Disability in Japan (Japan Anthropology Workshop Series)

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The opening reception on January 29 from p. Their compelling, formally innovative works come in a wide range of styles and media, from gestural abstractions to proliferating figurations, from meticulous clay obelisks to eye-popping wall paintings.

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The curators conducted on-the-ground research at Nanjing Outsider Art Studio in China and Atelier Yamanami in Japan, in order to witness the practices of the artists, and to carefully contextualize the works within their specific sociocultural conditions of production. As the curators observed the inner workings of these art therapy workshops, they documented the daily rhythms and artistic processes of the artists on video, which form a tapestry of moving-image portraits to accompany the works in the exhibition.


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His drawings and clay sculptures, combining obsessive seriality and formal inventiveness, are exemplary of the quality of the works produced at Atelier Yamanami and Nanjing Outsider Art Studio, but also of the most salient common feature of both workshops. The two workshops belong to distinct sociocultural contexts at different stages of their respective histories: the former was founded in , while the latter, founded in , is a comparatively smaller structure.

However, staff members of both workshops make it a point to never intervene directly in the creative process, providing care, support, and art materials while leaving artists at total liberty to experiment and develop their own artistic practices at their own pace. The works displayed in this exhibition offer a glimpse of the results yielded by these deliberate strategies of tolerance and empowerment. Mental illness and mental disability are particularly complex issues in both China and Japan, due to prevalent social stigma, and, in the case of mainland China, a relative lack of state-supported care facilities.

This course focuses on strategic management of Japanese corporations and helps students develop strategic thinking in a Japanese market context. Students will learn about the particularities of the Japanese market by developing solutions for case studies of Japanese Fortune companies. They will analyze firms, learn to deal with complex business situations in an international setting and can so train their analytical and sharpen their written and oral presentation competencies. Utilizing a teaching approach that mixes cases, class discussions and group workshops, students will learn key concepts and tools used in solving marketing and management problems of multinational Japanese corporations.

This course is intended as an introduction to the diversity of culture and lifestyles that exist in Japan. We briefly explore the concept of culture used in anthropology and then move to an application of that concept to the Japanese context. Our aim will be to develop a general understanding of the complexities of the Japanese experience by looking at elements such as kinship and family, internal migration and immigration, political organization, gender, aging and death, education, ethnicity, and identity.

One significant aim of the course is to develop a deep understanding of the dramatic demographic change Japan is experiencing and how this is influencing life in rural and urban parts of the country. We will combine readings, lectures and critical discussion to think about ways in which the Japanese inhabit and contest cultural frames. Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries internationally—one that often forms a key element in building local economies and expressing local and national cultural identities.

Tourism also represents a complex cultural, economic, and political phenomenon that can have significant impacts on local communities and the environment.

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In this course we examine some of the anthropological approaches to studying tourism as it relates to Japan. We will explore the culture of tourism in Japan, attempts by local communities to develop tourist industries, and the role of religious sites as primary targets of tourist activities. There will be field trips to important tourist sites in Tokyo, including Yasukuni Shrine, and there may also be an opportunity for students to join a weekend trip to rural Japan, where we will explore a community developing a heritage tourism site.

This course is centered round an interdisciplinary area studies specifically Japanese studies approach to studying Japanese popular culture. It is divided into three main sections.


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  • For its conceptual and theoretical approach, the Japanese studies course employs area studies perspectives in ethnography, globalization studies, historical perspectives and cultural studies to examine the subject matter. In examining the ideas of globalization, the course critically looks at the ethnography and ecology of creative production. In terms of mechanisms of dissemination, it then examines how globalization facilitated the popularity and proliferation of Japanese ACG Anime, Comics, Games products.

    The primary text for this course is the great city of Tokyo. Largely burned to the ground in World War II, Tokyo rose from the ashes to become the largest metropolitan economy in the world and a global epicenter for finance, business, media, technology, and pop culture.

    Through a series of readings, moderated discussions, as well as class travel and field work to actively engage sites and institutions around the city of Tokyo, we will interrogate Tokyo's recent history, current economic and political challenges, and the lifestyle of its residents through a multi-disciplinary lens. Students who complete this course will have a broad understanding of Abenomics including its potential effect on the everyday lives of Tokyo residents; the recent history and complexity of Japanese politics and the prospect for policy reform; aspects of the daily lives of Tokyoites including transportation, food, and work; and the challenges of Japan's aging population.

    We will investigate changes in the structure of the retail sector through lectures, class trips, readings, case study discussions on Uniqlo and , as well as individual fieldwork.

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    A final group project will allow students the opportunity to apply creatively what they have learned to an aspect of Japanese retailing of particular interest. Students who complete the course will have a broad understanding of the evolution of the retail sector and distribution network in Japan, as well as specific knowledge about retail trends and strategies for success in a deflationary environment and a changing global competitive landscape. This course introduces class participants to selected issues and developments in contemporary Japan.

    It studies the crucial debates, challenges and trends that have shaped Japanese history, including developmental history, natural disaster recovery, environmental perspectives, demographics, culture and society. It does not pretend to be comprehensive but utilizes these selected issues to motivate class participants to analyze critically contemporary Japan from eclectic perspectives.

    Two focused cases studies, the Great East Japan Earthquake recovery as well as the demographic transition in Japan, will be discussed in the course. Embedded in the course are fieldtrips and video presentation for the experiential learning experience. This course will explore depictions of Tokyo in major literary and cinematic works from twentieth-century Japan. Themes will include the changing nature of the city, how the experience of urban space shaped narrative techniques in fiction and film across the twentieth century, and how the experience of the city changes our own reading and viewing of the works.

    Students are required to obtain the textbooks for this course. Please refer textbook section in the syllabus. This course will examine the works of the novelist Murakami Haruki and the animator Miyazaki Hayao within the context of contemporary Japanese aesthetics and history. Students will explore the works of these two figures in the context of the history of Japanese literature and film and its relation to larger political, social, and cultural trends of Japan from the s to the present.

    Japan Anthropology Workshop - Wikipedia

    This course introduces students to advanced study in the Japanese humanities by looking at the transformation of Tokyo over the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This will be a project-based course that helps students understand what graduate work in fields like Japanese history, literature, and cultural studies is like. We will have a group of shared readings and will also focus on both group and individual projects that combine historical research on the city using primary sources in Japanese with experiential-learning components based on fieldwork in the area around Asakusa.

    Traveling to Japan with a Disability - Part 1

    Students should have an advanced reading skill of Japanese and some background in Japanese humanities. Thus, Japanese domestic politics remains wholly unfamiliar to occasional spectators of world politics. This course makes the unfamiliar politics of Japan, familiar. Within this context of the political institutions, this course surveys Japanese political culture and society, national electoral politics, Japanese public opinion, voter behavior and public policy.

    By the completion of the course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of contemporary politics in Japan and a stronger appreciation of contemporary domestic socio-political issues of Japan. It is important to stay abreast of the day-to-day social, economic and political events in Japan available through any number of media sources. To that end, discussions about current political events will take regularly in class.