Japan and Korea Section


SOAS is home to the largest collection of Japan specialists outside of Japan, and the largest concentration of Korean specialists in Europe. The diversified expertise of the Japan and Korea Department allows you to gain focused specialist knowledge, both in classical traditions and contemporary developments, together with the study of these languages – both at SOAS and at our many prestigious partner universities in Japan and Korea. We combine theoretical and textual approaches and critically cross-examine western intellectual traditions and regional ones.

Meet the academics.

Facts and figures

13th in UK

QS World University Rankings 2022 for Modern Languages

Why choose SOAS to study Japan and Korea?

The cultures of both Japan and Korea have become increasingly familiar to Western audiences over the course of the twentieth century.

Manga and anime, K- and J-pop, TV shows and film, food, fashion and computer games have become a fascinating part of global popular culture. Many also continue to be drawn to the rich diversity and dynamism of the two countries’ pre-modern literary, religious, artistic and philosophical cultures.

Yet, despite such increasing familiarity, many stereotypes remain about Japanese and Korean cultures and their languages, which are often thought to be 'inaccessible' and 'obscure'.

Our degrees aim to shatter these stereotypes, to allow you to master the languages, and to gain a deep and comprehensive understanding of the historical development of the cultures of Japan and Korea and their place in the modern world.

Our research

The Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea has staff and students actively researching into a wide range of cultural and linguistic subjects relating to Japan and Korea.

The SOAS-AKS Working Papers in Korean Studies are an outlet for research-in-progress by European, Korean and Global scholarship. Open to a wide range of contributions in the field of Korean Studies, it is particularly aimed at the dissemination of research that has been conducted or presented under the auspices of the SOAS-AKS Institution Grant Project.

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