Japanese 101 Course in Fall 2024


The SBCC Japanese courses in Fall 2024 will be offered as follows:

Japanese 101 (CRN 33221) Online: Instructor Kumi Hashimoto will offer Zoom speaking practice on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 pm to approximately 5:00 pm.

Japanese 101 (CRN 40245) In-person: Instructor Natsuki Smith will offer in-person classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 pm to 5:50 pm at H303.

Japanese 102 (CRN 34498) Online: Instructor Kumi Hashimoto will offer Zoom speaking practice on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 pm to approximately 3:00 pm.

Japanese 103 (CRN 36011) Online: Instructor Kumi Hashimoto will offer Zoom speaking practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 pm to approximately 5:00 pm.

If you cannot attend Hashimoto’s Zoom speaking practice for the online courses regularly, please contact the instructor. There are other options such as synchronous and asynchronous speaking practice options. If you have any questions, contact the instructors as well.


Japanese 101 Course in Summer 2024

The Japanese 101 course in Summer 2024 will be offered online from Monday, June 3 to Wednesday, July 10, 2024. Since the summer course moves at a faster pace than the regular semester, it is highly recommended that you attend Zoom speaking practice from 3:30 pm to approximately 6:00 pm on Mondays through Thursdays. If you cannot attend the Zoom speaking practice, there is also an option for the speaking practice you can work on asynchronously. If you want to choose the asynchronous option, please contact the instructor, Kumi Hashimoto (khashimoto@pipeline.sbcc.edu). If you are a high school student, it is highly recommended that you attend Zoom speaking practice because this is a college course that progresses faster than your typical class schedule but you can also choose the asynchronous speaking practice option. You may still be finishing your high school courses during the first two weeks of the summer course. Please contact the instructor, Kumi Hashimoto (khashimoto@pipeline.sbcc.edu) if you have any questions about the course schedule.

Please read the following students' reviews for our online (Zoom) courses. We hope you will join our Japanese courses in Summer/Fall 2024!

    • I actually preferred the online format for this class and that it allowed people from different areas to take the class. I made for a nice student mix.
    • Personally, I think my professor did an absolutely fantastic job turning this into an online course. Her videos were extremely easy to follow and take notes on. The Zoom speaking practices we did also helped quite a bit!
    • My professor did an excellent job working with the online space and made the course accessible to more students. Breakout rooms were really effective for group work and the professor engaged all students in the main room.
    • I enjoyed this online course because it provided me with the opportunity to practice Japanese language with other students and it was easy to get support from the teacher.
    • I would normally say the in-person class was better, however, I found myself meeting a lot of different people because of the break-out rooms, and it felt like a much more direct connection to the teacher than an in-person class.
    • Since I don't live in Santa Barbara, I would not have been able to take this class in-person. That being said, in many ways this online class was even better than the face-to-face classes I took.
    • I really liked this class despite being unfamiliar with an online setting before. This class was one of the classes where the online class actually felt really nice and manageable.
    • Personally, I do not prefer nor do I excell in online courses. However, of other online courses, this is by far one of the best ones. There is constant feedback and attention to detail by and from the professor.


Japanese Language and Culture

Japanese is a language spoken by over 130 million people in the world. With the development of the Internet, Japanese culture is now fully part of international culture. The Japanese are the third largest language group on the Internet, following English and Chinese speakers. A knowledge of the language will let you access different aspects of Japanese culture easily.

For some people, Japanese seems to be very different from languages such as English and Spanish. However, when you compare Japanese with other languages, many things are much easier. For instance, the sound system is very simple based on five vowels. Japanese grammar is straight-forward unlike in some languages, so it is not necessary to memorize page after page of conjugations. 

The Japanese program offers a wide range of classes for students at all its levels. The courses aim to develop communicative skills in Japanese language (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and culture. JAPN 101 & 102 introduce the student to the essential tools of communication in contemporary Japanese based on the fundamentals of the sound system, basic grammar and vocabulary. They also introduce the student to Japanese writing systems and its culture. In the intermediate level, JAPN 103 and 104 emphasize comprehension, vocabulary building and enrichment of grammar for both spoken and written Japanese in addition to various aspects of Japanese culture.



Introduction: 日本語 (にほんご) のクラスに ようこそ!

