Tokyo University of Foreign Studies debuts Okinawan Language course this fall

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies debuts Okinawan Language course this fall

September 28, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo


Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (President Kayoko Hayashi) is adding Okinawan to its roster of language courses this fall term beginning November. The Okinawan Language course will also be offered online to the general public, with the same content offered to TUFS students. Associate Professor Satoru Hanazono, who will teach the course, explained, “Students will learn the Okinawan language systematically in stages. People in Okinawa can also take the course since it’s offered online.” According to Hanazono, TUFS will be the first university located outside of Okinawa to offer a course in the Okinawan language.


The course is open to first-time learners of the Okinawan language and is organized around the book Shokyu Okinawa-go (Okinawan for beginners) from Kenkyusha publishing house. Focusing on basic grammar, the course will comprise 12 lessons held once a week between December 8 and March 9, covering the first 12 chapters of Shokyu Okinawa-go. Another course will be offered in the Spring term to cover the remaining 15 chapters of the book.


Hanazono remarked, “The curriculum focuses on grammar, following Japanese pedagogy. The classes will be fun, incorporating games and interactive activities.”


The Okinawan Language course is limited to 25 seats on a first-come, first-served basis. General registration will begin at 3 p.m. on October 21, on the TUFS Open Academy website ( The course fee is 20,200 yen.


TUFS launched Open Academy in 2006 as part of its social contribution to realize a multicultural society. TUFS Open Academy has since offered courses to the general public at its campus in Fuchu City, where students study the languages, histories, and cultures of various countries. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Open Academy took its courses online in November 2020.


The fall term offers 142 courses in total, including 52 language courses of varying levels and liberal arts courses.


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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