513 Sproul Hall, UC Davis Campus
Phone: (530) 752-0830
Fax: (530) 752-8630
Mon-Fri: 8:00 am-12:00 pm,
1:00 pm-5:00 pm

The department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, part of the College of Letters and Science, offers both a major and minor program in Japanese. Courses include language (Modern and Classical Japanese), literature, culture, and, (since Winter Quarter '07), linguistics. Anyone interested in enrolling in a JPN language course (besides JPN 1) must first take a placement exam. More details can be found at the department website.


Lower Division

JPN 1-2-3-4-5-6 - Core language classes.
JPN 10 - Masterworks in Japanese Literature (in English)
JPN 25 - Japanese Language and Culture
JPN 50 - Introduction to the Literature of China and Japan

Upper Division

JPN 101-102-103 - Japanese Literature in Translation: The Early, Middle, and Modern Period, respectively
JPN 104 - Modern Japanese Literature: War and Revolution
JPN 105 - Modern Japanese Literature: Hero and Anti-hero
JPN 106 - Japanese Culture Through Film
JPN 107 - Modern Japanese Autobiographies (in English)
JPN 108 - Poetry of China and Japan (in English) Same as CHN 108
JPN 109 - Japanese Popular Culture
JPN 111-112-113 - Modern Japanese 3rd-year core language classes
JPN 131 - Readings in Modern Japanese Literature: 1920-1945
JPN 132 - Readings in Modern Japanese Literature: 1945-1970
JPN 133 - Readings in Modern Japanese Literature: 1970 to Present
JPN 134 - Readings in the Humanities: Traditional Culture
JPN 135 - Readings in the Humanities: The Modern Period
JPN 136 - Readings in Newspapers and Magazines
JPN 141 - Introduction to Classical Japanese
JPN 151 - Japanese Linguistics
JPN 152 - Traditional Japanese Drama
JPN 192 - Japanese Internship
JPN 197T - Tutoring in Japanese
JPN 198 - Directed Group Study
JPN 199 - Special Study for Advanced Graduates

Graduate Courses

JPN 291 - Seminar in Modern Japanese Literature: Major Writers


  • Robert Borgen - teaches some of the upper division, notably JPN 141
  • Chia-ning Chang - Department Chair. Knows his stuff, but difficult and not very popular among students.
  • Kazue Chavez - A very nice grandmother type who mainly teaches core language classes. Makes a mean California roll.
  • David Gundry
  • Junko Ito
  • Yoko Kato
  • Nobuko Koyama - Language coordinator; teaches the JPN 151: Japanese Linguistics, and some language courses. Has a good sense of humor.
  • Naoko McHale
  • Mayumi Saito
  • Haruko Sakakibara - Very nice older sensei who teaches the lower-level courses. She has a great teaching style that focuses on integrating Japanese culture with  the language lessons.
  • Ritsuko Shigeyama - Also often likened by students to one's grandma. Married name is Heath, due to a recent Dept. of Homeland Security measure, Heath must appear in all formal UC Davis listings, but she still goes by Shigeyama, causing confusion to those new to the department. Also mainly teaches core language classes.
  • Joseph Sorensen - Currently the major academic advisor. Teaches some of the upper division classes (outside of the 111-112-113 series).
  • Miyo Uchida - Teaches core language courses of various levels. Has a mean, narcissistic, and sometimes risque sense of humor, but in a good way. Has maybe a heavier workload than some, but very entertaining.
  • Moeko Watanabe
  • Miki Wheeler