The academic program is designed to develop language skills and to explore facets of Japanese society and culture.  During each semester, students take intensive language training (10 credits) and two courses in "Japan studies" (3 credits for each).

Both the Japanese language and Japan Studies courses are part of a single, rigorous study curriculum.

Our Year-in-Japan program comprises 185 hours of Japanese language courses, plus over 75 hours of related Japan Studies classes. You are expected to apply yourself diligently to all your studies, and should expect in return to be challenged by the content of your courses as much as at your home universities. Students attend three morning classes in Japanese Language, Monday through Thursday and two morning classes on Fridays. Japan Studies courses are held in the afternoon, each meeting for 90 minutes twice a week. The required course load for all students consists of one Japanese language course (14 hours per week) plus two Japan Studies course (3 hours per week each) per semester. An official transcript of the grades earned by students is forwarded to their home universities at the end of each semester. If you wish to receive high grades, you will have to work hard to earn them, something you will want to keep in mind if you are considering a part-time job, joining a club, or participating in other, non-academic activity. Your studies should be your highest priority.

Intensive Japanese Language Training 

The Year-in-Japan program offers instruction in the four major skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in an integrated curriculum, Instruction is offered for beginning through advanced levels. At the beginning levels, oral performance and the interactions that students have in their daily lives in Japan are given emphasis in instruction. As students progress to intermediate and advanced levels, reading and writing receives increasingly more attention. At the advanced levels, academic discourse is focused on in instruction, as students learn to read and write essays and other academic texts.

Language instruction will be connected  to students' home stay experiences, study tours (Koyasan, Shikoku, Hiroshima),  exchange activities with local students, etc.  As part of language instruction, students will be required to use Japanese in natural settings  with  members of the local community.

Japan Studies

The Japan studies courses provide a broad introduction to Japanese society and culture. Japanese studies courses each meet three hours each week. Courses change somewhat each year, but are usually offered in the following areas. : Literature, History, Linguistics, Business, Art, Religion, Sociology, etc.

2018-2019 Class list  
Pre-registration Form for Spring Semester

Course Credit Term Theme Lecturer
Japan Studies 5


Fall Japanese History TSU, Timothy Yun Hui
Japan Studies 8


Fall Environmental and Resource Economics TSUGE, Takahiro & 
HORIE, Shinya
Japan Studies 9
Fall The Art of the Kansai SWANSON, Karin L
Japan Studies 11
Fall Foreign Travelers in Japan FLOWERS, Petrice

Joint Seminar
(Japan Studies 13)

Fall Japanese Culture in Globalization NAKAMURA, Koji (KILC)
Japan Studies 1
Spring Topics in Japanese Linguistics: A Comparative Perspective NAKATANI, Kentaro

Japan Studies 2


An Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan
(Ritual Practices and Daily Rituals)

TAMAS, Carmen

Japan Studies 7

Spring Introduction to Economics TAKAHASHI, Ana Maria
Japan Studies 12
Spring Topics in Global Politics FLOWERS, Petrice

Fall Semester: September-December     Spring Semester: January-May

Subject to approval, students may pursue independent study projects guided by advisors or tutors, as appropriate.  

Where possible, courses include field trips to relevant sites. Recently, classes have visited law courts, corporations, and the historical sites in Kyoto and Nara.

Faculty for the Japan studies courses are selected from the faculty of Konan University and from American scholars residing in Japan.


Courses are given full University of Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois and Pittsburgh academic credit. Registration in the program is counted toward the University's residency requirement for UIUC students. 

UIUC Students
Japan studies courses at Konan University will transfer as EALC 3 - - (Three hundred level).
     Note: It will appear as JAPN 388 on your transcript.
Japanese Language courses will transfer as JAPN 2 - - or JAPN 3 - - (Two hundred level or Three hundred level). 

Consortium Students

Students from consortium schools receive credit on a University of Illinois transcript which can be used to transfer credit to your home university. 

Before applying for the YiJ program, meet your academic advisor on campus.