Course Syllabus: Japanese Cultural Studies 101

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Course Description


Japan is a strand of islands, or archipelago, that lies to the east of the coast of China. 120 miles of water separate Japan from the Asian mainland. Archeologists think people have inhabited the islands for about 30,000 years. During that extensive period of time, this country has alternated between sharing trade and ideas with the outside world and withdrawing into itself. As a result, Japanese culture is a fusion of trends from around the globe, each marked with a uniquely Japanese stamp.

This course will explore this history as well as discuss Japanese traditions, language, religions, food, etiquette and manners, careers and education, arts, holidays and leisure, architecture, government and the legal system.

Through this course you will see how Japanese people value consideration, thoughtfulness, politeness and order. It is one of the safest places on the earth to visit, and although it may be difficult to blend in, it is easy to appreciate well-mannered Japanese culture.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Topics

Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Traditions

Lesson 3: Language

Lesson 4: Religion

Lesson 5: Food

Lesson 6: Etiquette and Manners Part I

Lesson 7: Etiquette and Manners Part II: Behavior Inside a Japanese House

Lesson 8: Career and Education

Lesson 9: The Arts

Lesson 10: Special Events, Holidays, and Leisure

Lesson 11: Architecture

Lesson 12: Society


Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with a final assignment. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know and identify Japanese traditions, language, religion, and food.
  • Know etiquette and manners in Japan.
  • Describe career and education in Japan.
  • Recognize the arts in Japan.
  • Identify special events, holidays, and leisure in Japan, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
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Assessment Guide

Thoughts on Japan100
An Introduction5
Lesson 1 Exam10
Lesson 2 Exam10
Lesson 3 Exam10
Lesson 4 Exam9
Lesson 5 Exam10
Lesson 6 Exam9
House Etiquette100
Lesson 7 Exam10
Educational Thoughts100
Lesson 8 Exam10
Japanese Artist100
Lesson 9 Exam10
Special Event100
Lesson 10 Exam10
New Things100
Lesson 11 Exam10
Final Thoughts100
The Final Assignment100
Lesson 12 Exam10
The Final Exam59
Total Points:1182
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