Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

Japan Portal

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A Brief Exploration of Japanese Poetry

Over the course of this module we will read and explore the work of a few major pre-modern Japanese poets in translation, putting them in their historical, cultural, and religious contexts along the way, but always focusing on the poetry itself. Group discussion is strongly encouraged. Poetry and poets covered will include that of the Manyōshū, Saigyō, Princess Shikishi, and Bashō. Time permitting, we can add to the list.

A Brief Introduction to Japanese Religions I

Over the course of this module, we will cover the basics of Japanese religious history. Particular areas of focus will be Shintō 神道 tradition and various forms of Japanese Buddhism, shamanism, and Shugendō 修験道. Time permitting (unlikely) we can also touch upon Japanese New Religions and/or Japanese Christianity.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

A Brief Introduction to Japanese Religions II

Picking up from where we left off in the first module, we will continue to explore the basics of Japanese religious history.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

A Cultural History of Anime

In this module we will look at the historical development of anime, with special attention to its uses in re-imagining post-war Japanese culture and society. From Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors to mushroom-cloud explosions and kawaii aesthetic, come explore how anime shapes Japanese (and others’) perceptions of Japanese history and culture.

An Intensive Reading of the Tao Te Ching/Daode jing 道德經 Part II

We will continue onwards with our intensive reading and discussion of the text from wherever we end in "An Intensive Reading of the Tao Te Ching/Daode jing 道德經".
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

A Sip of Tea and Tea Culture

In this module we will explore the cultural history of tea production, tea consumption, and tea-related cultural forms and practices. Primary focus will be on Asia, with side-expeditions to other parts of the world. White, green, Oolong, red (black), the Silk Road, tea bricks, tea ceremonies, tea-and-Zen, tea as world commodity, tea as entheogen---we can explore all of this and more!
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 1 First in the Series

Come join us as we begin to learn basic Japanese, focusing on the four areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Over the course of this module series we will start by learning: the characteristics of the three scripts (hiragana, katakana, and kanji); how to read and write hiragana; to be able to say and understand set phrases (social interaction-related); how to formulate a simple declarative sentence (AはBです structure); how to formulate a simple interrogative sentence; how to read orally; and vocabulary relevant to dialogues in the textbook. 一緒に日本語を勉強しましょうか! (Shall we study Japanese together?!)
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 2 Continuing Series

Building on the material covered in Beginning Japanese 1, we will cover lessons three and part of four in the Genki textbook, including: introduction to and learning to use katakana; solidifying usage of hiragana; introduction to kanji (around 10-20); developing communication abilities beyond stative sentences, focusing on the introduction of non-stative verbs; new vocabulary; continuing the development of fluency in the four aspects of language mastery.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 3 Continuing Series

Focusing on chapters three (depending on how far we got in Beginning Japanese 2), four, and five in the textbook, we plan to improve our understanding of particles, verb categories and conjugations, describing where things are, forming the past tense of verbs, and increasing our abilities to use and "conjugate" adjectives----which do have tense in Japanese. As always, we will also be increasing our vocabulary and kanji knowledge. This module should be especially exciting because after laying various foundations in the first two units, we now begin to be able to actually have short conversations and form everyday useful sentences.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 4 Continuing Series

Picking up from where we leave off in Beginning Japanese 3, we'll review what needs solidifying from the first two modules and advance to new material in Genki. We will focus especially upon verb, adjective, and noun tenses, as well as continuing to build vocabulary, katakana, and kanji knowledge, as well as oral skills.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 5 Continuing Series

Continuing from where we ended in Japanese 4, we will advance our knowledge of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, and kanji as we work our way through the Genki textbook.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 6 Continuing Series

Continuing from where we ended in Japanese 5, we will advance our knowledge of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, and kanji as we work our way through the Genki textbook.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 7 Continuing Series

Continuing from where we ended in Japanese 6, we will advance our knowledge of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, and kanji as we work our way through the Genki textbook.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 8 Continuing Series

Continuing from where we ended in Japanese 7, we will advance our knowledge of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, and kanji as we work our way through the Genki textbook.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 9 Continuing Series

Continuing from where we ended in Japanese 8, we will advance our knowledge of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, and kanji as we work our way through the Genki textbook.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese Series Series of 9

Come join us as we begin to learn basic Japanese, focusing on the four areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Over the course of this module series we will start by learning: the characteristics of the three scripts (hiragana, katakana, and kanji); how to read and write hiragana; to be able to say and understand set phrases (social interaction-related); how to formulate a simple declarative sentence (AはBです structure); how to formulate a simple interrogative sentence; how to read orally; and vocabulary relevant to dialogues in the textbook. 一緒に日本語を勉強しましょうか! (Shall we study Japanese together?!)
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Conversational Japanese for Daily Life

Japanese is a complex language with a strong emphasis on formality. In any given situation, there are multiple ways to communicate the same idea. This course will introduce some of those common situations in daily life and offer some practical, useful, and modern ways to communicate within them.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Eating Our Way Through Anime

What can a carefully arranged bento box show us about a protagonist’s emotions? How does a steaming bowl of ramen help tell a story? Anime is known for its detailed, mouthwatering portrayals of food. But what exactly makes these artistic culinary delights so special, and why do we keep coming back for more?

