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 9: Introduction to the course. Self-introduction, ice breaking discussion.
2. April 16: Economic Development of Japan (1)
3. April 23: Economic Development of Japan (2)
4. April 30: Economic Development of Japan (3)
5. May 7: No class (Monday's class will be held on this day)
6. May 14: Japan窶冱 environmental problem and protection measures
7. May 21: Politics and economy in Japan
8. May 28: Gender situation in Japan
9. June 4: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 1,2
10. June 11: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 3,4
11. June 18: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 5,6
12. June 25: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 7,8
13. July 2: Presentation: Discovery of Japan 9, 10
14. July 9: Wrap up discussion on 窶彜uggestions to the Japanese people based on the analysis of its charms and disagreeable pointsin comparison with other countries窶, the topic of the final report..
In addition to the above mentioned class schedule, course participants are requested to participate in at least one of the following Japanese cultural experiences:
1. May 23 (Fri.): Tea ceremony and Making Tea Yourself: 竭13:00-14:20, 竭。15:00-16:20 at a Japanese-style room in the International House in Ishikawadai, O-okayama campus, Cost: 300 yen (including Japanese sweets)
2. June 4 (Wed.) Kabuki for the Beginners at National Theater near the Royal Palace (14:30-16:30) Cost: ticket: 1,300 yen (need to show student ID, no cancellation), ear-phone with English translation 700 yen (optional)
3. Visit to the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum in Kawasaki, Cost: Admission fee 300 yen for students (need to show student ID), Please visit it with the student(s) of different nationality from yoursby the end of June.. Address: 7-1-1 Masugata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Nearest station: Mukogaoka-yuen in Odakyu line. Open 9:30-17:00, closed on Monday.

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 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, 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 are requested to 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 given in front of the other students and guest audience, followed by Q & A session. (each group presentation should be within 25 minutes, Q & A and discussion will be about 15 minutes).
4. Report:
1) Topic: ' Suggestions to Japan based on the analysis of its charms and disagreeable points in comparison with other countries '
2) Length: from 600 to 1000 words in English.
3) Deadline: July 23 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 send the report to the TA by e-mail with the title 窶弋OJ Final Report _ your student number and name 窶拌t the following e-mail address:
(please substitute @ for #)
TA will send you the confirmation of its receipt. If you don't receive the confirmation within three days, you are requested to contact the teacher since the report might be missing. Please bring your report to the teacher窶冱 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: Thur. 15:00-17:00 and by appointment

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