Why study Japanese at Iowa?

The Japanese program at Iowa is the most comprehensive in the state of Iowa and one of the most vibrant in the nation. We offer four years of language classes as well as courses in linguistics, communications, visual culture, popular culture, literature, film, theater, and translation. Students can practice their Japanese at elementary and advanced language tables, and with the Japanese peer tutor.

We have study abroad opportunities and are proud of our engaged, welcoming community of undergraduates here in Iowa City. In recent years, we've hosted prominent Japanese writers, filmmakers, theater professionals, tea-ceremony teachers, and many others. Our annual events include Bunkasai (Culture Festival) and Speech Contest. Recent graduates are working in Japan and around the world.

A hand writing Japanese characters on a blackboard.

Japanese Courses

Browse available language and culture courses available for students.

two monkeys playing in the snow

Cultural Activities and Events

Find celebrations, activities, exhibitions, and other events to connect with and enhance social development with members of the community.

Koi fish huddled together in the water.

Language and Culture Resources

As a means of communicating values, beliefs and customs, language has an important social function and fosters feelings of group identity and solidarity. It is the means by which culture and its traditions and shared values may be conveyed and preserved.

A person walking with an umbrella along a Tokyo street.

Study Abroad

The program encourages students to study abroad to develop their linguistic and intercultural competencies. The University has several opportunities to select from.

Japanese program students posing on the grassy field with the Old Capitol in the background.

Student and Alumni Voices

Hear testimonials directly from the students and alumni of the program.

Faculty Specializing in this Area

Yumiko Nishi, Ph.D.

Interim DEO, Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor

Kendall Heitzman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Nana Onishi, M.A.

Lecturer
Interim Coordinator, Japanese Program

Kendra Strand, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor