Courses

Faculty

Parissa HAGHIRIAN

Parissa HAGHIRIAN
Professor
Faculty of Liberal Arts
Sophia University

Tai Wei LIM

Tai Wei LIM
Professor
Singapore University of Social Sciences

Kealoha WIDDOWS

Kealoha WIDDOWS
Professor
Department of Economics
Wabash College

Jonathan ZWICKER

Jonathan ZWICKER
Professor
Department of East Asian Language and Cultures
University of California, Berkeley

Dyron DABNEY

Dyron DABNEY
Professor
Political Science Department. The Institute for Education on Japan
Earlham College

Karen Nakamura

Karen NAKAMURA
Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

Juichiro Tanabe

Juichiro TANABE
Assistant Professor
Waseda University

Satsuki KAWANO

Satsuki KAWANO
Professor
University of Guelph

Emer_Odwyer

Emer O'DWYER
Assistant Professor
Oberlin College

David Stahl

David STAHL
Professor
Binghamton University

Course Descriptions

Business I : Parissa HAGHIRIAN
Business and Management in Japan

The course introduces the characteristics of Japan as a place of business and the main aspects of Japanese management. The course starts with a theory lecture on culture and its relevance for international management and business communication. After this an overview of the modern Japanese business environment is given. Major points of discussion are the most prominent aspects of Japanese management, such as production management, negotiations, Japanese strategies as well as human resource and knowledge management within Japanese corporations.

Syllabus

Business II : Parissa HAGHIRIAN
Case Studies in Japanese Management

This course focuses on elementary strategic aspects of Japanese corporations. It aims to develop strategic thinking in a Japanese market context and will provide students with an opportunity to 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 in the Japanese market context.

The majority of meetings will be held in a seminar format. Students are expected to attend classes and participate actively in class discussion. Students will form students groups and solve case studies on Japanese Management. Students are required to prepare a case study report and a supporting presentation on their topic. Accordingly, attendance and participation in class discussions will be critical to the success of this course and will also determine students grades.

Syllabus

Culture III : Tai Wei LIM
Japanese Popular Culture: Globalization, Cultural production / Consumption and Creative Ecology

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. 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.

Syllabus

History I : Tai Wei LIM
The Contemporary History of Japan: An Area Studies Approach in Examining Historical Transitions from postwar Showa to Reiwa Eras

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.

Syllabus

Economics I : Kealoha Lee WIDDOWS
Encountering Tokyo: A Look at the History, Business, Politics, and Economics of the World's Most Fascinating City

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 engage sites around the city of Tokyo, we will interrogate Tokyo's recent history, its current economic and political challenges, its quirks, and the unique lifestyles of its residents through a multi-disciplinary lens.

Students who complete this course will have a broad understanding of the history and geography of the city; the unique ways in which its residents work, travel, eat, connect with technology, and generally live in the city; the changing labor market, and the growing economic challenges of a super-aged population. A final collaborative project will allow students to apply and extend what they learn about Tokyo in imagining its future.

Syllabus

Economics II : Kealoha Lee WIDDOWS
Dynamics and Innovation in the Japanese Retail Market

Often regarded as traditional or even backward by outsiders, Japanese retailing has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt. Changes in the global economic environment, the competitive landscape of traditional luxury retailing, consumer behavior and buying habits, technology, and demographics have all left their marks on the industry and will continue to shape its future. This course will introduce you to the many facets of Japanese retailing, from its opulent department stores to "combinis" to the tiny "mom-and-pop" operations that cluster around its huge train stations. We will investigate the evolution of the retail sector and its future through lectures, class trips, readings, case study discussions of Uniqlo, Rakuten, and 7-11, as well as individual fieldwork.

Students who complete the course will have a broad understanding of the evolution of the Japan's retail sector and distribution network, the dynamic role of Japan in the expanding global luxury market, Japan's technology culture and its influence on retailing (including a history of the ubiquitous Japanese vending machine), the battle of fast fashion giants such as Zara for the wallets of Japanese consumers, and the growing role of ecommerce in Japan. 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.

Syllabus

Literature and Art I : Jonathan ZWICKER
The Postwar

Using novels and films from the period covering 1945 to the 1970s, this course will introduce students to the major historical, intellectual, and artistic currents of postwar Japan. Authors and filmmakers will include Dazai Osamu, Hayashi Fumiko, Sakaguchi Ango, Mishima Yukio, Ōe Kenzaburo, Kurosawa Akira, Ozu Yasujirō, Ichikawa Kon, Ōshima Nagisa, and Suzuki Seijun. Students are expected to read one novel each week.

Syllabus

Literature and Art II : Jonathan ZWICKER
Murakami Haruki, Miyazaki Hayao and the Politics of Culture in Japan from the Bubble to the Present

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. Both Murakami and Miyazaki debuted in 1979 and their work has very much defined Japan's cultural experience from the tail end of the Era of High Growth Economics through the Bubble Era, the Lost Decade, and into the twenty-first century. Students will be expected to read one novel a week and we will be watching one film per week (in class). Students are expected to have completed reading before each class meeting.

