Japan, for its miraculous economic boom, outstanding success in the area of science and technology, uniquely unique culture, long standing history and heritage is always a subject matter of study in the world academia, particularly, after the World War II. Japanese model of economy, management, science and technology are still studied by the scholars with great enthusiasm. It is indeed a mirage for the scholars to draw final conclusion in terms of the reasons behind Japan’s quick transformation as an economic super power.
Universities across the world, realizing the importance of learning Japan as a practical example for social, natural and as well as empirical sciences, introduced Japanese Studies as a distinct field of study. The Japan Study Center (JSC) of University of Dhaka was founded in 1994 to fill up the gaps in knowledge and understanding of Japan – a leading development partner of Bangladesh. The Center was fully integrated with the university in 2002 with the introduction of a Postgraduate Diploma in Japanese Studies and the Diploma was converted in full fledge Masters Programme in Japanese Studies in 2006. However, the Center gained momentum in 2013 when Prof. Dr. Abul Barkat has taken the charge of the center as new Director. He was able to manage a fund of Twenty Five Lac Taka from the Abul Barkat Peace and Progress Foundation and the Center was renovated in a way that is now treated as ‘Mini Japan’ at the University of Dhaka. Equipment and learning materials came with the package as well. Center is also grateful to Marium Foundation Ltd. for her contribution of Twelve Lac Taka to equip the center with teaching and learning equipments. The Center’s main research work relates to politics, society, culture and economic relations of Japan with particular reference to Bangladesh and Asia Pacific region. The Center was able to bring a number of Japanese academics and scholars to Bangladesh as visiting professors: Prof. Hideo Otake, Prof. Shoji, Prof. Minoru Ouchi, and Prof. Sanae Ito and Dr Y. Kitamura and others. The JSC believes that exchange of knowledge is often a good catalyst in addition to state-to-state negotiations. In the past, various measures were taken by Japan Study Center to deepen the understanding of problems that confront the world or specific regions and to seek measures to solve such problems through intellectual exchange Programmes such as collaborative research and dialogue, among others. Through such intellectual collaboration endeavors, it is possible to better release manifold untapped potentials and maintains dynamic relations in the field of Japanese Education and Intellectual Development. After the introduction of the Diploma in Japanese Studies Programme, Center had sent at least 20 students in different Japanese Universities in Masters and PhD Programme. Japan is generously promoting Japan Study Center’s students and faculty members offering Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) scholarship, exchange programmes, projects, study tour, sponsoring faculty member to participate in international conferences, donating books for the library and sending Japanese professors for the benefit of the Japanese studies students. As a vibrant organization, Japan Study Center was very much focused to extracurricular activities of the students. In 2014, 25 students of the Center visited Japan under JENESYS 2.0 Programme.
It is very important from Bangladesh’s perspective to study the salient features and the driving forces and ideologies in details that worked behind the emergence of Japan as an economic super power. For the purpose of in-depth study, to meet the increasing demand of the community and considering the prospect in mass level, the multi-disciplinary major program of JSC is expanded as ‘Department of Japanese Studies’ (DJS) in July 11, 2017. DJS is continual successful rotation after running 22 years long way since 1994. Professor Dr. Abul Barkat is the Founder Chairman of DJS.
DJS is aims to provide the students with broad knowledge and deep understanding of Japanese politics, economy, culture and society as well as Japan’s role in economic, social and human development of Bangladesh, South Asia and the world. DJS will emphasize the language, culture, society and civilization of Japan from multidimensional approaches.
Japan remains a major economic and cultural influence on a global scale, and proficiency in both the language and culture of Japan is an asset with many applications. Students who complete the BSS and MSS in Japanese Studies will develop highly valued skills that will enhance their career options. Japanese activities in various sectors of Bangladesh have opened up vast opportunities and created valuable demand for Japanologist. Potential graduates of DJS will enjoy successful careers in Bangladesh, Japan as well as the world at large.
The Department of Japanese Studies (DJS) aims to provide the students with broader knowledge and deep understanding of Japanese economy, society, history, culture, politics and language to lay the foundation for MPhil and PhD degrees in this field. After successful completion of 4 years BSS (Hons) and 1 year MSS degree in Japanese Studies, students will be able to
- Demonstrate knowledge essential for understanding Japanese society and its civilization from an inter/multi-disciplinary approach.
- Identify and critically evaluate concepts specific to Japanese society.
- Understand Japan’s role in economic, social and human development in the context of Bangladesh and South Asia, and the world at large.
- Engage in conversations in Japanese on wide range of topics and will be able to read a range of literary works, informative writings and other non-literary texts as well as students will be able to express their thoughts in writing.
- Apply one or more specific theoretical approaches and research methodologies in a written analysis of some aspect of Japanese culture or society.
- Develop a community of scholars in Japanese Studies in academic institutions who can contribute to further consolidation of Japan-Bangladesh relations.
- Apply acquired skills and knowledge in formulating an independent research project
Identify career options in Japan-related fields.
The BSS and MSS in Japanese Studies is designed as a Five years (BSS is 4 years & MSS is 1 year) Programme under semester system to provide high quality education and research with an emphasis on developing language skills, an appreciation of research methods and on deepening students’ understanding of contemporary Japan.
To increase students’ familiarity with some key issues and theoretical analyses in Japanese studies and to motivate students studying Japan.
- To develop competence in Japanese language.
- To prepare students with necessary skills for research on Japan, including the theory and ethics of research, various interviewing strategies, the assessment of oral information and visual sources.
- To develop capacity to define a workable research topic and execute it successfully.
- To develop interdisciplinary skills and understandings, specifically in the areas of History, Politics, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Literature and Linguistics.
- To enhance general skills in critical analysis of academic texts, in academic research and writing, editing, oral presentation of material, and capacity to participate effectively in discussion.
Outcomes of the Study
During BSS and MSS in Japanese Studies, students will develop or extend their knowledge and understanding of:
- Written and spoken Japanese-up-to the level of Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT**) N1.
- The key approaches to the social scientific study of Japan.
- Research methods, strategies and ethics that is of relevance to the social study of Japan.
- Critical analysis of sources and ability to present findings effectively, verbally and in sustained writing exercises related to Japan.
- Framing and executing a workable research topic and prepare research report accordingly
- Comparative study of Japan and Bangladesh will help students understand that core differences. Students will be able to learn the mechanism behind Japanese development and how those champions could be used in Bangladesh perspective.
- Interdisciplinary work and its potential.
***The Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services Japanese-Language Proficiency Test is an internationally recognized measurement and certification of Japanese proficiency for non-native speakers that provides tests at five different levels each consisting of three sections: writing and vocabulary, listening, reading and grammar. For details see http://www.jlpt.jp/e/