The Associated Kyoto Program (AKP)

The Associated Kyoto Program is a two-semester study-abroad program at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, sponsored by a consortium of American colleges and universities. The Program maintains high academic standards and dedication to a sound liberal arts education for which its sponsoring institutions are known. The forty to fifty students accepted each year study the Japanese language intensively and take courses in English on Japan, mainly in the humanities and social sciences.

Amherst College and Japan

After more than two centuries of isolation, Japan finally opened its door to the world in 1868. A few years earlier, a young man named Shimeta Neesima, later known as Joseph Hardy Neesima, traveled from Japan to America; by 1867 he had found his way to Amherst College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree three years later at the age of twenty-seven. Only by illegally boarding a ship named Berlin bound for China was he able, in 1864, to leave Japan.

Course Offerings

You need not have studied Japanese before entering Amherst to join our program. Many who do take Japanese here have neither heard nor seen the Japanese language before coming to Amherst. Some may have had a little exposure, and still others may already have taken a few years of Japanese at high school or elsewhere. We welcome all students with different backgrounds in our program.

The Japanese Language Program at Amherst

Among the numerous exciting courses on Japan offered at Amherst College, this page concentrates on the Japanese language courses. If you are interested in learning about any aspects of Japan (e.g. arts, culture, philosophy, religion, literature), you will soon find that knowing the language is one of the most important tools for real understanding of these areas. As cognitive scientists claim, language is the mirror of the mind.

Asian Languages and Civilizations

What They Are Reading

Paola Zamperini, assistant professor of Asian languages and civilizations, talks about the books on her figurative bedside table:

Lazerowitz Lecturer Partick Caddeau Considers the “World’s First Novel” April 24

Amherst College Senior Alana Laudone To Study in China on Fulbright Grant

Samuel C. Morse To Speak on “Gifts from the Ebb Tide: Utamaro & the Print Culture of Edo” at Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

September 27, 2006 Director of Media Relations413/542-8417