Since Mrs. Takako Wakita established the Japanese Language program at Santa Barbara City College in 1984, the program has been offering a wide range of classes for students at all levels. The courses aim at the acquisition of four basic skills in contemporary Japanese - speaking, listening, reading and writing based on the fundamentals of the sound system, grammar and vocabulary.

JAPN 101 and 102 introduce the student to the essential tools of communication in Japanese and further to Japanese writing systems and its culture.

In the intermediate level, JAPN 103 and 104 emphasize comprehension, vocabulary building and enrichment of grammar for both spoken and written Japanese. These courses also introduce additional Kanji (Chinese characters) and different aspects of Japanese culture.

Welcome to the Japanese program!

We encourage all students from various majors who are interested in Japanese language and culture to take our classes. You will learn basic Japanese and build a good foundation to continue learning in the future. As you are learning new things every day, attendance and submitting assignments are fundamental to your enjoyment and ability to improve your language skills. Let's study Japanese together.

We use Genki 1 as our textbook. 

Here are links to Hiragana and Katakana,  Japanese writing systems which you will learn in JAPN101.

Hiragana: genki.japantimes.co.jp/site/self/site/hiragana/hiragana.html

Katakana: genki.japantimes.co.jp/site/self/site/gakusyu/katakana.html

Something to consider if you speak Japanese at home ...
If you speak Japanese at home, think about taking one of the Japanese classes. SBCC does not offer a course specifically designed to assist heritage students in further acquiring language skills and socio-cultural knowledge. However, if you have fluency in casual spoken Japanese, we recommend you take a placement test. If you know Hiragana and Katakana, you have a good possibility to start at a higher level than JAPN101. We will support you in that you will gain grammatical accuracy both in polite and casual Japanese as well as improve reading and writing skills. Especially, in terms of memorizing Kanji characters, we will consider your efforts to learn Kanji characters covered by our textbook. The additional Kanji workbook is assigned.

If you would like to know more about it, please contact Kumi Hashimoto at khashimoto@pipeline.sbcc.edu.

If you have studied Japanese in the past outside SBCC or speak it at home, please contact us and take a placement test during the current semester so that you can take a higher-level class, such as 102, 103 or 104 in the following semester. After you pass the test, we will issue a placement verification letter.

Prerequisite Clearance Form

Please fill out a prerequisite clerance form (See the page below) and submit it with a placement verification letter to SBCC Admissions and Records Office.

The deadline is 1 pm on the 1st Friday of a semester. However, please do not wait until the last minute.

See this page for more details

If you have taken Japanese this semester, you are encouraged to continue taking Japanese in the next semester. We advise not to skip a semester if possible because it will be tough going back to where you left off. Please read on to find out more reasons why you should take Japanese courses one after another in consecutive semesters.

  • Reason #1: Be able to accumulate necessary units quickly for a junior-level transfer You need to complete a minimum of 60 UC/CSU transferable semester units/90 quarter units to be eligible for a junior-level transfer to UC/CSU. It would make more sense to advance to an upper level of Japanese courses rather than taking an entirely new course since you are familiar with our teaching methods. As you know, having more than one semester of a foreign language looks strong in your transfer application.* * note: In general, for freshman admission or a junior transfer, 4-year universities require at least two years of foreign language classes in high school or one semester of a collegiate foreign language class, respectively. Some competitive universities, however, even urge freshman applicants to take foreign language courses for 3-4 years in high school.

  • Reason #2: Be able to focus on studying subjects of your major after transfer For instance, most UC campuses cap the maximum number of units you can transfer from CC to satisfy graduation unit requirements at 70 semester/105 quarter units. You should earn as many transferable units as possible while you are at SBCC. So if you have already completed all Japanese courses at SBCC, you can focus on classes for your major, once you transfer to a 4-year college.

  • Reason #3: Major in Japanese at a 4-year college If you want to major/double-major in Japanese, Japanese linguistics, or some specific majors such as global studies and comparative literature (which requires 1 or 2 years of two foreign language collegiate courses) in a 4-year college, it would be best to keep taking Japanese courses till you finish JAPN104 at SBCC. Also, even after JAPN 104, you can take advanced levels of classes at UCSB through Cross Enrollment. Cross Enrollment can provide SBCC students with the opportunity to enroll without formal admission to UCSB, in a maximum of one UCSB course per quarter on a space-available basis for some fee (as of Fall 2021, $46.00 per unit which is subject to change). This way if you want to keep studying Japanese, the transition to a four-year college is smooth. You will be able to meet degree requirements for your major sooner while you are at SBCC. See “After JAPN104: Cross Enrollment”.

