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Study Scheme

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Academic Career = Postgraduate – Taught
Faculty = Art
Academic Program = Master of Arts in Japanese Studies


Effective from 2024-25,

1. Coursework and Graduation requirement (applicable to all students)

Within the normative study period (full-time: 1 year; part-time: 2 years), students are required to:

  • Complete 24 units of courses with at least 3 units selected from the Core course list;
  • Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

JASP 5000-level courses are for M.A. students. A few courses will share lectures with an undergraduate course. These code-sharing courses will be offered in the daytime, subject to course availability. All students, including part-time students, are eligible to enrol if they have flexible daytime schedules. Part-time students should note that a sufficient number of courses to meet graduation requirements during the normative study period (two years) will be offered on weeknights and Saturdays, but a few courses may be offered during the daytime on weekdays. Part-time students with fulltime jobs may consider taking a half-day off per week if they wish to enroll in weekday, daytime courses.  

When taking courses in which lectures are shared with undergraduate students, M.A. students may be required to complete more readings and may be given different assessment methods in accordance with M.A. course level. These code-sharing courses will not be offered in the evenings or on Saturdays.  

*Code-sharing courses will be announced once available 


Core Course (students are required to select at least 3 units from the core course list)

Course Code Course Title / Description Units
JASP 5517
Japanese Communication through Language and Culture
This course explores Japanese communication patterns and the relationship between Japanese language, society, and culture. The course considers how the use of language reflects social contexts and human relationships. It also explores the factors that shape the success or failure of communicating in Japan, and how Japanese communication patterns compare with those of other cultures.
JASP 5519
Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Japan
This course aims at analyzing the relationship between traditional culture and modern society in Japan. It explores key cultural and social concepts in historical contexts, and considers how ideas and institutions have changed over time.
JASP 5601
Theory and Methods in Japanese Studies
This course provides an overview of the major theories and approaches that have been used to examine Japan. It provides insight into the key issues shaping Japan in recent decades.

Elective Course

Course Code Course Title / Description Units
JASP 5501
Teaching Japanese as a Second Language (JLPT N1 required)
This course introduces and discusses various concepts in teaching Japanese as a second language which include course design, the procedures of handling classroom activities, the proper usage of teaching materials and teaching tools and methods of assessing of students.
JASP 5515
Japanese Linguistics (JLPT N2 required)
The aim of this course is to enable students to understand linguistic aspects of Japanese. The course content includes pronunciation, writing system, vocabulary, and grammar. This course is suitable for everyone who wishes to organize and enrich their knowledge about the Japanese language for academic and pedagogical purposes, such as proficient Japanese speakers and prospective or ongoing Japanese teachers.
JASP 5522
Chinese-Japanese Interpretation and Translation (JLPT N1 required)
This course aims to enable students with a good knowledge of Chinese to develop their skills and techniques in interpreting Chinese into Japanese. Different text types will be used in the class, and techniques of interpretation will be provided in stages. Special attention will be given to the fundamental differences between Chinese and Japanese, especially grammatical, syntactical and cultural differences.
JASP 5611
Japan’s Modern Transformations, 1600-1945
This course examines key issues in Japanese history and provides training in textual and comparative analysis. Students are trained in how to use primary and secondary sources to study Japanese history. Western and Japanese scholarship on Japanese history will be introduced. Besides lectures and discussions, topical essays and group projects may be required.
JASP 5612
Critical Analysis of Popular Culture
This course discusses major theories, approaches and writings on Japanese popular culture. Japanese popular culture will be examined through the lens of globalization, fandom, media studies, cultural industry, and cultural diplomacy. Both theoretical and empirical research methods and representative works will be introduced. A fieldwork-based group project may be required.
JASP 5613
Thematic Study of Japanese Films
This course provides theoretical training and historical background on Japanese films. Approaches and ideas from film studies, media studies, cultural studies and gender studies will be introduced. Selected themes about Japanese films will be discussed in class and students are required to write essays or conduct a group project.
JASP 5614
Japanese Literature in Historical Perspective
This course introduces the main themes in Japanese literature from the ancient to the modern period. The texts covered include poetry, diaries, drama, and fiction. The social and cultural context in which the work was produced will be discussed. Students are expected to have completed all reading assignments before class so that the assigned reading may be discussed during the class.
JASP 5615
Anthropology of Japan
This course examines how anthropologists and other social scientists have studied and written about Japan in recent decades. Lectures will introduce different approaches to Japan, and the assigned readings will provide examples of these approaches. Graduates of the Japanese Studies undergraduate major programme who have taken JASP4110 Anthropological Studies of Japanese Culture are not permitted to take this course.
JASP 5617
History of Postwar Japan
This course examines the political, economic, social and cultural transformations of Japan in the postwar era. It deepens understanding of Japanese history and contemporary issues.
JASP 5618
Contemporary Japan-China Relations
This course examines the regional and global implications of Sino-Japanese relations. Students will explore Sino-Japanese relations from political, economic, security and cultural perspectives from 1850 onwards. Using the prisms of history and international relations theories, students will gain a deeper understanding of developments, challenges and opportunities that exist between Japan and China.
JASP 5619
Philosophy in Japanese Culture
This course introduces students to Japanese philosophy, which is an important topic for understanding the roots of Japanese culture. Three areas will be discussed: 1) traditional Japanese thought such as Buddhism, Confucianism and Shinto/Native Studies thought; 2) modern Japanese philosophers such as Nishida Kitaro, Kuki Shuzo & Watsuji Tetsuro; and 3) special issues related to Japanese philosophical thought.
JASP 5620
Japanese Cultural Identity
This course explores how the Yamato nation and the Japanese language were formed based on hypotheses in related fields. How Japanese society arose through the localization of foreign cultures will be dealt with from a cultural historical point of view. Attempts will be made to identify nation-wide characteristics, if any, and investigate how they were cultivated over the past centuries. Special attention will be paid to the similarities that can be found between the two major social reforms in modern Japanese history i.e. the Meiji Restoration and postwar reform. The course also discusses how these reforms influence modern Japan society.
JASP 5621
Japanese Management: Work, Culture and Capitalism
日本管理:工作、文化及 資本主義
Japanese business practices have emerged from Japan’s particular path to modernization and its capitalist conditions. The course will analyze the issues of industrialization, globalization and neoliberalism as well as a broad range of topics, including those related to labor, industrial organization, the theory of the firm, management, gender, and economic reforms in Japanese society. This course introduces the complex development of Japanese capitalism from the early 19th century to the present and examines ongoing transformations within Japanese capitalism.
JASP 5060
Special Topics in Japanese Studies
This course will focus on specific topics in Japanese studies that are not covered in the regular course offering. These topics will reflect academic needs/interests and faculty expertise.
JASP 5530
Special Topics in Japanese Languages (may be repeated for credit)
This course will focus on specific topics in Japanese language that are not covered in the regular course offering. Subject to the approval of the Programme Director, students are allowed to take this course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course.
JASP 5700
Independent Research Project
This course enables MA students to independently investigate a research topic with the assistance of a supervising professor. The research question, research methods, length of the paper and frequency of meetings will be decided at the start of the course through discussion and agreement between the student and the supervisor.

2. Other requirements

  1. Students must fulfill the Term Assessment Requirement of the Graduate School. For details, please refer to Section 13.0 “Unsatisfactory Performance and Discontinuation of Studies” of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies which can be accessed from the Graduate School Homepage: .
  2. Students must take at least one course per term throughout the normative study period stipulated in the “General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies”.
  3. If a student fails a course, s/he must enroll in an additional 3-unit course and receive a passing grade in order to complete the degree. A supplementary course fee is applied.