The first preliminary Japanese language course at the Faculty of Arts of the Károli Gáspár University of the Hungarian Reformed Church was founded in 1994. In September 1995 a ten-semester undergraduate education in Japanese philology was initiated, which offers a combined Master's degree and teaching credential and qualifies students as teachers of Japanese language and literature. The two-cycle educational system was adopted in 2006, and a basic education in Oriental languages and cultures with a specialization in Japanology was introduced. Having obtained the Bachelor’s degree, graduates are able to continue their studies in the master’s programme of disciplinary Japanology. Besides the philological profile in the classical sense, there has been an increased emphasis on developing a curriculum that enables students to acquire a high-level proficiency in practical Japanese, as well as to obtain a specialized knowledge of modern Japanese language, society, economy, politics, and international relations in both cycles of education. In the academic year 2013/2014, a specialization in Chinese studies was launched alongside the basic education in Oriental languages and cultures with a specialization in Japanology, and optional Oriental languages also include Korean.
The research area of our teaching staff covers almost all special fields of Japanology, offering our students a wide range of courses and subjects. Major topics of education and research according to the research areas of our instructors are: history of modern Japan, history of Hungarian-Japanese relations, contemporary Japanese society, language policy and planning in Japan, lexicography, Japanese-English literary relations, modern and classical Japanese literature, haiku poetry, history of Japanese education and pedagogy, translation studies, computer-supported collaborative learning, and language teaching methodology (learner autonomy in Japanese language teaching).
The aim of the education is to train specialists with a comprehensive knowledge in Oriental studies First, we provide students majoring in Japanology with: a high-level theoretical and practical knowledge of the Japanese language and culture, specialized skills necessary for conducting research work, and special knowledge and skills in different spheres of modern Japanese social, cultural, political, and economic life. Second, we enable them to prove their professional skills in Japanese-related jobs both in the public administration and in other spheres of the labour market.