2018 Japan Studies II

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Saito Hirofumi  Okazaki Naoaki  Saijo Miki  Minamide Yasuhiko  Watanabe Osamu  Bektas Yakup 
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Course description and aims

This course is specially provided for the Tokyo Tech Summer Program 2018 participants. The course focuses on Japan (Nippon, 日本) mainly from the following aspects: Japanese traditional culture, site visit to the advanced technology facilities, computer sciences, the history of Japanese science and technology.
This course will become a gateway for the summer program participants to gain a basic understanding of some aspects of Japan. It aims to enhance students' motivation to learn more about Japan on their own.

Student learning outcomes

In the tea ceremony experience, students are able to gain insights into Japanese culture and values.
In the Japanese history of science and technology classes, students are able to understand the background of Japan's rapid development in science and technology after the 19th century.


Japan, International exchange student, Japanese culture, History of Japanese Science and Technology, Computer science

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

May vary by instructor.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Artificial Intelligence for Communicating in Japanese Understand the human capability of communicating with natural language through the state-of-the-art technologies of artificial intelligence.
Class 2 Computer Science Research in Tokyo Institute of Technology Learn basic theory of computer science.
Class 3 Japanese traditional culture. Tea ceremony Part 1 Understand the philosophy/the history of Japanese tea ceremony.
Class 4 Tea ceremony Part 2 Same as above.
Class 5 History of Japanese science and technology ① Edo Period Understand the banning of fire-arms in the early Edo period as a unique example in the history of technology.
Class 6 History of Japanese science and technology ② Meiji Modernization and Industrialization Understand Morris-Suzuki's 'The Technological Transformation of Japan, 1-142 (esp.71-104).
Class 7 Sciences and politics after the WWII in Japan. Learn a case of politicalization of sciences after the WWII and critically discuss the relation between science and politics.
Class 8 History of Japanese science and technology ④ History of Water Management: From Edo to Tokyo Explain duality of water problems in Tokyo.
Class 9 Site visit to the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel Part 1 Submit a report paper.
Class 10 Site visit to the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel Part 2 Same as above.
Class 11 Presentation for assessment. Part 1 Students will present individual oral reports on what they learned themselves in the course.
Class 12 Presentation for assessment. Part 2 Same as above.


Handouts will be given in each class.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

For history of Japanese science and techonology: Noel Perrin, Giving up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879, (1988), Tessa Morris-Suzuki, The Technological Transformation of Japan (CUP, 1994); Fukuzawa Yukichi, An Outline of a Theory of Civilization (1875) (Sophia, 1973); James R. Bartholomew, The Formation of Science in Japan (Yale, 1993); Masayuki Tanimoto, ed., The Role of Tradition in Japan's Industrialization (OUP, 2006).

Assessment criteria and methods

Students will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis based on attendance, report papers, and a final presentation.

Related courses

  • LAW.X420 : Japan Studies I

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

Only participants of Tokyo Tech Summer Program can take this course.

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