This course will present a comprehensive overview of Japan, its history, its institutions and cultural products, and its society and people. The first half of the course will comprise a survey of Japanese history, with an emphasis on its social and cultural aspects, from the earliest period to the present day. Having established the historical framework- with its interweave of native and foreign elements, Kyoto-based imperial aristocracy, the samurai class and their crucial role, Zen-inspired meditative arts, and exquisitely diverse cultural products- the class will move on, in the second half, to an examination of recent and contemporary trends and issues. These will center on Japanese education, social and family structures, urban centers and the rural periphery, economic and socio-political trends, Japan's distinctive and vibrant popular culture, contemporary problems and challenges, and the nation's dramatically shifting position in East Asia and in the 21st-century global order.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM