japan foundation logo


read more

Why Japanese?

Why should you learn Japanese? Scroll down to read the reasons and facts below!

  • connect man and woman

    Study Japanese to CONNECT!

  • Career_3

    Speak Japanese to WORK!

  • career brain

    Learn Japanese to INNOVATE!

  • wonder books

    Read Japanese to IMAGINE!

  • tradition shrine

    Practice Japanese to VALUE!

  • wonder masks

    Understand Japanese to LIVE!

  • lifestyle light bulb

    Think in Japanese to DESIGN!

  • connect mug

    Order in Japanese to TASTE!


Learning Japanese connects you globally

  • connect computer

    BBC launched a Japanese site because nearly a million Japanese users visit their English site every month. And here's Buzzfeed's Japanese site!

  • Circle marty 04

    Check out this video! Famous guitarist and Japanese TV star Marty Friedman talks about how learning Japanese broadened his global perspective.

  • connect twitter

    Japanese people tweet so much they once crashed Twitter worldwide

  • lifestyle dialog bubbles

    Over 450,000 people speak Japanese at home in America

  • connect computer

    Japanese is the 4th most used language on the Internet

  • CONNECT sister

    There are over 185 sister-city affiliations between America and Japan

  • connect mug

    More than 51,000 Americans are living and working in Japan, and more than one million visited Japan in 2015

  • connect man and woman

    The Japanese culture values people-to-people relationships, communities, and teamwork


Learning Japanese gives you more options in the job market

  • Career_2

    Japan is the world’s 3rd largest economy (GDP $4.1 trillion in 2015)

  • UNIQLO Japanese circle

    The Director of Store Operations at UNIQLO said Americans who speak Japanese will “find the skill an added benefit, to easily communicate with Japanese and American colleagues, and more easily understand the brand’s origin."

  • Career_1

    Japan has invested over $340 billion in America through affiliated companies

  • Career_3

    Over 790,000 employees work for Japan-affiliated companies in the US

  • Career_4

    7 U.S. federal agencies recognize that having Japanese-speaking citizens is important for our country’s future

  • Career_5

    Japan is America’s 4th largest trading partner: Two-way trade of goods and services exceeded $270 billion last year

  • career brain

    Language learners are comfortable with other cultures – a sought-after 21st century skill in today’s global market


Learning Japanese gets you direct access to cutting-edge technology

  • innovation microscope

    Scientists at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan discovered the element 113 and recently proposed the name "nihonium" - "Nihon" means "Japan" in Japanese.

  • innovation car

    Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and other well-known Japanese car companies have more than a third of America’s automobile market share

  • INNOVATION robot photo with border

    Japan is a leader in 21st century industries: energy, medical research, telecommunications, robotics, transportation, and digital imaging

  • innovation microscope

    Twelve Japanese scientists have won Nobel prizes in the sciences in just the past few years

  • innovation robot illustration

    A Japanese research group developed the world’s first android

  • lifestyle light bulb

    Japanese inventors created the Blu-ray Disc, PlayStation, the mechanical pencil, karaoke, and even instant ramen

  • innovation bullet train photo

    The bullet train developed in Japan travels up to 200 mph - and it’s almost always on time!


Learning Japanese immerses you in fantasy

  • WONDER anime girl

    Manga and anime are popular all over the world, and they’re a fun way to study the language!

  • wonder books

    The works of magical realism novelist Haruki Murakami have been translated into 50 languages

  • wonder pokeball

    The Pokémon video game series has sold over 200 million copies (second only to Mario – also Japanese!)

  • taste star

    Hayao Miyazaki’s film “Spirited Away” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film

  • WONDER genji

    Heian period noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu wrote The Tale of Genji, arguably the oldest novel ever written

  • wonder masks

    Takarazuka musical theater creates its own versions of Western musicals and Japanese stories – and all of the actors are women


Learning Japanese exposes you to a beautiful heritage which contemporary people practice creatively

  • tradition shrine

    Every 20 years since the 7th century A.D., the main shrine hall at Ise Shrine is completely rebuilt with new materials to represent the never-ending renewal of nature

  • TRADITION world heritage

    There are 19 World Heritage sites in Japan

  • tradition judo

    Karate, kendo, aikido, kyudo, and judo are martial arts practiced all over the world

  • tradition temple

    There are countless Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan – people regularly visit them, for cultural and religious reasons

  • tradition kabuki

    Like Shakespeare’s plays, kabuki theatre is performed all over the world in new and innovative ways

  • tradition calligraphy

    Shodo (calligraphy), ikebana (flower arranging) and chado (tea ceremony) develop aesthetic sense and concentration


Learning Japanese exposes you to fun and thoughtful ways to live life

  • lifestyle festival

    Community festivals celebrate seasonal changes: spring cherry blossom picnics, New Year mochi-making, autumn leaf viewing

  • lifestyle recycle graphic

    Japan recycles over 70% of its plastic waste products; you’ll always see three or four different kinds of trash cans

  • LIFESTYLE recycle photo

    Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai used the phrase “Mottai nai!” (Such a waste!) as a slogan for environmental conservation

  • LIFESTYLE School kids cleaning

    Japanese children are taught responsibility for their space – students clean their classrooms, hallways, even school bathrooms

  • connect man and woman

    Learning Japanese aids social awareness: the language’s politeness levels change depending on the social situation

  • LIFESTYLE omotenashi

    Customer service is based on omotenashi, hospitality – and yet the customer is never expected to tip for good service


Learning Japanese inspires creativity

  • DESIGN iphone with border 2

    Simple, compact Japanese design aesthetics inspired Apple’s Steve Jobs when he designed the iPhone

  • Pulitzer WIKIMEDIA

    You can see Japanese minimalist architecture in the design of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Museum of Modern Art, among many others

  • DESIGN fashion with border

    Japanese fashion is often featured in magazines and has inspired internationally popular artists like Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, and Gwen Stefani

  • DESIGN manga face

    Japanese manga has a distinctive style that influences graphic artists around the world

  • design cat

    The kawaii (cute) design style influences fashion and merchandise the world over

  • design play button

    Check out kawaii Japanese pop idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on Youtube – her music video “Ponponpon” has 90 million views


Learning Japanese is delicious (oishii!)

  • taste star

    More Michelin stars are awarded to restaurants in Tokyo than to restaurants in Paris

  • taste sashimi

    UNESCO added Japanese traditional cuisine washoku to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list

  • taste crab

    There are more than 14,000 Japanese restaurants in the US

  • TASTE Ramen

    Instant ramen was invented by Momofuku Ando in 1958. Last year, Americans consumed more than 4 billion servings

  • innovation microscope

    In addition to sweet, sour, salty, and bitter there’s a fifth basic taste: umami (“savory”), named by a Japanese chemist

  • taste tempura

    Teriyaki, ramen, sushi, sashimi, wasabi, tofu, edamame, tempura, and sake are so popular, the words have become English

when you


you'll be:









Share with friends

Back to Top