Language of Instruction: Dutch
Japan plays a major role in the economies and politics of countries both in and outside of Asia. The commercial and cultural contacts between Japan and the Netherlands are numerous and the particular, lasting bond of Leiden with Japan is apparent in, for instance, the National Museum of Ethnology and the Von Siebold-house, both located in Leiden. Despite these connections, understanding Japan remains a difficult task. Japanese organisations might appear to be 'westernized', but what is underneath the surface is still truly mysterious to the western mind. Japan is a land of contrasts: the sophistication and stillness of a Zen-garden juxtaposed with the noisy chaos of a metropolis like Tokyo.
The Bachelor’s Programme
Leiden University is unique in offering a programme in Japanese language and culture. Learning the language is the main focus of the programme, a time-consuming activity since both language and script are so different from what European students know. In addition, the programme includes courses on Japanese history and modern Japanese society. These courses cover a wide range of topics, such as Politics & Governance, Economy, Religion and Literature. Following the basic curriculum, students are free to specialise in the field that interests them most. If at all possible, students will be given the opportunity to visit Japan as a group, in the course of either the Bachelor's or the Master's programme.
See for more information the department website (in Dutch) or the timetables (partly in English)
Following the basic programme, the Languages and Cultures of Japan programme can be combined with one of the 'practical studies' or PraktijkStudies (International Management & Culture, European Union Studies, Journalism and the New Media, Book and Publishing or the Educational minor) or with other options and, possibly, an internship.