This course examines foreign (primarily Anglo-American) views of Japan, both contemporary and historical. Materials used and discussed range from Hollywood films to academic works by Ivy League professors. Knowing the common and often highly distorted images of Japan and the Japanese, both positive and negative, presented in foreign mass media and popular culture is important to both Japanese and foreign students. These images have been and continue to be significant in Japan’s diplomatic and economic relations with other countries. Moreover, the mechanisms that distort the foreign view of Japan also work to distort the Japanese view of foreign countries. Teaching students how to recognize distorted images of foreign countries and peoples is a major goal of this course.
Lectures supplemented by visual materials including extracts from Hollywood films and contemporary television news coverage. Students who are unsure of their English comprehension should feel free to record the lectures or ask questions in Japanese.
Grading and Required Work:
Students will be expected to write one short paper on some aspect the foreign image of Japan or the Japanese image of something foreign.
There will be a final examination for the course based on the lectures. In principle the paper (report) and final examination are each weighted
fifty percent but in the case of students who miss lectures because of job hunting or those with special language problems, a different weighting
may be agreed upon in consultation with the instructor. The examination will be based on the lectures, video materials, and handouts. Students will be free to consult their notes or copies of the handouts during the examination. Electronic and paper dictionaries are also permitted.