ANTHRCUL 202 - Ethnic Diversity in Japan
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Undergrad and Grad
Meet Together Classes:
Primary Instructor:

For at least a century and a half Japan has been stereotyped by certain Japanese and non-Japanese alike as a “homogeneous” society. In 1986, then Japanese P.M. Nakasone even went so far as to declare that “the Japanese” formed a “single, unified race.” His comment provoked angry rebuttals from dozens of Japanese ethnic and other minority groups who were not part of the dominant ethnic group in Japan, and who have been disenfranchised in various ways, in some cases, for centuries. Among these groups are the “aboriginal” Ainu of Hokkaido; Okinawans, resident Koreans and Chinese; burakumin (or “outcast(e)s”); migrant workers of Japanese ancestry from South America; the victims of the atomic bombs and radiation poisoning who comprise a stigmatized minority group; and people with disabilities. We will explore the history and present-day circumstances of these groups and their various modes (art, music, ritual practices) of claiming visibility. This course is designed to contribute to and complicate the discussion of diversity in the United States and elsewhere by studying the conception and practice of diversity in Japan. By examining how “race” and ethnicity are defined and deployed in Japan, you will begin to develop both the necessary perspective and the skills for analyzing, in a more nuanced way, ethnic identities and relationships in the U.S. and elsewhere. You will also learn a lot about Japan that will challenge simple stereotypes about that country and culture, and its inhabitants.

Course Requirements:

Books and Readings: In addition to the weekly readings posted on Canvas, there are four required books, all of which are available for purchase at the U-M and local bookstores; they are also in Course Reserves (Shapiro UG Library). Kyoko and Mark Selden, eds., The Atomic Bomb: Voices From Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Keiji Nakazawa, Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon History of Hiroshima (vol.1) and Barefoot Gen: The Day After (vol. 2); and Hirotada Ototake, No One’s Perfect.

ANTHRCUL 202 - Ethnic Diversity in Japan
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

In addition to the weekly readings posted on Canvas, there are three required books, all of which are available for purchase at the UM and local bookstores; they are also in Course Reserves (Fine Arts Library, Tappan Hall 2F). Shigeru KAYANO, Our Land Was a Forest: An Ainu Memoir (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994); Keiji NAKAZAWA, Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1987); Hirotada OTOTAKE, No One's Perfect (Tokyo: Kodansha, 2003. Be sure to order the correct edition/version. All required texts are on reserve at the Fine Arts Library, Tappan Hall, 2F.
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