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Pembroke has built up a tradition of Japanese Studies at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The College aims to provide a congenial environment for the study of Japan, with numbers in the field large enough to encourage a sense of community, regularly admitting three undergraduates to read for the BA Honours Degree in Japanese Studies each year. At present we also have some half dozen graduate students of Japanese Studies at Pembroke, and thus an even larger group with shared interests.
Pembroke is also one of only four colleges which have Tutorial Fellows in Japanese, currently Professor Linda Flores. Professor Flores is supported in teaching the undergraduate course by Ms Kaori Nishizawa, a language instructor.
The College awards annually the TEPCo Prize for good performance in the Preliminary Examination (funded by a benefaction to Pembroke made in the 1980s by the Tokyo Electric Power Company). This benefaction also funds the purchase of books in Japanese Studies for the College Library which holds the largest collection of books relating to Japanese Studies of any undergraduate college in Oxford.
Pembroke College has made it a policy to build up interest in Oriental Studies and is the only undergraduate college to have three tutorial fellows from the Oriental Studies Faculty. Courses include Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Chinese, Hebrew & Jewish Studies and Japanese.
1st year Japanese student John Trusted explains how the subject functions at Pembroke College, University of Oxford.
Students reading Japanese at Pembroke have access to the facilities at the Oriental Institute in Pusey Lane, with its lending library and language laboratory and to the Nissan Institute of Modern Japanese Studies in Winchester Road, which also has a lending library. Most undergraduate lectures and classes are, in fact held in one or other of these buildings.
Admissions to read Japanese Studies as an undergraduate at Pembroke is through the regular procedures. No special preparation is necessary for Japanese. A background in language work can be helpful, though it is not essential. Prospective applicants for Japanese Studies are advised to offer their strongest subjects whatever they may be. Candidates are normally interviewed concerning their interest and motivation in choosing Japanese Studies. Anyone interested in finding out more about Japanese Studies at Pembroke is advised to contact Prof Flores.
The course lasts four years. The first year is devoted to learning basic modern Japanese and the whole of the second year is spent abroad at Kobe University. There are important examinations at the end of the first year and at the end of the second and final years. Employment prospects after graduation are usually good; the world of finance has been a popular choice in recent years.