The Japanese Culture and History minor is for students interested in Japan though majoring in a different field, who may wish to work in Japan, or who may wish to work with the Japanese in their careers. As the world's number two economy, Japan is active in almost every area of human endeavor.

The general focus of this minor is Japanese culture from a historical perspective that allows you to attain an understanding of this 2000-year-old civilization's dynamic history. You will be introduced to philosophical and psychological perspectives (ideas, beliefs, attitudes, values), the behavioral practices, the customs, and creative patterns (literature, art, music, etc.) of the Japanese culture. You will also have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the Japanese-American experience from both Japanese and American historical perspectives. All courses are taught in English.

As career preparation and enhancement, a Japanese History and Culture minor integrates well with all other CSUMB majors, especially those encompassing science and technology, the arts, education, and business. Some of our students have been attracted to trilingual media and environmental science opportunities (Japanese-Spanish-English) and other interesting Pacific Rim career fields.

Required Courses

Take one of the following:

  • JAPN 205
  • JAPN 305: Introduction to Japanese Culture & Civilization (4 units)
  • JAPN 311: Social Issues In Japan (4 units)

You can combine any of the following courses to complete the 16-credit requirement. However, you can take no more than two 200-level courses to fulfill the requirement.

  • JAPN 205 OR JAPN 305: Introduction to Japanese Culture & Civilization (4 units)
  • JAPN 212: Samurai Spirit (4 units)
  • JAPN 215: Cool Japan Today (4 units)
  • JAPN 306: The Japanese Mind (4 units)
  • JAPN 307: Japan-American Experience (4 units)
  • JAPN 308: Japanese Pop-Culture (4 units)
  • JAPN 309: Masterpieces in Japanese Literature (4 units)
  • JAPN 310: Japanese Cinema (4 units)
  • JAPN 311: Social Issues In Japan (4 units)
  • JAPN 213: Manga, Anime & Modern Japan (4 units) OR JAPN 313
  • JAPN 314: Japanese Visual Culture and Media (4 units)
  • JAPN 395: Special Topics (1-12 units)
  • JAPN 405: Cultural Landscape of Japan (4 units)
  • JAPN 407: Japan in the Globalized Community (4 units)
  • JAPN 408
  • HCOM 322: Asian American Literature (4 units)

Learning Outcomes

Cultural Knowledge

Students will be able to provide a comparative description and basic analysis of the people, history and culture of Japan; engage in learning about the evolution of cultural customs and practices from the traditional into the modern; attain an appropriate knowledge base and other skills necessary for cross-cultural communications acquired by exploring non-western ways of thinking and perspectives as revealed in such topics as social issues, popular culture, Japanese Mind, Anime, literature and related topics.

Historical Knowledge

Students will be able to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change, from the development of Japan's ancient cultures and civilization to the emergence of the Japanese nation-state, and related social, economic and political revolutions, culminating with the rise of modern Japan; and can employ processes of critical historical inquiry.