FACTS ON JAPAN

Capital: Tokyo
National language: Japanese
National Scripts: Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana
Ethnic groups: 98.5% Japanese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Chinese, 0.6% others
Religions: Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
Languages:: Japanese
Government: Parliamentary democracy with constitutional monarchy
AreaTotal: 377,944 km2 (145,925 sq mi)
Population: 127,590,000[ (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.25 years
male: 77.96 years
female: 84.7 years
Density 337.6/km2
GDP (PPP): Total $4.356 trillion (2008 est.)
Per capita: $34,115
Currency: Yen (JPY)

WHY STUDY IN JAPAN?

Excellent Education
The greatest appeal of studying in Japan is its academic environment where one can study state-of-the-art technology and acquire the knowledge that enabled Japan’s phenomenal postwar economic growth. Whether it is electronics, Japanese literature, medicine or international business administration, Japanese universities and other institutes of higher education can offer course studies or research programs of virtually any field. Similarly, Japan has produced many outstanding researchers in diverse fields.

Rich Culture and Nature
Modern Japanese culture and society consist of a diverse mix of the old and new, the East and West, and the natural and artificial. These seemingly contradictory elements coexist in harmony in Japan. With age-old Japanese traditions – as typified by those nurtured from the Azuchi-Momoyama Peod (late 16th to early 17th century) to the Edo Period, which lasted nearly 300 years – at its foundation, Japan flexibly assimilated the culture of Western civilization later introduced to its soil.

Japan is also a country with rich nature, diverse topography, and beautiful turns of the seasons. Haiku verse which has blossomed by absorbing the natural essence of each season is an example of a very unique Japanese literary culture. The country’s rich variety of local festivals, annual events, and folk entertainment are also most likely the result of Japan’s nature and topography.

Japanese Arts and Crafts
Japan boasts extraordinary skills and techniques in the production of arts and crafts. From the late 19th to the early 20th century, a vogue for Japanese culture called “Japonisme” appeared in Europe and the United States. Japanese arts and crafts heavily influenced the Art Nouveau movement, and impressionist artists such as Claude Monet and Pierre Auguste Renoir, who created many masterpieces, were strongly influenced by Japanese Ukiyo-e wood prints.

Japanese arts and crafts have a very long history and are highly appreciated for fine technical qualities and beauty. They continue to be loved around the world. An international student will get enough time to understand this Japanese Arts.

Japanese Animation
It was not long ago that “Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi)” received the Academy Award for the best animated feature film. Japanese animation (Anime), are highly recognized around the world. “Superflat Monogram,” a colorful animated piece produced as part of a collaboration between Japanese animator Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton’s artistic director Marc Jacobs, has attracted major attention in the news recently. There are many different ways of studying in Japan. Regardless of the course you choose, from Japanese-language training to postgraduate studies, we are confident that coming in touch with Japanese culture and lifestyles will prove to be an invaluable experience for you.

THE JAPANESE EDUCATION SYSTEM

Japan has one of the highest standards of education and one of the highest literacy rates in the world. About 93% of children enter high school, and nearly all of them graduate. At over 40% in 2000, Japan also has one of the highest university enrolment rates in the developed world, and a huge number of state and private universities to serve the population.

Japan is facing a dramatically changing population structure; with a declining birth rate and increasing life expectancy, the population is aging at a phenomenal rate. One of the consequences of this is that there are no longer enough Japanese students to fill all the universities in Japan, meaning that universities will soon have to start searching abroad for foreign students and/or improve standards to compete in the domestic market for students. This means that it is getting easier and easier for foreign students to study in Japan.

The stages of the education system

The basic education system was modeled on a mixture of the British, French and US systems, with the latter influence perhaps being the largest. School consists of the following basic route:

Kindergarten
Elementary School (shogakkou)
Lower Secondary School (chugakkou)
Upper Secondary School (koukou; koutougakkou)
University
There are many other options. A more detailed breakdown would be:

Kindergarten
Elementary School (shogakkou)
Lower Secondary School (chugakkou)
Followed by any of the following, some of which can be followed on a part-time or correspondence basis:

Upper Secondary School (koukou; koutougakkou)
Colleges of technology
Schools for the Blind
Schools for the Deaf
Schools for Other Disabled
Specialized Training College
This is followed by Higher Education, which may be at any of the following (again, correspondence and part-time options are often available):

Specialized training college (Nursing, Engineering, etc.)
Junior college
University
Graduate school (Master’s courses, Doctoral courses)
Miscellaneous schools