Asian Studies Course


In an increasingly globalizing world, Asia is a vastly diverse region ranging from the Muslim world in the Middle East and Southeast Asia to East Asia, in which Confucianism has played an important role culturally. Considering Japan’s importance in the midst of the diversity of Asia, it is predicted that Japan’s international exchange with nearby Asian countries such as with that of Korea and China will continue to increasingly grow in various fields throughout the 21st century. Accordingly, students in the Asian Studies Course are expected to maintain an international outlook, to be open-minded towards international exchange and to be preparing for careers in private (or public) diplomacy in the international arena. This means that, in addition to English, our students are expected to become proficient in other Asian languages such as Chinese and Korean during their studies and through studying abroad.

  • To gain knowledge about diverse Asia
  • To engage in open-minded international exchange
  • To receive training useful for successful private diplomacy
  • To excel in diverse international environments

Philosophy and Goal of the Course

Students learn about the diversity of Asia while gaining insight into the role of Japan as one of the East Asian countries in the modern globalized world. Our educational goal is to help students to understand the significance of learning international studies based on international understanding and exchange, and to develop their talents that so has the each capacity to play an active role within the larger global community. Specifically, our graduates will be well-equipped for international work and it is hoped that, in their various capacities, they will contribute to the development of friendly relations especially with other Asian countries.

Educational Goal

Our primary goal is to help students to understand the diversity of Asia focusing on multicultural and multiethnic dimensions of Asian societies. Another key goal is to help students to recognize the importance of international understanding and exchange with nearby East Asian countries both within Japan and on the international stage, and to develop a pool of talent that is fully prepared to take part in international society. Specifically, we expect that our graduates will be ready for a variety of international careers and will be able to contribute to the development of friendly relations with nearby countries using their extensive English, Chinese and/or Korean language skills.


In the first and second year, students are required to take classes from the SIS Core Curriculum and can choose from among English, Chinese or Korean classes. Specialized basic subjects such as “Introduction to International Studies,” “Japanese Culture” or “Cross-Cultural Understanding” are required by the end of the third year. If students attend a language course abroad during the summer vacation or during the semester of their second or third year, it can count toward satisfying required foreign language credits. In the Asian Studies Course, specialized courses such as “Study of Japan Sea Rim Countries” and “Introduction to Contemporary China” are also required. In the third and fourth year, the study of specialized courses continues with classes such as “Survey on the History of International Exchange in East Asia” and “Study of South-East Asia.” At the same time, liberal arts specialized courses such as “Multiculturalism Studies” and “Comparative Economic Systems” are also required. In the third and fourth years, students take advanced seminars and write a graduation thesis which incorporates their new global outlook.

Field of Study

Asian studies in international studies can be characterized as having developed as one of the “area studies”. This field of study is quite extensive, varying in focus from such fields as international law, conventional archeology, history, anthropology and international relations to economics fields such as international trade. A key focus of study at our course is in the area of the humanities such as history and anthropology within areas ranging from Korea, China, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East.

Noteworthy Fields of Study and Faculty Staff Members

The study of perceptions of history in East Asia was adopted for the support for advanced overseas study as one of the 2006 Kanazawa University’s programs to promote internationalization. Under this program Professor Saiichi Bennou made an analysis of the food situation and rural economy of China during the second Sino-Japanese war period while at Nanjin University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Modern History in Beijing for four months. Other staffs are also specialized in the studies of this region. Professor Toru Furuhata has studied the history of Asia, and is now interested in international relations in East Asia (Tang dynasty, Silla kingdom, Bohai kingdom and Japan) from the 8th to 10th centuries. Professor An-Jong Song learned politics, and has published on the music history of overseas Koreans in Japan. Associate Professor Tatsuya Koizumi has studied the history of international relations in Asia, and is now working on some projects concerning the history of British possessions in China.

Feedback from some of the current students

Rina Akimoto

In the Asian Studies Course you can have deep insights of the Asian countries through learning not only foreign languages such as Chinese and Korean, but also through taking several classes concerning the society, culture and economy of the region. Since many students in our course have experiences in studying abroad and the staff members are all so unique, it is highly stimulative. Another good point of our course is that there is an ‘esprit de córps’? as the relationship amongst students as well as with in the staff are so nice and close that you feel like you are a member of a family.

Careers after Graduation

Foreign companies that are based in China or Korea, Japanese companies that have overseas divisions, travel companies, local or national governments, NGOs that involve international work, NPOs, mass media, teachers, advancement to graduate school in or outside Japan, etc.

Acquirable Certifications

Bachelor: International Studies

Certifications: junior high school teaching category 1 (Japanese, Civics, English), senior high school teaching category 1 (Japanese, social studies, English), Japanese Language Education sub-major equivalent certification, interpreter-guide (after passing the appropriate national exam), interpreter (after passing the appropriate interpreter exam)

Course Credit System

In the first or second year, students obtain a broad range of general knowledge together with students of the same or other schools in the College of Human and Social Sciences. After an Asian Studies Course is selected in the latter second, third or fourth year, specialized study or research in a relatively small-sized class becomes possible.

Subjects Unique to the Course

Study of Japan Sea Rim Countries [second year]: Learn about various issues concerning Japan Sea rim countries from the standpoint of each area’s international relations. Theories of Social Information in East Asia [second year]: Learn about how information in East Asian societies should be handled by looking specifically at the Japanese, Chinese, Korean and North Korean societies. Survey on History of International Exchange in East Asia [third or fourth year]: Learn about international exchange in East Asia from a historical viewpoint. Muslim Society [third or fourth year]: Attempts to understand common and different aspects of Muslim society. Study of Koreans in Japan [third or fourth year]: Study about Koreans residents in Japan to question how internationalization of Japanese society should be achieved.

Specialized Course Subjects

History of East Asia, Introduction to Contemporary China, East Asian Thought, Economics History of Asia, Study of South-East Asia, South Asian Culture, West Asia Studies, West Asian Culture, Chinese Contemporary Literature, Comparative Study of North and South Koreas, Comparative Japanese and Chinese Culture, Buddhist Culture, Seminar in Chinese Communication I & II, Seminar in Korean Communication I & II