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About the Department of Japanese Studies

The Department of Japanese Studies, previously known as the Japanese Studies Section, was established in 1967 offering minor and elective courses. To meet the growing needs of the community, a multi-disciplinary major program was set up in 1991, offering academic training in Japanese society, culture, and language. Over time, the Department of Japanese Studies has developed into a comprehensive programme providing undergraduate and postgraduate training in Japanese studies and language. Our programme explores Japan through multiple disciplinary fields including anthropology, cultural history, film studies, international relations, linguistics, popular culture studies and sociology.

Our programme has emerged as a leader in research that explores the historical and contemporary relationships between Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Our faculty members publish widely in international journals in English, Japanese, and Chinese, and actively present papers in international conferences around the world. In our scholarship, we use our expertise on Japan to develop fresh insight on critical issues involving Japan, Hong Kong and China.

Our mission is to provide our students with a rigorous education that combines critical perspectives on Japanese society and culture with high levels of Japanese language ability. We have established extensive networks with top universities in Japan that enable all of our major students to spend one year in Japan as exchange students. We distinguish ourselves among our counterparts by the outstanding levels of language ability achieved by our graduates, and our students enjoy nearly universal job placement upon graduation. Our graduates are successful in diverse fields including finance, trade, manufacturing, education, tourism, and government, and a significant number pursue further studies – our graduates hold M.A., MBA, J.D. and Ph.D. degrees from institutions in Hong Kong and overseas. We are committed to educating students who are dedicated to building relationships between Japan, Hong Kong, and China, and who thus serve Hong Kong, the region, and the world.

What is Japanese Studies?

Japanese Studies refers to the academic study of Japan from historical, cultural, and linguistic perspectives, and includes both humanities and social sciences. Japanese Studies has emerged through multiple traditions including Japanese scholars studying their own society, European scholarship on Japan following contact in the Edo Period, and the rise of Area Studies in the United States following the end of World War II. Area Studies emerged from the realization that conventional academic disciplines failed to adequately address particular geographic or cultural areas, leading to gaps in knowledge of our world. Japanese Studies allows students to acquire comprehensive knowledge of Japan grounded in multiple academic disciplines and language training. Japanese studies include comparative and transnational approaches that look beyond Japan’s borders into the ways that culture, people, and ideas move within and through national boundaries. Japanese studies are important to Hong Kong and China because of the great economic, cultural and historical inter-relationships between Hong Kong, China, and Japan. Japanese studies major students learn how to use multi-disciplinary approaches to analyze a cultural region, and how to apply this critical and flexible approach to the study of other societies including their own.

Our Mission

  • We provide students with solid training in the study of Japanese society, culture, and language.
  • We encourage students to develop a multi-disciplinary approach to Japan, and to critically evaluate and select appropriate approaches in their study of people and society.
  • We educate our students to think critically about society and culture so that they facilitate communication between peoples and contribute to our rapidly changing world.
  • We guide students to gain linguistic competence based upon knowledge of and sensitivity to cultural and social contexts.
  • We aim to establish CUHK as a research and teaching hub in China-Japan studies in Asia-Pacific region.

Chairperson's Message

Welcome to the Department of Japanese Studies website. From the latest trends in popular culture to pressing social issues such as aging and immigration, Japan provides a fascinating contrast with Western societies as well as with other societies in Asia. Our Department offers undergraduate, MA, M.Phil., and Ph.D. degree programs that provide world-class training in various aspects of Japanese studies with an emphasis on comparative approaches. We offer courses that cover the foundations of Japanese society, culture, and language as well as a wide range of elective courses in Japanese popular culture, gender, film, history, linguistics, and anthropology. We are a dynamic community committed to the development of individual students and dedicated to our shared research and educational mission.

I hope you will enjoy browsing through our website and learning more about us.

Professor Lynne Y. Nakano



Brochure of Department of Japanese Studies



location  Address: Department of Japanese Studies
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
4/F Leung Kau Kui Building
Shatin, Hong Kong
phone  Phone number: 852-3943 6563
fax  Fax number: 852-2603 5118
email  Email: japanese-studies@cuhk.edu.hk

Department Milestones and Achievements


Public Lecture Series on Japan-Hong Kong Culture Exchange

Dr. John M. SKUTLIN, our Ph.D. Graduate, received the Young Scholars Thesis Award from the Graduate School, CUHK

A memorandum of Intent on academic exchange has been signed between the Research Centre for Comparative Japanese Studies, CUHK and the Centre for Japanese Studies of the National Taiwan University.

