Topics on Japan I

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Sato Yuriko 
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Fall Semester  /  Recommended semester:6

Outline of lecture

Topics on Japan (TOJ)I mainly deals with basic knowledge of Japan such as history and education, while TOJ II, starting from April, aims at deepening students' understanding of Japan further. In the last part of TOJ I course, students are expected to make a group presentation on "Discovery of Japan," exploring the characteristics of Japanese society.
Students are encouraged to exchange with classmates of different nationalities from theirs and understand other values and cultures than their own.

Purpose 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 Japanese society in comparison with other countries through lectures, discussions, presentations and visits to a relevant place.

Plan of lecture

1. Contents (tentative schedule, all classes will be conducted in English)
Dec.2: Outline of the course. Tips to understand Japanese culture.
2. Dec. 9: Basic knowledge and current issues of Japan and Japanese education
3. Dec. 16: Visit to Chisetsu Elementary School (From 10:30 am to 14:00 pm)
4. Jan. 6: Special Lecture on Development of Science and Technology in Japan and History of Tokyo Tech by Prof. Kaji
5. Jan. 13: Students' Presentation on 窶廛iscovery of Japan (1)(2)窶(open seminar style, inviting guest audience)
6. Jan.20 : Students' Presentation on 窶廛iscovery of Japan (3)(4)窶
7. Jan. 27: Students' Presentation on 窶廛iscovery of Japan (5)(6)窶 and wrap up discussion

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 ability. 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 attendance (30%), presentation (25%), school visit or substitute short report (8%), final report 37%

1. Class attendance: attendance is expected at all class meetings. Those who come to the class 30 minutes after its start or leave it 30 minutes before its end will receive only half of the attendance points.

2. Presentation: In the last part of the course, students are requested to make a group presentation on "Discovery of Japan", assuming they are the special correspondents dispatched from some international media to cover an interesting topic on Japan. They have to choose a topic, explore the background of the phenomena and make a presentation by themselves. Presentation will be given in front of other students and guest audience, followed by Q& A and discussion (each presentation should be within 25 minutes, Q & A and discussion will be about 5 minutes).

3. Report:
1) Topic: "Suggestions to the Japanese people based on the analysis of its charms and disagreeable points"
2) Length: from 400 to 700 words in English.
3) Deadline: January 31(Late submission will decrease your report points. Please keep the deadline.)
4) Style: Please write your name, country and student number at the upper right corner of 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 with the title 窶弋OJ Report _ your student number and name窶 at the following e-mail address:
ysep.sjci2 (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 directly since the report might be missing.
7) If you cannot participate in the visit to the Chisetsu Elementary School on Dec. 16, you will be requested to write a short report on 'Education of Japan in comparison with other countries' in more than 150 words in English and send it to the above e-mail address by Jan.14th. (Late submission will decrease your report points.)

Comments from lecturer

Please challenge and enjoy this course

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