Summer Intensive Kanbun Program (Online)
Program Dates: June 25, 2021 – August 4, 2021

Application Deadline: March 15, 2021, 11:59 pm EST

The Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama (administered by Stanford University), will offer a five and a half-week intensive course online in reading kanbun in the summer of 2021. The course is intended for students – primarily graduate students – who need to master the fundamentals of kanbun in order to conduct specialized research in various disciplines.

Aims and focus:

  • This course will train students to be able to read early modern (kinsei) and modern (kindai) kanbun writings with the aid of dictionaries and without reference to transliterations/translations into Japanese (yomikudashibun) of the kanbun texts.
  • Students will learn old forms of kanji (kyūjitai), epistolary style Japanese (sōrōbun), and the Japanese way of reading Chinese writing (kundokutai).
  • As for kanbun texts from the medieval (chūsei) period and earlier, because specialized background knowledge is required, the course will train students to understand such texts while making reference to yomikudashibun.

Hours: Classes are tentatively scheduled for Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 10:50 am JST (2 class hours each day) from 6/25 – 8/4/21 with the exception of three national holidays (54 contact hours total).

Click here to apply now.


Eligibility for Admission:

To qualify for admission, an applicant must

1. be engaged in specialized professional work or an academic field of study for which proficiency in reading kanbun is required;

2. possess an advanced level of proficiency in Japanese language and have knowledge of classical Japanese grammar;

3. have an understanding of the grammar and sentence patterns of modern Japanese, and be able to read and write at least 1,000 kanji as well as hiragana and katakana.

Level of proficiency required for enrollment:

  • The class will be conducted entirely in Japanese. A high level of proficiency in reading and speaking Japanese is needed.
  • Knowledge of classical Japanese grammar (bungo bunpō).

Electronic dictionaries: Students will be expected to have their own electronic or other dictionaries. It is desirable that they have a kanji dictionary (either Kanjigen or Shin-Kangorin) and a Japanese-language dictionary (either Kōjien or Daijirin, preferably Kōjien) that feature stylus pen input capability.


Tuition: US $2,800.00

Application Instructions and Forms

How to Apply
The 2021 application period will open February 2, 2021.
The application deadline is March 15, 2021.

Applications will only be accepted via our online application portal.

Documents 1 and 3 must be downloaded from the IUC web site, and 5 (application fee) must be paid by credit card through the IUC’s secure online payment portal.

    1. Degree Background Form (PDF)

    2. Essay
    Why do you need to learn kanbun and what previous study of Japanese language have you had?

    3. Language Evaluation Form
    One confidential language evaluation form from a language instructor in English or Japanese. English (PDF), Japanese (PDF).

    4. Transcripts
    If you would like to upload more than one transcript, please consolidate them into one PDF file prior to uploading.

    5. Application Fee
    The application fee is $80. Pay online at

    Click here to view all application information and required forms.

Questions regarding the application process may be addressed to

Admission Notes:

1. Admission decisions will be announced by e-mail not later than March 23, 2021.

2. Successful applicants must return a signed letter of agreement of attendance to the Stanford office by March 31, 2021.

3. Any successful applicant who decides not to enroll in the program should immediately notify the Yokohama office and the Stanford office.

4. After the application period, any questions regarding attendance should be sent to the Yokohama office via email at Please do not make inquiries by telephone.

5. Tuition payments, payable by credit card, are due no later than June 21, 2021.

6. Disclamer: This course is being offered subject to a minimum enrollment of three students and a maximum enrollment of eight students. If fewer than three applicants meet the required proficiency level, the course will not be taught in 2020. If more than eight applicants meet the basic requirements for eligibility, eight will be admitted based on consideration of applicants’ need to read kanbun, their stated objectives, and their proficiency in Japanese.

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