The first preliminary Japanese language course was launched at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Károli Gáspár University of the Hungarian Reformed Church in 1994. In September 1995 a ten-semester undergraduate programme was established in Japanese Philology, which offered a combined Bachelor’s and Master's degree as well as a teacher training module. In this programme, students could earn qualifications as teachers of Japanese language and literature.
With the adoption of the Bologna system in 2006, a new Bachelor-level programme was introduced in Oriental Languages and Cultures with a Specialization in Japanese Studies. Graduates are able to continue their studies in the disciplinary Master’s programme in Japanese Studies.
Besides the philological profile in the classical sense, there has been an increased emphasis on developing a curriculum that focuses on practical skills, enables students to acquire a high-level proficiency in the Japanese language, and allows them to obtain a specialized knowledge of modern Japanese linguistics, literature, culture, society, economy, politics, and international relations in both programme cycles. In the 2013/14 academic year, a 50-credit module was launched in Chinese Studies within the Oriental Languages and Cultures with a Japanese Specialization BA programme. Optional available Oriental languages also include Korean and Persian. In 2020/2021, the Oriental Languages and Cultures with a Chinese Specialization BA programme was launched in addition to the 50-credit module in Chinese Social Studies.
In accordance with the research areas of our instructors, courses and research include 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), history of ancient China, history of modern China, classical Chinese philology, Chinese linguistics, history of Chinese minorities, cultural anthropology of East and Inner Asia, history of the Chinese theatre, modern Chinese politics, Sino-European cultural and political ties.
The aim of the BA programme is to train specialists with a comprehensive knowledge in Oriental Studies. First, we provide students majoring in Japanese Studies and Chinese Studies with a high-level theoretical and practical knowledge of the respective language and culture, skills necessary for conducting research, and specialized knowledge and skills in different spheres of modern Japanese/Chinese social, cultural, political, and economic life. Second, we enable them to prove their professional skills in Oriental major-related jobs both in the public administration sector and in other sectors of the labour market.