Please Note:

Elective courses are subject to change.

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

  • Japanese Society
    This course will offer an introduction to some of the key social institutions (families, schools, workplaces, etc.) in contemporary Japan, in light of recent and ongoing demographic and structural changes in Japanese society and political economy. Furthermore, we will also analyze mass media reports vis-à-vis rigorous scholarship to consider how empirical reality can be “spun” by the mass media to further a particular argument or contribute to the production and dissemination of particular discourses or stereotypes.
    Instructor  BLACKWOOD Thomas
    4 TIU Credits

  • Contemporary Social Issues in Japan- Joint Class with TIU / E-Track Students
    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 particularly on the issues relating to family and education. 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 IWASAKI Akio
    2TIU 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 YUNOUE Chiharu
    4 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 Dowa Mondai, Korean permanent residents, foreigners, gay and lesbians, 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 KOIDE Tracy
    4 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 YAMAGUCHI Tomoko
    2 TIU Credits

Fall of 2015

  • Introduction to Community in Japan
    What does community/neighborhood mean in Japan? This course will introduce a wide variety of topics on community building and rebuilding 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 and group discussions on articles and a variety of visual materials, such as videos and photos, seen in class. No prerequisite.
    Instructor YUNOUE Chiharu
    4 TIU Credits

  • Japanese Cultural History
    Traditional culture seems to have very little to do with Japan today and the appealing world of “Cool Culture.” But in fact, under the surface, traditional forms of culture still connect with ageless concerns: the relationship with nature, how history is remembered and used, communication in the past and communication with the past. This course will look at some of the major forms of traditional Japanese culture including classical poetry, the culture of the Muromachi period, which is the origin of much that we think of as typically “Japanese,” including tea ceremony, the classical Noh theater and the comic Kyogen theater, and the culture of the Edo period including the visual culture of the ukiyo “floating world” and the kabuki and Bunraku puppet theaters. Finally, we will look at how the Meiji period separated us from this traditional culture.
    Instructor OSHIMA Mark
    4 TIU Credits

  • Policy Dimension of International Development
    This course is designed for those who seek to understand the outline and major issues of international development studies particularly in a policy dimension. In the concrete, this course explains (1) historical evolution of development policies, and (2) various development policies in economic, social, government-building, governance-building, peace-building and aid. This course introduces major issues on development policies, rather than in-depth case studies of developing countries and narrowly focused Japan studies. Through the combination of various teaching formats of systematically organised lectures, discussions and workshops, students are expected to grasp broad outline and issues of development studies particularly at the policy level.
    Instructor KONDO Hisahiro
    2 TIU Credits

  • The Soft Power of Cool Japan
    In 2010 the Japanese government formally implemented a strategy called Cool Japan, which aims at increasing Japan’s influence in the world through a process known as soft power. This course will investigate how this strategy developed and was eventually adopted by the government. We will look into the various forms of Cool Japan including anime, manga, gaming, and fashion, as well as some of the less well-known areas from a historical perspective. In addition, we will look at the contemporary status of popular culture both in Japan and globally, critically examine the success of the Cool Japan program, and discuss what the future may hold. Overall, this course will raise students’ critical awareness of a variety of cultural and social issues related to modern Japan in the 21st century.
    Instructor CLOSE Natalie
    4 TIU Credtits