Prof. Benjamin Ng received the Research Excellence Award, CUHK

Prof. Ho Chi Ming received the Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education, CUHK.

The Ph.D. Programme was launched.

The Research Centre for Comparative Japanese Studies was established.

The stream in Japan Language and Linguistics was launched in the undergraduate programme.

The Master of Arts Programme in Japanese Studies was established.

Ten Japanese cherry trees were planted in New Asia College to celebrate the Department’s 20th anniversary.

The Department launched undergraduate programme streams in Japanese Business and Management, and Japan in Global Perspective.

The Department established the Comparative Asian Research Network (CARN), a Japan-related research seminar series.

The Department hosted the international conference, Searching for Modernity and Identity in Japan-China Cultural Flows in the Modern Period sponsored by the Japan Foundation.

Prof. Kinnia Yau received the Young Researcher Award, CUHK

Prof. Lynne Nakano received the Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education, CUHK

The Master of Arts Programme in Japanese Language and Teaching was launched.

Mr. YUE Kwan Cheuk, former Chair of the Department, was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by the Japanese Government.

The Master of Philosophy in Japanese Studies Programme was launched.

The Department of Japanese Studies and a major undergraduate programme were established.

Japanese Studies became a minor programme.

Japanese culture and language courses were first offered at the University.

Student Life

Student Societies

Two student-run societies organize activities and events related to Japan and the study of Japan.

The Japanese Studies Association 

The Japanese Studies Association is a student body for the Japanese major students. It is responsible for the organization of the student orientation camps and Japanese Cultural Festival (文化祭) every year.

The Japanese Society 

The Japanese Society is formed for those students who take Japanese courses. Activities like seminars on Japanese pronunciation, ‘Cooking Mama’ were held.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Department offers a number of scholarships specifically earmarked for our major students. The Department wishes to express our sincere thanks to all the donors who have generously provided scholarships in various forms, making it possible for all Japanese Studies major students to spend a year in Japan studying at a major Japanese university.

Scholarships available for students of the Department of Japanese Studies in 2018-2019

Name of Scholarship Amount/Awards Available for Particulars
Haruna Scholarship HK$20,000 Research students of Japanese Studies and research students of Faculty of Arts whose research topic is related to Japan Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of the merit of the applicants’ research projects.
Japan Society Scholarship

3 awards:

  • HK$10,000
Japanese Studies major students who will participate in exchange study in Japan in 2019-2020 Based on academic merit (with special emphasis on performance in Japanese language and Cumulative GPA should be 3.0 or above), community involvement and leadership accomplishments.
Mizoguchi Scholarship HK$30,000 Japanese Studies major students who will participate in exchange study in Japan in 2019-2020 Based on academic performance and personal qualities.
Nissin Scholarship HK$10,000 x 2 awards

Year 1 Japanese Studies major students

Based on community involvement or active participation in the Department activities and students must achieve Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
HK$6,000 x 5 awards Year 2 Japanese Studies major students who will participate in exchange study in Japan the following year Students must submit the best research proposal and students must achieve cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
HK$6,000 x 3 awards Part-time MA Year 1 students Based on the highest GPA at end of Year 1 at the time of making nominations.
HK$32,000 Research students of Japanese Studies Students must submit the research proposals which are up to the Graduate Panel’s standard and students must present a research agenda that outlines their research objectives and schedule during their field work.
Resona Group Award HK$10,000 x 5 awards Japanese Studies major and minor students who will participate in exchange study in Japan in 2019-2020

Students must have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or above up to Term 2 of 2018-2019.  Selection is based on:

(1) academic performance;

(2) leadership quality and participation in extra-curricular activities; and

(3) applicants’ proposed study plan/exchange programme.


Financial Aid:

In 2020-2021, over HK$380,000 was allocated in need-based financial aid to our undergraduate major students for exchange study in Japan.