Deadline extended: MA program in Japanese Humanities at Kyushu University in English

carey benom busylinguist at
Thu Mar 31 06:21:24 UTC 2011

Dear Funknetters,

As part of the G-30 program for internationalization, my colleagues and I
have created an English-language Master’s Program in Japanese Humanities at
Kyushu University, and our program has begun accepting applications from
qualified undergraduates.

I think of our program as an excellent chance for top-tier students
interested in Japan to experience life in Japan, learn about a broad
spectrum of Japanese humanities, particularly linguistics, history,
literature, and philosophy, and attain a graduate degree from a top-ranked
Japanese university, all without needing to speak or read Japanese (at the
commencement of the program).

The program is particularly suitable for students who have some Japanese
skills, but do not feel ready to directly enter a graduate program using
only Japanese.  By continuing to improve their language skills during the
course of the program, we expect that they will be ready to enter a PhD
program entirely in Japanese after completion of our program, if they so

All core courses are taught in English, but there are many optional courses
offered in Japanese.

Students will choose to focus their studies on Japanese linguistics,
history, or literature/philosophy.  Alternatively, students may choose not
to focus, but to approach the program from a "regional studies" perspective.
 In that case, they will take several courses in each area.

There will be roughly a 2:1 or 3:1 student-teacher ratio in the program,
with respect to advisees:advisors (some courses may have additional students
due to the presence of students from other programs or majors, but it is
very unlikely that the vast majority of courses will have more than 4-5

All core linguistics courses will approach Japanese linguistics from a
cognitive/functional perspective.  These courses include "Japanese from a
Typological and Contrastive Perspective", "Current Issues in Japanese
Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics", "Japanese: Language and Gender", and "A
History of the Japanese Language".

The program will begin in October, 2011. *The deadline for receipt of
applications has been extended to April 21, 2011* due to congestion in the
Japanese postal system. (The application is relatively short and simple, so
there is still time for students to begin the process.)

Fukuoka, where Kyushu University is located, is more than 1200 km (800
miles) away from where the recent disasters occurred, essentially on the
"opposite end" of Japan.  As such, we have not been directly affected by the
disasters (e.g. no contamination of the air, water or food supply by
radiation, supermarket shelves remain fully stocked with food, all public
transportation is running smoothly, etc.).

More information about the program, including applications, can be found
at:, where you will also find a Q&A
on seismic and nuclear safety and the current situation at Kyushu

Carey Benom

Associate Professor, Japanese Linguistics

Kyushu University

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