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 1980s to the present.

Syllabus

Politics I : Dyron DABNEY
Contemporary Japanese Politics
Japanese Political Leadership and System of Governance

As a leading democracy (the oldest democracy in East Asia) and a G7 member nation (#3 in the world), Japan, arguably should be positioned at, or near "center stage" of global politics. Yet, Japan's domestic politics and its global political position remains unfamiliar to the occasional spectators of regional and world politics. This course makes the unfamiliar politics of Japan, more familiar. It begins with a historical reflection of Japan's immediate postwar politics. It then continues with a "deep dive" into the contemporary political structure of Japan, inclusive of a critical overview of Japan's political institutions, namely Japan's National Diet, the Office of the Prime Minister and political parties and elections.. Within the framework political institutions, this course also surveys Japanese political culture and society and public opinion. This course has no pre-requisite.

This course includes several local field trips.
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, regular, in-class discussions about current political events are an important feature of the course.

Individuals enrolled in this course will develop a deeper appreciation for Japan's political institutions that shape political attitudes and political outcomes. 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.

Syllabus

Politics II : Dyron DABNEY
Political Issues and Consequences in Japan and Asia
Japanese Political Leadership and System of Governance

As a leading democracy (the oldest democracy in East Asia) and a G7 member nation (#3 in the world), Japan, arguably should be positioned at, or near "center stage" of global politics. Yet, Japan's domestic politics and its global political position remains unfamiliar to the occasional spectators of regional and world politics. This course makes the unfamiliar politics of Japan, more familiar. It begins with a historical reflection of Japan's immediate postwar politics. It then continues with a "deep dive" into the contemporary political structure of Japan, inclusive of a critical overview of Japan's political institutions, namely Japan's National Diet, the Office of the Prime Minister and political parties and elections.. Within the framework political institutions, this course also surveys Japanese political culture and society and public opinion. This course has no pre-requisite.

This course includes several local field trips.
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, regular, in-class discussions about current political events are an important feature of the course.

Individuals enrolled in this course will develop a deeper appreciation for Japan's political institutions that shape political attitudes and political outcomes. 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.

Syllabus

Anthro/Sociology I : Karen NAKAMURA
Disability and Japanese Society

Disability and inclusion have been a major concern for Japanese society since the 1970s but especially so in the last two decades. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics made that particularly visible. All around us in Japan are ways of making sure those with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities feel part of the social fabric. Much of this comes after a century of activism by disability organizations in Japan fighting against entrenched attitudes. This course examines disability history, politics, and culture in Japan from the perspective of Critical Disability Studies, an emerging intellectual field that critiques normative social categories of disability and diversity. This course is designed explicitly to be inclusive and welcoming of students with all forms of disability (physical, neurological, or psychosocial) whether disclosed or not.

This course introduces students to the field of Disability Studies by exploring the rich history and politics of disability movements and identity in Japan.

Syllabus

Interdisciplinary I : Juichiro TANABE
Studies in Japanese religion and philosophy: Japanese spirituality, comparative analysis with Christianity and Islam, and challenges for harmonious globe

One of the critical challenges for humanity is how people having different cultural and religious values can understand and learn from each other. To this end, this course will analyze Japanese religion and philosophy and make comparative analysis with Christianity and Islam. The course will be divided into three sections. The first section will introduce major Japanese religions and philosophies. Here, core values of Buddhism and Shintoism will be presented. The second section will examine what Buddhism and Shintoism can offer to contemporary social and global problems facing humanity. The third section will explore what Japanese religion and philosophy and Christianity and Islam can learn from each other. Here, we will discuss how different civilizations can co-exist in the middle of diversity for more harmonious and humane globe.

Syllabus

Culture I: Satsuki KAWANO
Japanese Culture and Sociology

This course examines the diverse lifeways of contemporary Japanese people from an anthropological perspective. In addition, this course aims to examine the ways in which gender, class, ethnicity, and age shape people's experiences in Japan. Students are expected to spend between 3-4 hours per week on preparation, assignments, and review. Required Readings: Readings are supplementary to class lectures. We may not discuss a specific reading in class, but you should keep up with the readings. Content from readings may be included on quizzes. Quizzes (30%): There will be three quizzes in this course. Final Essay (30%): By using anthropological concepts and approaches, students will be required to write an essay on their experiences of culture shock in Japan (6 pages, double-spaced). Presentation (10%): Students will be required to give a brief presentation (3 min.) of their final essay in class. Participation (30%): Attendance is required. We will have in-class discussion sessions, group activities, and field trips. Do all the assigned readings before class to be a full participant in this course.

