2016 Cultural Anthropology C

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Ueda Noriyuki 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon5-6(S514)  Thr5-6(S514,)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

In this course we explore human suffering and release from suffering from the perspective of cultural anthropology. Everyone hopes to be happy, at the same time, faces a large amount of suffering. What is suffering for us? Does suffering differ from culture to culture? Or, is there suffering which is common to human? What is suffering that is peculiar to Japanese society? We will learn these sufferings in the first half.
 In the latter half, we will focus on release from suffering. What is “healing” that the instructor has dealt with for a long time? Do religions derive release? What kind of the world where performances, such as festivals and rituals lead to? Why humans need art?
Knowing many types of sufferings and ways of release from suffering in various cultures will be valuable experience in your life. The course will include not only lectures but also workshops and discussions. Active participation is highly expected.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand human suffering and release from the perspective of cultural anthropology.
2) Acquire profound personality and express it.


Culture, society, history, nature, science technology

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The course will include lectures, film session, and workshops.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction 1 Think about the meaning of exploring human "suffering".
Class 2 Workshop: what is suffering Discuss what are modern society's and students' sufferings.
Class 3 Social structure and discrimination Understand sufferings which social structure encloses through some samples such as the caste system in India.
Class 4 Film session Experience conflicts which are caused by cultural conflict.
Class 5 Workshop: go beyond conflicts Discuss causes of conflict and improvement plans from the film session.
Class 6 Difficulties of surviving in the Japanese society Understand why people say Japanese society's level of happiness is low
Class 7 Film session Understand feelings of happiness in the world
Class 8 Workshop: what is happiness Discuss differences of feelings of happiness by culture.
Class 9 Can religions be release? Explore whether religions can be release.
Class 10 Possibilities of rituals and festivals Understand functions of rituals and festivals.
Class 11 Workshop: Kechak dance in Bali Experience real Kechak dance and realize the meaning of festivals and performing arts.
Class 12 Merits and demerits of religious salvation Understand the pros and cons of religious salvation.
Class 13 Film session: Dalai Lama Watch the dialogue between the instructor and Dalai Lama and think about human salvation's future.
Class 14 What is release from suffering Understand what is release from suffering.
Class 15 Workshop: building a future Go beyond issues which students face and look to the future.


None required. Course materials are provided during class.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Ueda Noriyuki. "Ikiru imi" Iwanami shinsho
Ueda Noriyuki. "Ningen rashisa: bunmei, shukyo, kagaku kara kangaeru" Kadokawa shinsho
Ueda Noriyuki. "Jinse no 'nigeba' Kaisha dakeno seikatsu ni ikizumatte iru hito he" Asahi shinsho
Ueda Noriyuki. "Kakegae no nai ningen" Koudansha gendai shinsho
Ueda Noriyuki. "Dalai Lama to no taiwa" Koudansha bunko
Ueda Noriyuki. "Sri Lanka no akuma barai" Koudansha bunko

Assessment criteria and methods

Midterm report, final report, and feedback sheets.

Related courses

  • LAH.H103 : Cultural Anthropology A
  • LAH.H203 : Cultural Anthropology B

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Active participation is expected such as participation in workshops and asking questions during class.

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