN 173Modern Japanese Literature in Translation4
JAPAN C176Archaeology and Japanese Identities4
JAPAN 177Urami: Rancor and Revenge in Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 180Ghosts and the Modern Literary Imagination4
JAPAN 181Reframing Disasters: Fukushima, Before and After4
JAPAN 185Introduction to Japanese Cinema4
JAPAN 188Japanese Visual Culture: Introduction to Anime4
JAPAN 189Topics in Japanese Film4
MUSIC 134BCourse Not Available4
POL SCI 143BJapanese Politics4

Contact Information

Group in Asian Studies

1995 University Avenue, Suite 510E

Phone: 510-642-0333


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Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences & Chair, Asian Studies

Max Auffhammer

101 Stephens Hall


Graduate Student Affairs Officer, Undergraduate Academic Adviser

Dreux Montgomery

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-643- 4157


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