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Rethinking Japan: Introduction to Modern Japanese Society and Culture (Level 4)


There are no classes currently available for registration.


On our Rethinking Japan: Introduction to Modern Japanese Society and Culture short course, you will gain a critical understanding of crucial aspects of Japan's modern cultural and social history, and learn some of the main ways of exploring Japanese history and culture, especially its cultural products. You will be introduced to key texts - historical, literary, visual, cinematic and theoretical - which represent and chart two central developments:

  • Japan's emergence as a modern, 'Westernised', powerful and imperialistic nation-state (in the early twentieth century)
  • Japan's post-war transformation into a high-tech consumer society (1945-present).

We will consider notions of 'Japaneseness' and changing ideas about national and cultural identity, with which Japan has sought to position itself in relation to the West and Asia. We will also scrutinise Western images of Japan and the 'Far East'.

Some of the topics we cover include:

  • Japan as a nation and community
  • identity in modern Japan
  • Japan in Asia
  • Western images of Japan
  • multicultural Japan
  • gender in Japan.

Assessment is via a book review (25%), 2000-word essay (60%) and continuous assessment of post-sessional short essays and class participation (15%).

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as a part of:

30 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.