Karaoke. Matcha. Karate. Manga. Sushi. Mention these words to any person in the Western world and it's highly likely they will know what you're referring to. This is solid proof of how much Japanese culture has influenced us in this day and age. Japan is a peculiar nation - a place where timeless tradition meets cutting edge technology.
Japanese is the national language of Japan and is spoken by approximately 126 million people throughout the world. There has been a massive growth in the number of people studying the Japanese language since the 1990s, due in part to the rising popularity of Japanese pop-culture, including anime and J-Pop.
You may be surprised to find that Japanese is actually the most studied language throughout Australia. This is due mostly in part to Japanese being integrated into the public school curriculum through government funding. This was heavily emphasised at the turn of the twentieth century which can largely be attributed to the growing economic and strategic importance of Japan. There are currently approximately 360,000 students studying Japanese within Australia either in school or universities.
Japan is a very popular tourist destination and is, in fact, one of the top 10 visited countries by Australians each year. The country is especially popular during the months between January and May when the famous Japanese cherry blossom trees are blooming. Many people are also visiting the famed temples in Kyoto during this time to have a chance to dress up in traditional Japanese kimonos and visiting the luxurious onsens (hot springs).
Whether you're someone who has visited this beautiful country and fallen in love with the culture or someone who has learnt the basics back in primary school and looking to pick it back up - join the trend of 4 million other people who are studying this East-Asian language outside of Japan. We believe Japanese is a language worth learning.