Among the numerous exciting courses on Japan offered at Amherst College, this page concentrates on the Japanese language courses. If you are interested in learning about any aspects of Japan (e.g. arts, culture, philosophy, religion, literature), you will soon find that knowing the language is one of the most important tools for real understanding of these areas. As cognitive scientists claim, language is the mirror of the mind. Without an understanding of the mind of the people who produce the arts, write the books, or pursue the philosophical thinking, you are not likely to grasp the essence of these activities and productions.