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Experiences in Japanese Culture and Society

Outline

The International Student Center started the Experiences in Japanese Culture and Society program in the autumn 2011 semester in order to give international students the opportunity to learn, through hands-on experience, about the culture and society of Japan. The first half of the program, in the spring semester, covers nine courses, while the second half, in the autumn semester, covers six, for a total of fifteen courses. Experiences in Japanese Culture and Society is open to both international and Japanese students, so both lots of students can come into contact with the traditional culture and society of Japan, and deepen their understanding in terms of both knowledge and experiences.

Eligible

1) International students belonging to the International Student Center

2) International students belonging to other departments or faculties

3) Japanese students

  • All courses can be taken as “Japanese Cultural Experience A” or “Japanese Cultural Experience B” in the School of International Studies.
  • Some courses can be taken as “Kanazawa Studies in Ishikawa” in the School of Teacher Education.
  • Some courses can be taken as courses for individual joint educational themes.

Note

  • Note that there restrictions on course combinations if you intend to take multiple courses.
  • There is a quota for each course, so if more people than the quota apply, the lecturer in charge will select those who can attend based on the priority rankings.
  • Students who wish to enroll must take part in the Course Enrollment Guidance held once each semester. This is where those who can enroll will be determined. Please check the date and time for the Guidance on the list of courses offered.

Course list

Pamphlet

Experiences in Japanese Culture and Society pamphlet (PDF)

Course introduction

Budo・Jodo I (Fall/Spring), Budo・Jodo II (Spring)

teacher: BITTMANN, Heiko


In the “Jōdō I” course, we will learn about the history and the principles of traditional Japanese martial arts (budō) and we will practice the basics (kihon), the forms (kata), and the respectful salutations (rei), etc. of one traditional budō, the “Way of the Stick” (jōdō).

In the “Jōdō II” course, we intend to improve the technical-physical skills of jōdō we learned in the “Jōdō I” course as well as deepen our theoretical understanding of budō. While learning additional techniques, we will also study important principles of budō like ‘heart attitude’ (kokorogamae), ‘inner energy’ (ki), and ‘distance’ (ma) etc.

Budo・Karatedo I (Fall/Spring), Budo・Karatedo II (Spring)

Teacher: BITTMANN, Heiko


In the “Karatedō I” course, we experience Japanese culture first hand. In each lesson we will practice the basics (kihon), and later on one of the forms (kata) of karatedō. We will also learn about the history, basic principles and teachings of karatedō.

In the “Karatedō II” course, we will try to improve the technical-physical skills of karatedō we have learned in the “Karatedō I” course. We will also deepen our theoretical understanding of budō.

Japanese Culture through the Way of Tea (Fall)

Teacher: FUKAGAWA Miho


This course will provide you with the opportunity to learn about Japanese traditional culture through the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is a syncretic art of traditional Japanese culture. Students will study and experience traditional aspects of Japanese culture through the tea ceremony and deepen their understanding of the Japanese way of thinking and the Japanese aesthetics.

Japanese Art Performance and Music (Spring)

Teacher: FUKAGAWA Miho


This course will provide you with the opportunity to learn about Japanese traditional culture through Noh, which is one of the traditional Japanese performing arts. Students will learn about Noh and traditional Japanese music, and actually perform it. In this way, they will deepen their understanding of Japanese culture.

Education in Japan (Fall)

Teacher: SAIKI Mariko


This course provides students with opportunities to learn about the educational system of contemporary Japan, its background factors, and its future objectives. Students will deepen their understanding of the educational goals of contemporary Japan through individual research as well as through visits to a kindergarten and schools in the city.

Family in Japan (Spring)

Teacher: SAIKI Mariko


In this course, we will deepen our understanding of the household functions that support contemporary Japanese clothing, food, housing, and education. Therefore students will, in addition to participating in lectures, individual research presentations, and discussions, visit after school care program clubs in Kanazawa, take classes in preparing home cooking, and also experience a homestay or home visit.

Ohi Pottery: Clay and Fire (Fall)

Teacher: BITTMANN, Heiko


The “Way of Tea” contains all that is related to the life of the Japanese. Food, clothing, houses and manners, including the aesthetic sense of Japanese, are shown as pure forms. In this course, students will make tea bowls by hands based on the traditional method of Ohi Pottery. At the same time, students will appreciate the form and color of tea bowls in art museums. All students will also participate in a tea ceremony. Through these activities, students will deepen their understanding of Japanese culture.

Traditional Arts & Crafts and their Techniques (Spring)

Teacher: BITTMANN, Heiko


Japanese people have used the natural items around them to create whatever they need in their lives. These have been perfected as craft items, through techniques that are passed on by craftsmen to this day. This course looks at two typical examples, Yamanaka lacquerware and Japanese paper, to allow students to actually experience their techniques as they observe and actually create them.

Japanese Society and Traditional Culture I (Fall), II (Spring)
~Observing Tradition and Society in Kanazawa~

Teacher: YAMAMOTO Hiroshi


Through these courses, students are encouraged to deepen their understanding of Japanese society and culture. “Hands-on” experiences in Japanese traditional arts and crafts will provide students with an opportunity to time-slip to Japan from hundreds of years ago, which in turn will enable them to learn about the traditional rules and customs which have been maintained for many centuries.

Furthermore, through lectures given by specialists on topics such as Japanese lifestyle, mass media, business, economy, education, and so on, students will acquire an overall view of Japanese society. Students will also visit various places such as companies, factories, and museums.

*Contents differ in each semester.

Contemporary Art and Design (Spring)

Teacher: MATSUDA Makiko


Kanazawa is a city where people can witness the harmony of modern and traditional art forms. In this course, students will learn about the contemporary art and design rooted in old traditions in Japan.

Experience Japan

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