How You Can Continue Taking Japanese Courses After SBCC Japanese 104

After you complete Japanese 104 at SBCC, you can continue taking advanced levels of Japanese courses at UCSB as an SBCC student through Cross Enrollment, where you can enroll (without formal admission) to UCSB.

Please refer to the following two websites and know the eligibility for Cross Enrollment.

  • Cross Enrollment (from the SBCC website)
  • Intersegmental Cross Enrollment Program (ICE) (from the UCSB website). https://registrar.sa.ucsb.edu/Intercampus.aspx

The procedure of the enrollment is as follows:

  • Step 1. Check your eligibility with your SBCC academic counselor.
  • Step 2. Get the eligibility certification from SBCC.
  • Step 3. Email to a coordinator* from the Japanese program at UCSB and sign up for the placement test.
  • Step 4. Bring the eligibility requirement form to the placement test.

*The coordinator who you should contact varies according to an academic year so please ask Kumi Hashimoto (khashimoto@pipeline.sbcc.edu) when you want to take a placement test at UCSB. She will let you know the contact information.

Other information:

1. How do Japanese Courses at UCSB work?

Japanese courses at UCSB: What and when? The first-year courses: J1 (Fall Quarter), J2 (Winter Quarter) and J3 (Spring Quarter). The second-year courses: J4 (Fall Quarter), J5 (Winter Quarter) and J6 (Spring Quarter). The third-year courses: J120A (Fall Quarter), J120B (Winter Quarter) and J120C (Spring Quarter). Upper courses (See the Japanese Program Website.)

 SBCC-UCSB comparison

2. I am transferring to UCSB this coming quarter. What should I do?

Take a placement test at UCSB. They provide placement tests at the beginning of each quarter. You can get the information (e.g., how to register, when and where) from the Japanese Language Program Website.

SBCC University Transfer Academy

Application Period: 2 weeks in October (Fall Semester) and in March (Spring Semester) 

Award: $300 for one student

Luria Japanese Language Scholarship is awarded to one student every semester. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be enrolled in any Japanese language class during the semester that they wish to be considered for this scholarship. Applicants do not need to be full-time students. Selection shall include a review of a standard scholarship application and personal essay in English. Award of this scholarship is based on academic achievement and financial need.

In your application, please mention how in the future you will use Japanese language skills you have been learning in class.

 Apply online: sbcc.academicworks.com

Our Japanese program offered a tea ceremony event at the teahouse in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden ever since 2003 as a cultural event for the students. The tea master of the teahouse in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a certified Urasenke Tea School instructor, Sokyo Kasai. Thanks to her efforts to give SBCC students the opportunity to experience the tea ceremony, we have been organizing the events with the support of our department, the School of Modern Languages and SBCC.

At the event Master Sokyo Kasai first demonstrates the tea ceremony with all the formal procedures to make a cup of tea along with the dialogue to be made with the main guest. Mrs. Wakita, who is one of our Japanese language instructors, has been playing the main guest role in each event.

While the demonstration is going on, one of her tea students explains what is happening at the tea demonstration or what the dialogue between the host and the guest means so that the students will better understand the meaning of what happens. When the demonstration is finished, the master answers questions from the students. Each student receives sweets and a cup of tea that Master Kasai has made.

Communication and Film Studies Short Program in Tokyo, Japan, Summer 2024

History, Global Studies and History of Animation in Kyoto, Japan, Spring 2025




Faculty and Offices


 Dr. Kumi Hashimoto

Kumi Hashimoto is a Japanese language instructor. She is from Osaka, Japan. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in applied linguistics and education from UC Santa Barbara. Her interests include second language acquisition with a focus on Japanese, heritage language maintenance and computer-mediated communication for language learning. 
Contact Information:  


SunAe Mester

Sunae Mester is a Korean/Japanese language instructor. She received her B.A. from YonSei University, South Korea and her M.A. from Ohio State University. 
Contact Information:


Natsuki Smith

Natsuki Smith is an English Composition & Literature and a Japanese language instructor. She was born in Yokohama. She obtained her first M.A. in English Composition with TESL Concentration at California State University, San Bernardino. She obtained her second M.A. in Linguistics and her third M.A. in Asian Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Contact Information: