The word "Cool Japan" represents excellent Japanese products and services in the area of soft power, such as food, anime, J-pop, fashion, etc. Mr. Nobuyuki Ota, CEO of "Cool Japan Fund" founded in 2013 as a public-private fund, will explain how "Cool Japan" is communicated to the world by looking at various cases he has worked with.
Mr. Yuji Nunokawa, who is a founder of Studio Pierrot, the animation studio that created some of the world's most beloved animated series and films such as "The Wonderful Adventure of Nils", "NARUTO" and "Bleach", will talk about Japanese animation production, its history and inside stories.
Japanese video games, represented by companies like Nintendo, Namco and Konami, has been dominating the world's game market. Mr. Naoki Hirai, a software developer who is also a researcher on Japanese video games, will talk about the history of Japanese video games, game cultures of Japan and other countries, and the future of game industries including the use of virtual reality.
Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theater performance which originates in Edo period (17th century). Associate professor Katsura Sato, who specializes in early modern period Kabuki, will give you a lecture on the history and background of Kabuki, followed by a trip to National Theatre to watch the performance.
Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) is a form of artistic writing with a brush, which originates in China before developing its original style and form in Japan. Haru, a MEXT award-winning Shodo Artist who performs around the world, will give you a hands-on experience to teach you the basics of calligraphy writing.
The world's most renowned examples of Japanese culture and arts, from traditional Japanese visual arts and architecture to Noh theatre and waka poetry to contemporary Japanese animation, draw on essential aspects of the Japanese mythology and religious beliefs. Assistant professor Victoria Stoilova will give you an overview of the history of Japanese religion and will proceed to introduce you to the impact the culture's complex cosmological ideas and ritual practices have had on Japanese art. The lecture will be followed by a trip to the nearby Meiji Jingū Shrine.
Learn the secret of Japanese cuisine ("Washoku") at KAI Corporation, Japan's largest producer of kitchen knives. You will learn how to prepare delicious Japanese dishes, as well as the traditions around preparing and eating them.
Furoshiki is oversized square cloth that is traditionally used in Japan to carry things, instead of handbags, plastic supermarket bags or paper bags we use today. This traditional custom is not only beautiful to see, but also eco-friendly. Learn about Furoshiki's history, what it means to Japanese people, as well as various ways of wrapping objects.
You will have opportunities to spend time with a group of AGU Japanese student buddies throughout the period, as well as the chances to take conversational Japanese language sessions provided by Japanese students (Japanese language ability not required).
With our campus being just 10 minute walk from the world-famous Shibuya scramble crossing, you will have plenty of opportunities to go off campus and explore old and modern part of Tokyo. The program include a guided bus tour to Asakusa, known for its traditional styled buildings and shops, followed by a river cruise on Sumida river and a visit to Kabuki museum. A walking tour of Shibuya/Omotesando/Harajuku areas, a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion, is also scheduled as a part of fieldwork
You have an option of starting the program one week early (from July 4) to get Japanese language lessons provided by EF (Education First), which is located a few minutes from AGU (extra charge applied).
*Information on other lectures and activities will be updated soon!
About AGU http://www.aoyama.ac.jp/en/