Topics on Japan II

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Sato Yuriko 
Lecture1  Exercise1  Experiment0
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Spring Semester  /  Recommended semester:5

Outline of lecture

Through this course, regular students (Japanese and Int'l) and exchange students from overseas partner universities are expected to deepen their understanding of Japan and the Japanese society in comparison with other countries through lectures, discussions cultural experiences and presentations. In the last part of the course, students are expected to explore the characteristics of Japan and the Japanese society by making presentations on 'Discovery of Japan'.
All classes will be conducted in English. Please challenge and enjoy this course!

Purpose of lecture

Objective While Topics on Japan (TOJ) I, starting from October, deals with basic knowledge of Japan and the Japanese society, TOJ II aims at deepening students' understanding further, by dealing with topics such as economy, politics, esthetics and gender.
Expected learning outcomes are 1. To let students deepen their understanding of Japan and the Japanese society 2. To let them understand the other people's way of seeing things (different values and cultures) 3. To let them notice their own way of seeing things 4. To let them extend their human network by making friends through this course

Plan of lecture

Contents (tentative schedule, all classes will be conducted in English)
1. April 11: Introduction to the course. Self-introduction, ice breaking discussion.
2. April 18:Economic Development of Japan (1)
3. April 25: No class (lecturer's official trip)
4. May 2: Economic Development of Japan (2)
5. May 9: Politics and economy in Japan
6. May 16: No class (Friday's class will be held on this day)
7. May 18: Tea ceremony and Making Tea Yourself (optional): 1. 13:00-14:20, 2. 15:00-16:20 Japanese style room in the International House on O-okayama campus
8. May 23: Gender situation in Japan
9. May 30: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 1,2
10. June 6: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 3,4
11. June 13: Japanese esthetics (guest lecturer)
12. June 20: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 5,6
14:00 -16:00 Noh/Kyogen for Beginners at National Noh Theater (optional)
13. June 27: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 7,8
14. July 4: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 9,10
14:30-16:30 Kabuki for Beginners at National Theater (optional)
15. July 11: 13:20-14:50 Special Lecture by the Deputy Director of Public Relations Bureau of KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation), joint class with FST
16. July 18: Wrap up discussion on Charms and disagreeable points of Japan, exploring the reason why it is so and why you feel so.

Textbook and reference

Teaching Materials and presentation requirement: There is no specific text in this course. Some references will be introduced during the course according to the topics.

Related and/or prerequisite courses

Condition for taking this course: If the number of regular students exceeds the number of exchange students, selection of participants will be conducted based on their motivation and English abilities. Participating students are expected to make presentations and write reports in English.


Evaluation: Regular class attendance and positive participation in the discussion are¡¡highly expected. Class participation 39%, cultural activity 8%, presentation 15%, reports 38%
1. Class attendance: attendance is expected at all class meetings. Those who come to the class 30 minutes after the start of the class or leave it 30 minutes before the end of the class will obtain only half of the attendance points.
2. Cultural activity: Students are requested to participate in at least one of the cultural activities: tea ceremony, Noh/Kyogen for Beginners, Kabuki for beginners, or visit to the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum.
3. Presentation: In the last part of the course, a group of exchange and regular students will make a presentation on 'Discovery of Japan', assuming they are special correspondents dispatched from some international media to feature an interesting topic on Japan. They have to choose a topic, explore the background of the phenomena and compile a presentation by themselves. Presentation will be done in front of the other students and guest audience, followed by Q & A session.
4. Report:
1) Topic: 'Charms and disagreeable points of Japan in comparison with other countries'
2) Length: from 600 to 1000 words in English.
3) Deadline: August 5th midnight (Late submission will decrease your report points. Please keep the deadline.)
4) Style: Please note that you have to write your name, country and student number at the upper right corner on the first page of your report.
5) Plagiarism is strictly prohibited. If such an act is found, you will obtain no points for your report.
6) Submission: Please hand the report to the teacher in the class or send it to her by e-mail as an attached file. When you send your report by e-mail, she will send you the confirmation of its receipt. If you don't receive the confirmation within a week, you are requested to contact her again since the report might be missing. Please bring your report to her office (#206 of West 1 Bldg.) or call her (03-5734-3524, fax is the same number) in that case.

Comments from lecturer

Please challenge and enjoy this course!


Contact of the lecturer: Room 206, West 1 Bldg., O-okayama (ex.3524)
(when you send e-mail, please substitute ツシ for #)
Office hours: Wed. 13:30-17:00 and by appointment

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