In this module, we will consider many aspects of food in anime and its relationship with fandom, culture, and history, and how food signals certain things about characters, settings, and relationships.

Come help us eat our way through anime!

Encountering the Japanese Weird through Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan

Japanese ghost stories are famous for their many chilling, sometimes funny, and creepy ghosts and yokai. Lafcadio Hearn, a Greek-later-Japanese writer popularized these stories in his book Kwaidan. In this module, we will discuss the stories, the settings, and their cultural and religious background.

Exploring Mushi Shi 蟲師

We will watch and discuss Mushi Shi, paying special attention to aspects of Japanese religion and culture which are woven into the fabric of the story. The class will be discussion-oriented, framed by preceptor commentary. This is a beautifully designed series that rewards slow and relaxed contemplation.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends: Part 1 First in the Series

Natsume’s Book of Friends is a contemplative and heartfelt anime/manga series about a boy who inherited a book from his grandmother, allowing him to control youkai. Instead, he chooses to free them. This series sits at the intersection of fantasy and slice of life, and it touches on many aspects of Japanese folklore and culture, at the same time telling a story about connection and compassion. In this module, we will watch and discuss the first two seasons of the anime, paying particular attention to themes including: the iyashikei (healing) genre of anime, the portrayal of youkai in popular culture, and the use of concepts and imagery from Japanese literature and folklore in the series.

This module is primarily discussion based, with some contextual information provided by the preceptor. There will be a Google Doc for class discussion and your preceptor will use slides, but sparingly.

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends: Part 2 Continuing Series

The third and fourth seasons of Natsume’s Book of Friends continue the story of a boy who can see youkai, and who usually frees them or helps them rather than control or exorcize them. These two seasons continue to explore the themes of loneliness, connection, and the conflict between humans and others, but also introduces the Matoba clan, a group of exorcists. As with the first module, we will look at the role of youkai and the way that both characters and the audience are healed.

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends: Part 3 Continuing Series

The fifth and sixth seasons of Natsume’s Book of Friends continue the story of a boy who can see youkai, and who usually frees them or helps them rather than control or exorcize them. These two seasons continue to explore the themes of loneliness, connection, and the conflict between humans and others, but also provide further insight into the secondary characters that surround Natsume. As with the first two modules, we will look at the role of youkai and the way that both characters and the audience are healed.

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends Series Series of 3

Natsume’s Book of Friends is a contemplative and heartfelt anime/manga series about a boy who inherited a book from his grandmother, allowing him to control youkai. Instead, he chooses to free them. This series sits at the intersection of fantasy and slice of life, and it touches on many aspects of Japanese folklore and culture, at the same time telling a story about connection and compassion.

This series is primarily discussion based, with some contextual information provided by the preceptor. There will be a Google Doc for class discussion and your preceptor will use slides, but sparingly.

Exploring Violet Evergarden

Come join us for a stunning coming-of-age fantasy anime that follows the story of Violet Evergarden, a former soldier who finds forgiveness, healing, and self-worth through the unassuming power of writing letters. In this module, we will discuss how Violet Evergarden functions as a postwar recovery and travel story, as well as the anime’s use of Victorian and post-World War I aesthetics to tell Violet’s unusual yet unforgettable tale.

Exploring Water Margin 水滸傳

One of the great classical Chinese novels written largely in the vernacular, Water Margin relates the dramatic tale of 108 outlaws who engage in deeds of bravery and rough justice as they deal with challenges and reprisals from the government and rival clans of outlaws. The historical influence of this text extends beyond China, as it was a major influence on Tokugawa-era (1600-1868) and later Japanese literature and is currently considered to be a major work of world literature. Join us as we explore both the story and its historical ramifications!
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Exploring Sei Shonagon's The Pillow Book 枕草子

Sei Shōnagon 清少納言 is a major writer of the Heian period (794-1185) whose Makura no Sōshi 枕草子 (The Pillow Book) has intrigued and delighted reading audiences for centuries. Colorful, witty, incisive, charming, thoughtful, melancholy, poetic---these qualities and more characterize this diary of the famous lady of the court. Join us as we read this text in-depth and place it within the frame of the flow of Japanese culture and history.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Exploring The Analects 論語 of Confucius

