Hiroshima University Syllabus

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Academic Year 2024Year School/Graduate School School of Education
Lecture Code CC331203 Subject Classification Specialized Education
Subject Name 比較日本文化学
Subject Name
Subject Name in
Comparative Study of Japanese Culture (Lec.)
ニシムラ ヒロシ
Campus Higashi-Hiroshima Semester/Term 2nd-Year,  First Semester,  1Term
Days, Periods, and Classrooms (1T) Weds1-4:EDU L107
Lesson Style Lecture Lesson Style
(More Details)
Handouts, discussions and lectures 
Credits 2.0 Class Hours/Week   Language of Instruction J : Japanese
Course Level 3 : Undergraduate High-Intermediate
Course Area(Area) 23 : Arts and Humanities
Course Area(Discipline) 14 : Cultural Studies
Eligible Students Students in the “Course in Teaching Japanese as a Second Language,” a required elective, Students from other faculties.
Keywords Cultural research, cultural theory, research on Japan, cultural sociology, historical sociology 
Special Subject for Teacher Education   Special Subject  
Class Status
within Educational
(Applicable only to targeted subjects for undergraduate students)
The Program in Teaching Japanese as a Second Language consists of three fields: linguistics, education, and culture. This course belongs to the domain of culture.  
Criterion referenced
(Applicable only to targeted subjects for undergraduate students)
Teaching Japanese as a Second Language
(Knowledge and Understanding)
・Acquiring basic knowledge of education of the Japanese language and culture. 
Class Objectives
/Class Outline
Mainly based on cultural sociology and historical sociology, this course will present easy-to-understand explanations on a wide variety of cultures. Focusing on diversity in Japan, students in this course will consider diverse aspects of this country from the perspectives of history and sociology, and obtain the basic ideas needed when considering culture. 
Class Schedule lesson1:Discuss the concept of “culture,” which is the cornerstone of this class.
lesson2:You sometimes feel “ difference of culture.” Consider this “ difference”, using magazines.
lesson3:Consider what difference and sameness are, before concluding the relevant culture is different.
lesson4:Learn about essentialism and constructionism, which are integral to considering culture.
lesson5:Consider the merits and demerits of the relativism of culture.
lesson6:It might be too simple to consider something as a phenomenon of cultural diffusion. Consider this problem, using Shoichi Inoue’s discussion on Horyuji Temple’s pillar.
lesson7:After listening to the explanation on the concept of the “invention of tradition,” consider specific examples of the nvention of tradition around you.
lesson8:The invention of tradition has not only negative aspects but also useful ones. Consider the invention of tradition from both angles.
lesson9:Using manga as a reference material, consider what it means to describe culture.
lesson10:Using Soba Noodles and Kishimen Noodles by Yoshinori Shimizu, consider strange points of cultural studies.
lesson11:What does “Osaka” represent? Using a study by Isamu Kuroda, consider this question.
lesson12:It is certain that misleading representation is sometimes troublesome, but if there is no representation, what will happen?
lesson13:The empiricism is not bad, but consider that an extreme dependence on empiricism sometimes renders communication
lesson14:Review Japan from the perspectives of “east and west” and “north and south,” rather than a single entity.
lesson15:Learn from movies that are useful for cultural research.
An examination will be held. Focus will be placed not only on knowledge but also on ways of thinking. 
Discussion & lecture-oriented, and frequent use of a blackboard: documents will be handed out, if necessary. 
PC or AV used in
(More Details) Texts, handouts 
Learning techniques to be incorporated  
Suggestions on
Preparation and
Assignment instructions will be given each time.
1-5: Read designated magazines.
5-8: Read designated descriptions from a cultural anthropology dictionary and take notes on your impressions.
9-10: Read reference material copies.
11-14: Read designated manga or watch designated movies. 
Requirements Bring a B5 loose-leaf notebook; students in this class will be often asked to write your opinions in such a notebook. 
Grading Method Students attending this class are required to take a three-hour writing test in Japanese.  
Practical Experience  
Summary of Practical Experience and Class Contents based on it  
Please fill in the class improvement questionnaire which is carried out on all classes.
Instructors will reflect on your feedback and utilize the information for improving their teaching. 
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