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What are your interests?



Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

Subject Choice

Leaving Certificate


Career Zone
NFQ Level
2 Years


Studying Japanese - Japanese
Studying Japanese - Japanese
Edel Carleton - Japanese
Edel Carleton - Japanese
Fiona Uyema - Japanese
Fiona Uyema - Japanese

Japanese as a Leaving Cert subject aims to bring students closer to fluency in the Japanese language, as well as developing a good knowledge of literature, culture, geography, and national history to provide a context for communication. Most students who choose to study Japanese find it a fun and rewarding subject to study. 

What kind of student might Japanese suit?

  • Anyone with an interest in Asian or Japanese culture, history, and language.
  • Students who are considering working in Asia, Japan, business, or international relations in the future.
  • Students who can already speak Japanese and want easy points.

For a summary of other reasons to study Japanese, this presentation explains some of the reasons why those interested in exams, economics, business, technology, cars, energy saving, culture or language might want to consider studying Japanese.


Japanese is not offered by many schools as a core Leaving Cert subject choice, but that does not preclude any one from taking it outside school and sitting it at examination.

Some schools require all their Leaving Certificate students to take a language. If students have the option to choose whether or not to take a language, they should consider it seriously as it may determine the choices available to them when it comes to applying for college.

For example, a third language is a requirement of a number of departments in the NUI colleges. Always check entry requirements for individual colleges  and courses.


This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:

Grades Awarded

Marks Distribution 2019:

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 208 students who sat the Higher Level Japanese exam in 2019.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 66 students who sat the Ordinary Level Japanese exam in 2019.


Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:

Course Overview

Leaving Certificate Japanese follows a common syllabus framework for the teaching and examining of modern languages in the Leaving Certificate.

The syllabus aims to develop learners’ communicative skills in Japanese, to develop their strategies for effective language learning and raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity.

Assessment is by means of a written examination, and an aural and oral examination at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level.

Course Content

The following general aims are proposed by this syllabus for the preparation of students for the Leaving Certificate in Japanese.

1. To foster in learners such communicative skills in the target language as will enable them to:
take a full part in classroom activities conducted in the target language;

  • participate in normal, everyday transactions and interactions, both spoken and written, both at home and abroad;
  • extract information and derive enjoyment from the mass media and the more accessible literature of the target language community;
  • consider as a realistic option the possibility of pursuing leisure activities, further study and/or career opportunities through the medium of the target language.

2. To give students a critical awareness of how meaning is organised and conveyed by the structures and vocabulary of the target language, and thus to contribute to their understanding of the workings of human language in general.

3. To help learners develop strategies for effective language learning.

4. To equip learners with a broad acquaintance with the cultural, social and political complexion of contexts in which the target language is a normal medium of communication and thus to help raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity generally.

Exam Structure

The examination will assess a candidate’s ability to:

  1. understand the spoken language
  2. understand the written language
  3. communicate in the spoken language
  4. communicate in the written language
Mark Allocation for Leaving Certificate French:

Section    Higher Level Ordinary Level
Speaking 25%   20%
Listening Comprehension 20% 25% 
Reading Comprehension 30% 40% 
Writing 25%  15%

Career Possibilities

Japanese is useful for careers in Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Sales, Marketing, Technology and Translation among others. Japan is home of many successful video game and animation companies who often seek to recruit foreign employees who can speak Japanese.

Career Guidance

Subject Group: Humanities

These subjects explore the ways in which humans live and communicate in the world. Human life is examined by looking at our past, our present and into our future. These subjects help people to express themselves clearly and develop their reasoning ability.

Required for 3rd Level?

Please note this subject can also be used for language matriculation purposes for universities.

This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.


What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Fiona Uyema, Chef
Studying French was useful for me to study Japanese in college. However I didn't like French in school as I don't believe it is taught in a fun way for students. It's mostly based around learning things off with no enjoyment around the language itself or the culture.

... View Full Interview

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer
Studying languages altered my career path the most - I studied French first and then Japanese, and these subjects led me to Luxembourg and Japan.

... View Full Interview

Edel Carleton, Embassy of Japan in Ireland
I loved languages in school, and continue to love them now, which I think has definitely been the biggest influence on my career. I went to an all Irish primary school, then began German in secondary school and took up Japanese in TY.

... View Full Interview

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