Hi there Leigh. I'm an anime artist (self-taught 95% of the time) and even though I'm not in the professional field regarding anime or Japanese art, but as an instructor myself, it's good to take drawing classes to get the feel of how the body is drawn anatomically correct as a foundation for drawing people and animals. I have even implemented different methods from other classes I took in high school and used it to help me along the way. Some of my students have used either their favorite anime or bought how-to-draw books for references, which does help and I let them use once in a while for ideas and the like. Others may recommend YouTube, but I feel it's better to get a hands-on experience rather than try to guess how it's done and still not get the results you were hoping for.
As for what major to pick for anime or Japanese art, try to look into different colleges that provide a variety of art majors that includes anime in their criteria, if not focus on it entirely. It's also a good idea to see if there are any anime clubs that may offer to have someone teach how to draw at some point in time. I do hope this information has helped answer your question. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to contact me or have any more questions for me. =)