Japanese language has become extremely popular among learners in recent years, since it is the best way to explore one of the richest and most mysterious cultures of the modern East. This course is aimed at those who are interested in understanding Japanese way of thinking and view of the world through learning the language. Course materials are provided by the teaching staff from the Department of Japan Studies. Upon completion of this course the learners will be able: 1. To read simple texts in Japanese and write using the hiragana and katakana scripts as well as the kanji characters. 2. To understand basic vocabulary in speech and use it in everyday communicative situations. 3. To form their own sentences using the provided grammar material. The course provides extensive materials on Japanese grammar, phonetics, writing system and communication etiquette, as well as exercises for learners to apply the new knowledge. The vocabulary of the course consists of more than 200 words. Those who are interested in continuing their learning of Japanese language can proceed to the second part of this course - Japanese for beginners 2.