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Introduction to Japan

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  1. Introduction to Japan

  2. How do you understand Japan? • Asia’s first “economic miracle” has underperformed most other developed countries for 2 decades • A strong democracy that barely changed its government in 50 years • It preserves great cultural traditions, yet is dynamic in modern music, dance, and other forms of expressive culture • The first developed nation whose population is now shrinking

  3. All you need to know is in Tampopo! • What is happening between the young truck driver and old man while they eat noodles? • Why is Tampopo so concerned about making perfect noodles? • Why does the senior businessman kick his junior employee in the French restaurant?

  4. So, how do you understand Japan? • By learning about cultural structures, norms and processes of interaction • These explain why the Japanese act the way they do. • And they explain why Japanese culture changes and why its stays the same.

  5. Course Outline • Change and Continuity: 3 Key concepts • The Setting • History • Society • Economics • Politics

  6. Introduction to Japan Instructor: Jerry Patchell; sopatch@ust.hk Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30-2:30 Rm 2352A TA: Becky, Fung Pik Ki; kifung@ust.hk Office Hours: Thursday 1:30-3:30 Room 2361 Course website: http://teaching.ust.hk/~sosc146/

  7. Teaching MethodologyProblem-Based Learning • Explanation of processes of cultural change and continuity • Demonstrating how they evolved and work in Japanese society, economy and politics • Films as windows into these operations • Develop understanding by analyzing the films

  8. Evaluations • Two tests: midterm and final • An essay analyzing a film or topic of your choice • Participation bonus (questions, comments, informal quizzes after films)

  9. Course Materials • On-line course notes • Films: in class and on reserve • Text: The Japanese Today: change and continuity • Supplementary readings: on reserve and on course website http://teaching.ust.hk/~sosc146/

  10. Expectations and Regulations • Lectures • listen, watch, interact, ask questions • discuss questions received by email • be punctual and courteous • Course notes (and readings) • read, think, apply

  11. Next Class • Key concepts of continuity and change • Group orientation • Individual Expression • Universal Principles