Modern Japanese Culture

J.F. Oberlin University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Modern Japanese Culture

  • Host University

    J.F. Oberlin University

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan

  • Area of Study

    Asian Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

    4 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    0 - 0
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    0 - 0
  • Overview

    Since the latter half of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, Japan has undergone some significant changes and is now heading for another new uncharted phase in the 21 century. The world has been marveled by the dramatic transformation which Japanese society and culture have shown and how Japanese people have coped with various challenges. The modern Japanese culture has also evolved through numerous interactions with other countries and thus has become the rich and appealing culture it is today while remaining still uniquely Japanese. This course will examine how the historical development (from the Meiji, Taisho and Showa era, and to the Heisei era) has influenced the daily living of ordinary Japanese people, investigating how their cognitive cultures (such as values/ norms/ ideologies …etc.) have emerged, and how their mass cultures and social trends are expressed in fashion, films, popular songs, foods, and other aspects of Japanese lifestyle through different generations. The course will also look at various impacts from overseas, as Japan is well known for her ability to insatiably borrow from foreign cultures and to create something uniquely Japanese in the end. The course will furthermore investigate Japan’s greatest challenge of the future: rapid population aging, which has never been witnessed in human history. One of the most important national issues being discussed today is how the greying of the population will transform this society and culture. Students’ strong interest in modern Japan’s sociocultural history and willingness to explore her/his own topic for an independent investigation is required.