HUM-444 / 3 crédits

Enseignant: Vogel Chevroulet Irène Elizabeth

Langue: Anglais


This introductory course is an inquiry into the culture of Japan - its thought and way of life - that is designed to foster future study of the archipelago. It elucidates the specificities of a Japanese identity that is imbued with both tradition and openness to innovation.



Interculturality, Do, Shinto, Zen, arts, communication, robotics, food, nurture, innovation, ethics, cinema, anime

POLY-perspective :

  • interdisciplinary perspective
  • creative perspective

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

Japon Contemporain A BA5

Histoire de l'Asie contemporaine A BA3

Histoire de l'Asie contemporaine B BA6

Chine Contemporaine BA4

Economie de la Chine BA5

Chine: une nouvelle puissance globale? BA6

Introduction au monde russe BA6


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Develop a critical methodology for studying ethnocentric thinking
  • Interpret cultural stereotypes attached to Japan (spirituality, gender, arts)
  • Develop an intellectual argument on a proposition relevant to the course
  • Synthesize the array of knowledge necessary to have a good understanding of social integration in Japan
  • Synthesize the contributions of contemporary Japan (innovation, work ethics, spirituality, robotics, arts, architecture, gardens, food)
  • Compose or write a paper
  • Use a work methodology appropriate to the task

Transversal skills

  • Communicate effectively with professionals from other disciplines.
  • Communicate effectively, being understood, including across different languages and cultures.
  • Take account of the social and human dimensions of the engineering profession.
  • Demonstrate the capacity for critical thinking

Teaching methods

Fall semester: lecture and visiting speakers supervision (English/French) of the elaboration of a research plan

Spring semester: supervision of research, mini-colloquium, a paper sample will be furnished to students

Expected student activities

Elaboration of an individual or group research plan, active participation, critical lecture of articles and books, working discipline and time management, writing skills

- Fall semester: written examination, research plan (two pages: title, issue, detailed plan, bibliography)

- Spring semester: abstract (250 words), participation to a mini-colloquium, paper (4000 words)

Assessment methods

Fall semester: written examination (50%), quality of the research plan (50%)

Spring semester: oral presentation at the mini-colloquium (50%), paper (50%)


Office hours Yes
Assistants Yes
Forum No



Bibliography will be furnished (see below), plus specialized resources on the moodle

• Yoshiko Okuyama Japanese mythology in film: a semiotic approach to reading film and anime Lexington Books 2016

• Mariko Walter,  Jacqueline I. Stone Death and the afterlife in Japanese Buddhism Hawaï Press 2016 

• Akira Nakamura, Ronald J. Hrebenar Party Politics in Japan Routledge 2015

• Ayako Kano Japanese Feminist Debates Hawaï Press 2016

• Kenzaburo Ôé Teach us to outgrow our madness: four short novels Grove Atlantic 2011


Ressources en bibliothèque

Dans les plans d'études

  • Semestre: Automne
  • Forme de l'examen: Pendant le semestre (session d'hiver)
  • Matière examinée: Contemporary Japan I
  • Cours: 2 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Projet: 1 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines

Semaine de référence