Why Learn Japanese?

Hokkaido Flower Fields Hokkaido Flower Fields
 Kazuhiko Komatsu and Noriko Reider  Kazuhiko Komatsu and Noriko Reider
Lantern Lit Path in Kyoto Lantern Lit Path in Kyoto
 Mount Fuji with Cherry Blossems  Mount Fuji with Cherry Blossems
 Okinawa Five Castles  Okinawa Five Castles
 Japanese Onsen  Japanese Onsen
Fortress in Osaka Fortress in Osaka
Shinto Gate Shinto Gate
 Taiko Drummers  Taiko Drummers
 Downtown Tokyo at Night  Downtown Tokyo at Night
 Japanese Wave Pixel Art  Japanese Wave Pixel Art
  • Japan has the third largest economy in the world: With a GDP of $5.9 trillion in 2012, Japan’s economy is 3rd only to that of the US and China. Toyota, Honda, Sony, Canon, Nintendo, Panasonic, and Lexus (some of Japan’s Best Global Brands) and many other companies have infiltrated in the world market.
  • Business Opportunities: Japan is a huge market. Japanese spend 100s billions of dollar on each year on consumer goods and service. Japan is the US’s 3rd partner for export. 1000s of US companies have branches in Japan. US business spent $78 billion in direct investment in Japan (2004).
  • Japanese as International Travelers: 16.8 million Japanese tourists did travel abroad in 2004. 3.7 million of them visited the US, and spent $12.4 billion. 94% of Japanese visitors do shopping, and more so than any other group, and are the majority of the US travel trade surplus.
  • Country and Culture: Surrounding by beautiful landscapes, people live harmoniously with 2000 years of history behind them. Japan is a country where old culture and traditions coexist with the cutting-edge technology and modern living styles, Japan is a place where East meets West.
  • Be a Part of “Cool” Culture: Anime, otaku, bento, samurai, bonsai, cosplay, sushi, karaoke, sumo, Pokemon, Sudoku, geisha, kogal, ninja, origami, Nintendo, AKB48, Ghibli, kyaraben, Kitty-chan, kawaii! Japanese culture is part of the international culture now.
  • Cyber Space World Community: Japanese speakers are the internet’s 3rd largest language group (an estimated 88 million Japanese, or 9.6% of the world’s online population).
  • Japanese Opens the Door to Asian Culture: Japan has been influenced by Asia’s great civilizations: India, China, and Korea. Asian cultures share similarities in religious beliefs, ethics, and aesthetics. Learning about Japan and its language will provide you an insight to Asian culture as well as Western culture in contrast.
  • The Japanese are Innovators: The Japanese have been known for their creativity and scientific know-how to succeed. The Japanese are known as high tech leaders in fields such as optical media, semiconductor manufacturing, industrial robotics, and fermentation process, and are the world leaders in patent fillings at 420,000 applications annually.
  • Japanese is Easy!: Japanese is 6th in the enrollment of college level foreign language classes in the US (MLA, 2009). Japanese is a simple language because: 1) Nouns have no number and gender, and no articles to go with; 2) Spelling is consistent with pronunciation, 3) Only two verb conjugations; 4) Two tenses, past and non-past; 5) Only 5 vowels and 15 consonants (The European average is 30).
  • Great Place for Study-abroad: Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, with the low crime rate, secure borders, and renowned transportation system. Most of students who have spent some time in Japan express their desires to go back to Japan in the future.