There are 130 million speakers of Japanese living in Japan and throughout the world in diaspora communities. Written Japanese utilizes three different scripts: kanji (Chinese characters) and katakana and hirigana, both of which are syllabic scripts. Prominent novelists from the Meiji Era (late nineteenth to early twentieth century) include Natsume Soseki, best known for his novels Kokoro, Botchan, and I Am a Cat. In contemporary Japan, Miyazaki Hayao stands out as the creator of many animated films, including Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Murakami Haruki, another notable figure in contemporary Japan, is a writer and translator. First, second, third, and fourth year Japanese language courses are offered each semester.
It is possible to major in Asian Cultures and Languages with a Japanese specialization or minor in Japanese.