|授業概要||What is culture? What is Japanese culture? Is there anything uniquely Japanese? How can we study, analyze, and understand Japanese culture and the people? This course aims first to enable students to learn the basic perspectives and methodologies of Culture Studies in social science, and then to apply them to the understanding of contemporary Japanese cultural scenes. How do foreigners as well as the Japanese themselves view Japanese people and culture? How valid are so called Nihonjinron literatures? What kinds of subcultures coexist in Japan, and how are the Japanese values and beliefs manifested in them? How are traditional cultures maintained and appreciated in contemporary Japan and how are they changing? The course aims to investigate these questions and more, and explore various dimensions of Japanese culture, as Japan, like any culture in the world, is not completely monolithic or homogeneous. Students’ willingness to participate in discussions and to conduct their own research is essential.|
|到達目標||To provide students with basic theories, knowledge, and skills of cultural studies so that they will be able to apply them to the contemporary Japanese cultural scenes.
To deepen their understanding of Japanese culture, personality, and social psychology.
Tentative Subjects Covered in 15 Weeks (Subject to minor modification depending on the progress of lectures)
I. Fundamental Approaches in Cultural Studies.
Week 1. (4/17) Introduction to the course.
What are “Culture” and the studies of cultures?
Week 2. (4/24) Basic concepts, theories, and methodologies used in cultural studies.
What are the major topics researched and discussed?
II. Nihonjinron Examined.
Week 3. (5/1) How was modern Nihonjinron started and has been developed?
Week 4. (5/8) Continued from Week 3.
What are the limitations and problems of Nihonjinron theses?
How should we understand other cultures?
Week 5. (5/15) Changing contemporary Japanese ideologies, cultures, and personalities.
Mental health and psycho-pathologies of the Japanese.
Students’ (informal) presentations of the book review.
III. Traditional Cultures in Contemporary Japan
Week 6 (5/22) Religious cultures in Japan
Review of major religious thoughts: How are they being observed and manifested in
contemporary Japanese life? What is Japanese sense of spirituality?
Week 7. (5/29) Traditional theater culture: Kabuki and another theater culture (Takarazuka)
What do they tell about Japanese sense of beauty, romance, and gender-relations?
Week 8 (6/5) Food cultures
Documentary film: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Consultation with students on the research project: tentative research topic due.
IV. Various Subcultural Groups
Week 9 (6/12) Ethnic Subcultures
Is Japan homogeneous? Growing diversity in contemporary Japan
Week 10. (6/19) Field Trip 1 (Yokohama Chinatown)
Week 11 (6/26) Occupational subcultural groups.
Salary-men and Japanese company /work culture.
Hostess profession (sex industry and underground culture, a video on gaijin hostesses)
Documentary film. .
Field Trip Impression Essay due.
Week 12. (7/3) Fans of anime & manga and otaku subcultural groups
What is kawaii /otaku culture?
Is this uniquely Japanese?
Week 13. (7/10) TENTATIVE ---Field Trip 2 (Nakano Broadway)
V. Students Research Presentations
Week 14. (7/17) Students’ presentations
Field Trip Impression Essay due.
Week 15 (7/24) Students’ presentations
Research Paper Due on the last day.
|授業時間外学習||To keep up with the weekly reading assignenments at one's own pace.
To search and find an appropriate book for the book review assignment.
To plan, prepare for, and conduct an individual/group research project based on the field work
|テキスト||All readings are placed on the Library reserve section.
Selected chapters from:
(1) An Introduction to Japanese Society by Yoshio Sugimoto, Cambridge University Press
4th edition 2014
(2) Modern Japanese Culture edited by Yoshio Sugimoto, Cambridge University Press 2009
(3) Other relevant materials from internet sources.
|評価基準||Attendance, class participation, and research presentation 20%
Book review 30%
Field trip impression paper(s) 10%
Research paper 40%