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Contemporary Japan

Course #: JAPAN 270

This course examines major cultural and social issues in Japan from the mid-nineteenth century to the present that continue to shape contemporary Japanese society. Treating social phenomena and a variety of cultural forms - including movies, music, and literature- we will engage the idea of Japan that they reflect and try to uncover what lies behind the stereotypes and superficial images of Japanese culture. By supplementing primary materials with relevant secondary sources, we will also explore the nature, status, and implications of cultural exchange between Japan and the world. Knowledge of Japanese language is helpful, but not required, as all materials will be available in English.

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