Fashion in Japan: Art and History of the Kimono and Western Dress CultureFrom the origins of kimono to the anti-fashion design of Rei Kawakubo, this course will be exploring the parallel routes of traditional clothing (wafuku) and western fashion (yôfuku) in Japan. From showing social ranking to expressing oneself, analyz-ing clothing in Japan will be seen as an encompassing dynamic, coming from the need of covering one's body to an artistic and performative statement about Japanese culture, aesthetics, silhou-ettes and body consciousness. Employing different materials (books, artworks, movies, magazines, etc.) this course will examine and analyze how kimono and western fashion are embedded in Japanese society, history, popular culture and visual arts.Wa: Rules and Principles in Japanese Arts, Design and AestheticsWa is a pivotal concept in Japan that encompasses many situations. It is a way to maintain social interactions harmoni-ously, as well as a dynamic framework for creating art. Wa is used in this course as a keyword that offers two levels of understanding about Japanese art: one being “Japaneseness” and the other being the cultivation of quiet, peaceful, and harmonious qualities. Through the study of Zen, nihon-ga, ceramics, ikebana, calligra-phy, literature, photography and design, this course explores the connections between Wa and other key concepts connected to art practice and Japanese aesthetics. Japanese Design since 1945 This course aims at understanding Japanese aesthetics, culture, and society through design. Students will examine a broad range of design examples in terms of reflective of the social, political, and economical culture of the time. The course will begin by exploring Japanese aesthetics and prewar design and continue by discussing contemporary design with regard to the emergence of design, made in Japan, pop culture, and disaster and design. Through lectures, discussions, presentations, and museum visits, students will understand how traditional Japanese aesthetics reflected on contemporary design and how individual Japanese designers uniquely delivered traditional aesthetics to international style.Japanese Influence on Western Art and DesignTrade between Japan and the West began in the late 16th century and led to Japonism at the fin-de-siecle. Japanese art profoundly influenced Western art and design in the development of such modern art and design as Impressionism, Aestheticism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and so on. Therefore, this course examines Japanese art and explores how Japanese art and aesthetics influenced western art and design.Geisha, Gangsters and Samurai: Japan in Western FilmSince the earliest days of cinema, Westerner filmmakers have used Japan as a mirror in which to reflect upon their own societ-ies. At times they have portrayed Japan as a utopian world that exposed the problems of the West. At other times they have emphasized problems in Japanese culture in order to exalt Western values. Through it all has been a highly gendered narrative—Japan as the paradoxical land of the ultra feminine geisha and extremely masculine samurai and gangsters. This course looks at how and why these contradictory images coexist so easily within the Western cinematic imagination. Japanese Popular Media and CultureThrough the use of popular media (primarily manga, anime and television dramas), this course will examine various aspects of Japanese history, culture, and civil society. This includes investi-gating the religious, social, and political conditions that gave rise to these media, as well as their uses as tools of governmental control, means of political resistance, and vehicles for reflecting on social issues and problems. The business of Japanese manga, anime, and television, their connections to other forms of art and entertain-ment, their impact on the popular media of other countries, and their influence on foreign images of Japan will also be examined. Monsters, Ghosts and the Making of Modern JapanThe Japanese popular imagination has always been haunted by myriad monsters and ghosts, which have both frightened and entertained. But these are by no means the only two roles these creatures have played in Japanese history. This class looks at the religious, social and political uses of the supernatural in literature, art, film, manga, anime, and other popular media. The goal is to understand the many ways in which monsters and ghosts have symbolized and personified the problems, hopes and fears of the Japanese, and have facilitated their search for meaning and identity from pre-modern times to the present day. Education and Society in AsiaHow can sociology help us understand education in Asia? This course attempts to show the scope and usefulness of sociological theorizing to comprehend the educational processes in Asia. In the course students will emphasize the diversity of theoretical approaches, issues in the field and the application of this knowl-edge to the understanding that an individual position in society largely depends on schooling. Education is changing rapidly and it is not an easy task to present the excitement of a dynamic field ASIA/JAPAN STUDIES COURSES23

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