ASIAN 200 - Introduction to Japanese Civilization
Section: 001 Japan Before Today
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Most of us think we have a pretty good idea of what Japan is probably like. It’s so present in American culture today that even without having been there, many of us can list off any number of things Japanese: sushi, Hello Kitty, ninjas, and the world’s first robot dog. But what we generally think about less often is how all of these are products of Japanese culture’s rich and complicated development over time. This course is intended to take you back to the “beginning” around the turn of the last millennium — when rival chieftains appealed to the Chinese court for recognition before there was a Japan as such — and to move forward through the late 20th century — an age of giant cell phones and fears that Japan was going to buy up the U.S. — to better understand the culture, people, and history behind the phenomena we all know. With a few “flash-forwards” into the 21st century, we will explore Japan’s culture and history through literature, documents, film, and experiential hands-on learning. By the end, you will be able to understand such things as the origins of the warrior, the meaning of “Zen,” Japan’s response to WWII, and why Hello Kitty has no mouth.

Course Requirements:

  • Attendance and Participation: 30%
  • Reading Responses: 20%
  • Short Essays (2): 30%
  • Final Essay: 20%

Intended Audience:

Any student with an interest in Japanese history/culture

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly

ASIAN 200 - Introduction to Japanese Civilization
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780495913252
A brief history of Japanese civilization, Author: Conrad Schirokauer, David Lurie, Suzanne Gay., Publisher: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning 4th ed. 2013
ISBN: 9781421521411
Oishinbo, a la carte., Author: story by Tetsu Kariya ; art by Akira Hanasaki ; [translation, Tetsuichiro Miyaki ; touch-up & lettering, Kelle Han]., Publisher: VIZ Media VIZ signat 2009
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ASIAN 200 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)