An in-depth analysis of some of the major issues of Japanese culture and society today, such as nationalism, regionalism, modernisation, and religion.
Find out why Japanese culture today is such a fascinating mixture of East and West, tradition and modernity and learn about some of the major issues impacting on Japanese culture in the early 21st century. All lectures and readings are offered in English; texts in Japanese are optional.
Note: This paper is also offered as JAPA 343; the content of the paper is the same for both JAPA 243 and JAPA 343, but assessment is differentiated between the two levels: students taking this paper at the more advanced level are asked to produce a longer research essay (3,000 rather than 2,000 words).
About this paper
|Issues in Japanese Culture Today
|Semester 2 (On campus)
|Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD )
|International Tuition Fees
|Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
- 36 points
- JAPA 343
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music
- This paper is offered in English; texts in Japanese are optional.
- Suitable for students specialising in any discipline. This paper is taught in English. No knowledge of the Japanese language is required.
- Teaching staff
- Associate Professor Roy Starrs
- Paper Structure
JAPA 243/343 focuses on the evolution of Japanese culture from the mid-19th century to the present day - that is, the period of its transformation from an "early modern" to a "late modern" or "postmodern" culture and, in socio-political terms, from an isolated feudal society to a liberal-democratic, global economic superpower.
The paper also aims to introduce some of the major issues impacting on contemporary Japanese culture, such as the rise of nationalism and of national conflicts with neighbouring countries; the pressures of internationalisation and globalisation; and, especially, issues of modernity, modernism and postmodernism.
Students will be encouraged to critically assess issues of major significance in contemporary Japanese society and culture in order to develop a better understanding of their complexity and to be more aware of the way in which historical factors may influence present and future developments.
- Teaching Arrangements
This paper is taught via lectures and seminar-style discussions.
The main course text is:
Roy Starrs, Modernism and Japanese Culture (London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
which is basically a cultural history of modern Japan. It is available in a relatively cheap paperback edition - or also on close reserve in the library.
Any other required readings will all be placed on the course Blackboard site.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
By reading the texts and participating in lectures and seminar-style discussions and completing the required assignments, students will gain:
- An in-depth understanding of the evolution of modern Japanese culture from the mid-19th century to the present day
- An in-depth understanding of some of the major issues impacting on contemporary Japanese culture, such as the rise of nationalism and of national conflicts with neighbouring countries; the pressures of internationalisation and globalisation; and, especially, issues of modernity, modernism and postmodernism