Please Note:

Elective courses are subject to change.

Spring of 2014

  • Asian and Western Worldviews
    What strikes you as different between your host family in Japan and your childhood home/s? Are those differences personal, cultural or both? This course gives you a vocabulary to begin to describe the reasons for such differences and develops your repertoire of communication skills, beyond language, to help you deal with them. Please bring curiosity and an open mind as well as your texts ;-) Be willing to learn using instructional methods from both Western and Eastern philosophies of education and development.
    You’ll take turns to facilitate student-led discussions, choosing to present topics from the core texts that most interest you (see syllabus). Topics are explored from different perspectives: As well as reading and discussion you’ll have the chance to take mini surveys to understand more about your own culture and things you never knew you took for granted! We also do role-plays to help you experiment with different communication styles (observer roles are available for students who are not used to role-plays). Come prepared to break stereotypes, share what you already know, expand your horizons and engage in critical and creative, analytic and reflective learning.
    Instructor  Annette Karseras
    4 TIU Credits

  • Community Development: Current Topics in Japan
    We have a long tradition of valuing place-based communities and face-to-face relationships in Japan. It is considered that neighborhoods function to maintain resilient and healthy lives of citizens in the super aging society. People in Japan recognized the importance of mutual help in communities especially after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. This course will examine the current topics on community vitalizing practices with citizen participation in many places to overcome a variety of issues. It also explores interesting life styles and traditions in both urban and rural communities throughout Japan. The course uses seminar format. Students are expected to participate in class discussions on articles, a variety of visual materials, such as videos and photos, and student presentation. No prerequisite.
    Instructor  Chiharu Yunoue
    4 TIU Credits

  • Contemporary Social Issues in Japan
    This is a JSP / E-Track / TIU joint class particularly designed to promote intercultural awareness by taking advantage of the unique situation on this campus. It should give you an intriguing opportunity to observe certain delicate social incidents taking place in contemporary Japanese society. In the course we will also explore and question what 'Japaneseness' is all about from sociological viewpoints. By using Japan as a mirror to study the self, TIU students will be able to reconfirm their national and ethnic identity, while JSP / E-Track students should perceive how their 'foreignness' is portrayed in this homogeneous society, leading you to reflect more of the positive values taken for granted in your own country.
    Instructor Akio Iwasaki
    2 TIU Credits

  • Understanding Japanese Culture over National Holidays
    Japan is said to have the most national holidays in a year, compared to other countries in the world. Some people say this is because Japanese are working bees and are not good at taking vacation. Actually we have more national holidays than before. Although we have more of new national holidays, each one including the new ones has its unique background related to the history and Japanese customs. In this course we will explore how each holiday has started and how we celebrate it. Each one is deeply connected to our past events, and has sometimes been transformed in its style along with our society change. Visual materials will be introduced in the class for better image to understand the events. Learning these will provide good introduction to understand Japanese history, culture, and society. Foreign students may provide a new point of view toward Japanese culture, which we Japanese take for granted.
    Instructor Tomoko Yamaguchi
    2 TIU Credits

  • Minority People and Disadvantaged Groups in Japan
    Generally speaking Japan is believed to be a homogeneous country but with a closer look one can find a great deal of diversity. How is this diversity received by the population at large? What do racism, sexism, and classism look like in Japan?
    This is a survey course that will exam the struggles that minority people and disadvantaged groups in Japan have faced from the past to the present. Some of the groups to be covered are: the indigenous Ainu, the Okinawans, the Buraku people, Korean permanent residents, foreigners, gays, women, Nikkeijin and people with disabilities.
    The course will begin with an examination of ones’ own personal identity. Various identity development models will be utilized in our analysis. We will also examine the nature of minority/majority identity and how it impacts ones’ life.
    Instructor  Tracy Koide
    4 TIU Credits

Fall of 2014

  • Japanese Politics
    In this course, we will do three things. First, we will survey the institutions and groups that shape Japanese politics and policy making. Emphasis will be placed on the structure and process of the policy making arena, the constraints that decision makers face, and the authority that they possess. Throughout, reference will be made to similarities and differences -- and the implications thereof - - between the “rules of the game” in Japan and in other industrial democracies. Second, we will discuss the current tumult in Japanese politics especially in 2009 and 2012, and explore its causes and likely consequences in light of what we have learned about government and politics in Japan. Third, we will look at policy challenges that have been at the center of political science and economics debates concerning Japan.
    Instructor  Masahiko Asano
    4 TIU Credits

  • Introduction to Community in Japan
    What does community/neighborhood mean in Japan? This course will introduce a wide variety of topics on community building efforts and community-based problem solving in Japan. A large number of neighborhoods in Japan have experienced various issues, such as urbanization, aging, depopulation, natural disasters, and so on. In this course, we will explore various strategies employed for overcoming these challenges, and consider what makes neighborhoods vibrant, inclusive, and healthy. The topics also include activities of organizations and community-based elder care in Japan. The course uses a seminar format. Students are expected to participate in class discussions on articles and a variety of visual materials, such as videos and photos, seen in class. No prerequisite.
    Instructor  Chiharu Yunoue,Ph.D.
    4 TIU Credits

  • Japanese Literature
    The main purpose of this course is to gain a general familiarity with the major genres and works of classical Japanese literature, particularly the works of the classical (Heian) and medieval (Kamakura) periods. Classes will consist of a combination of lectures and discussions based on assigned readings. We will focus on life and culture in the Heian and Kamakura periods, and the literature they produced. We will cover a variety of works and genres in order to give students a broad overview of some of the most important works of Japanese literature.
    Instructor  Scott Spears
    4 TIU Credits

  • Youth Culture in Contemporary Japan
    This class will explore various aspects of youth culture found in contemporary Japan. An overview of Japanese cultural traits, values, and behavioral patterns will establish a base to explore and analyze social issues present in contemporary Japan. Some of the topics to be covered: the education system in Japan, delinquency, acute social withdrawal syndrome (hikikomori), unemployed youth (NEETs), corporal punishment, herbivorous men, suicide, and Japanese pop culture.
    Instructor  Tracy Koide
    4 TIU Credits

Spring of 2015/To Be Announced