Syllabus

Culture II: Satsuki KAWANO
Body, Identity, and Culture in Japan

This course examines ethnographic discussions relating to the human body and identity by using anthropological approaches. Human bodies are socially and culturally constructed. Students are expected to spend between 3-4 hours per week on preparation, assignments, and review. Field Notes & Report Assignment (30% - for due dates, see the schedule below): You are required to observe three different public places or activities (2 hours each) and write field notes (double-spaced; 5-6 pages) to explore the cultural meanings of the body or bodily practices in Japan. Then, using your field notes, write three reports (each report is double-spaced; 2 pages). Cultural anthropologists keep a detailed journal or field notes that record their observations and interpretations of what they observe. The journal includes descriptive details and questions or ideas that arise from observing events and talking to people in the fieldwork context. For example, when I go to a restaurant, in my field notes, I write about the food in detail, note elements such as the décor of the restaurant, and describe the ways in which people are dressed. The more detail, the better. The object here is to record your observations in detail in your field notes and then to write what you think about what you have observed. Your observation should not involve sensitive or illegal activities. You are not permitted to interview people during your observation. You may conduct your observation during our field trips. Required Readings: Readings are supplementary to class lectures. We may not discuss a specific reading in class, but you should keep up with the readings. Content from readings may be included on exams. Exams (30%): There will be two exams in this class (15% each). Presentation (10%): Students are required to give a brief presentation (3 min.) of their report in class. Participation (30%): Attendance is required. We will have in-class discussion sessions, group activities, and field trips. Do all the assigned readings before class to be a full participant in this course.

Syllabus

History II: Emer O'DWYER
Modern Japan

This course surveys Japan's modern transformation from the Meiji Restoration of 1868 to 1952 when Japan resumed its sovereignty following an almost seven-year occupation by Allied forces in the aftermath of World War II. It examines how political, social, and economic modernization were simultaneous projects while considering their impact on the lives of citizens at home and imperial subjects abroad. We focus on how economic volatility, popular struggles for representative democracy, war, and colonization represent aspects of Japan's twentieth century experience as well as widely shared dilemmas of modernity.

Syllabus

Literature and Art III : David STAHL
Trauma in/and Japanese Literature and Film

In this course, we develop a critical framework based on seminal trauma studies theories and then utilize it to analyze and interpret representative novels written by Natsume Sōseki (Kokoro, 1914), Kawabata Yasunari (Thousand Cranes, 1952), Ōoka Shōhei (Fires on the Plain, 1952), Enchi Fumiko (Masks, 1958) and Ōe Kenzaburō (A Personal Matter, 1964), and an acclaimed feature film directed by Imamura Shōhei (Vengeance is Mine, 1979).
The aims of the course are to develop in-depth, nuanced, culturally informed understanding of the lived experience of social trauma and its aftereffects, the psychosocial dynamics of dissociated personal histories and subsequent unconsciously motivated interpersonal reenactments, the beneficial transformation of "mute" traumatic memory into articulate narrative memory and alternative means of healing and recovery, and the ability to effectively apply this innovative critical approach to the analysis, interpretation and explication of major works of modern and contemporary Japanese literature and film.

Syllabus

Japanese Language Courses

Japanese Language Courses will not be provided in 2024.

Course Schedule

Please click here for the Course Schedule of WSS2024.

Credits

Choose 2 courses out of 16 courses

Grading Policies

Grading Policies

The student's academic performance is assessed according to four different criteria: class participation, attendance, assignments and exams. Each professor, however, may prefer a different attendance policy, and in such case, students should follow the professor's guidelines. Generally, course performance is graded on the following 100-point scale:

90-100 A+
80-89 A
70-79 B
60-69 C
0-59 F

Grading is professor's authority and privilege that the Summer Session office cannot interfere with.

Credit System and Transfer

Credit System

Students can earn 2 credits through 1 regular course. Each class is 100 minutes long and held 16 times. This means that it is necessary for students to attend each course for a total of 26.6 hours (1,600 minutes (100 minutes ×16 times)) to earn 2 credits.

Credit Transfer

Waseda University will issue an official academic transcript for the participants. We will send it to the designated address around the middle of September. Students who wish to transfer the Summer Session program credits are advised to consult with the appropriate academic authorities at their home institutions in advance, whether or not the home institutions are Waseda's exchange partners. The home institution's academic advisors decide whether a particular Waseda Summer Session course may be applied towards the major or elective requirement. Students usually refer to the uploaded syllabus on our Waseda Summer Session website to determine credit transferability to their home institution.

Extracurricular Activities

Field Trips

Both Nikko and Iwate field trips will be provided in Waseda Summer Session 2024.
Nikko Field Trip *Mandatory : June 28 (Fri) – 29 (Sat)
Iwate Field Trip *Students who only take Culture I and II : to be announced.

Student Interns' Events

WSS Student Interns will organize some events for participants. You will learn and discover more about Japan through the events with them.

Visitor Sessions

Summer Session students will have opportunities to socialize with Waseda students over discussions on various topics.