In western internet memes, lots of sayings are attributed to Confucius. He did not say most of them. In this module we will engage in a slow reading and interpretation of The Analects , our primary source for Confucius's discourses and dialogues. Your preceptor will also situate this text in currents of historical thought from Warring States China and larger Confucian tradition. Once we are done, you will have gained many skills, including a decent ability to distinguish "Confucius" the meme-able quote machine from the Confucius of the Analects and Chinese historical tradition.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Exploring the Themes of Miyazaki Hayao through Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away

For this class we will take the two films of the title as the primary media through which we explore some of Hayao Miyazaki's major themes appearing throughout most of his work. These include themes of regard for nature, tensions between human society and the natural world, the prominence of shōjo (young female protagonists,) and questions of identity, of friendship, and of trust. Time permitting, we can consider even more.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Sin

Join us for the first of two modules dedicated to exploring the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. anime series. In this first module we’ll cover episodes 1-32 and the development and placement of its major themes including Truth, Science, Religion, Oppression, and Loss amongst others. Attending the next module in this series is not required, but for full enjoyment it’s definitely recommended.
Precepted by Keli Fancher

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Redemption

Join us for the second of two modules dedicated to exploring Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. In this second module we’ll cover episodes 33-64 and the development and placement of its major themes including Truth, Science, Religion, Oppression, and Loss amongst others. Attending the next module in this series is not required, but for full enjoyment it’s definitely recommended.
Precepted by Keli Fancher

Kaguya-sama: Love is War! (Part 1) First in the Series

Join us for the first of two modules on Kaguya-sama: Love is War! In this clever anime romantic comedy, the first person to confess their love loses. In the module, we’ll discuss how Kaguya-sama builds on (and spoofs) anime tropes, as well as its themes of love, vulnerability, maturity, and class status.

This first module will cover episodes 1-21 of the anime. Attending the next module in this series is not required, but it’s definitely encouraged!

Kaguya-sama: Love is War! (Part 2) Continuing Series

Join us for the second of two modules on Kaguya-sama: Love is War! In this clever anime romantic comedy, the first person to confess their love loses. In the module, we’ll discuss how Kaguya-sama builds on (and spoofs) anime tropes, as well as its themes of love, vulnerability, maturity, and class status.

This second module will cover episodes 22-41 of the anime (that is, episode 22-37, and the four episodes that make up the movie). Attending the first module in this series is not required, but it’s definitely encouraged!

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Series Series

Join us for two modules on Kaguya-sama: Love is War! In this clever anime romantic comedy, the first person to confess their love loses. In the module, we’ll discuss how Kaguya-sama builds on (and spoofs) anime tropes, as well as its themes of love, vulnerability, maturity, and class status.

Introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism

Building on the previous two Intro to Buddhism modules in this sequence, we will explore the colorful and varied forms of Vajrayana Buddhism, focusing especially on developments in Tibet, but not ignoring the larger world of esoteric Buddhism. The various sects, arts such as the creation of sand mandalas, ritual practices, and various forms of teaching will all be explored.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Japanese Fairy Tales and Children's Literature

In this module we will talk about Japanese children’s literature and fairy tales and their connection to specific Japanese cultural aspects and values such as the acceptance of death and the imperfection of the world.
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners Series of 10

In this series, we will continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 1 First in the Series

The first in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 10 Continuing Series

The tenth and final module in the series in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will continue reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 2 Continuing Series

The second in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 3 Continuing Series

The third in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 4 Continuing Series

The fourth in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 5 Continuing Series

The fifth in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 6 Continuing Series

The sixth in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 7 Continuing Series

The seventh in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 8 Continuing Series

The eighth in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will continue reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 9 Continuing Series

The ninth in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will continue reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Beginners 1 First in the Series

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Beginners 2 Continuing Series

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Beginners 3 Continuing Series

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Beginners 4 Continuing Series

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Beginners 5 Continuing Series

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese for Beginners 6 Continuing Series

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera and Sam Roche

Japanese for Beginners Series Series of 6

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese: From Zero Series of 13

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to begin studying Japanese. We will begin by learning Hiragana and Katakana and cover some basic grammatical structures. We will also cover some conversational Japanese and explore how it is used in anime, manga, and music.

This Japanese module has the potential to grow into a series of beginner courses. Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 1 First in the Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to begin studying Japanese. We will begin by learning Hiragana and Katakana and cover some basic grammatical structures. We will also cover some conversational Japanese and explore how it is used in anime, manga, and music.

This Japanese module has the potential to grow into a series of beginner courses. Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 10 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, and covering grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 11 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, and covering grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 2 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 3 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 4 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 5 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 6 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 7 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 8 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, and covering grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese: From Zero - 9 Continuing Series

This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, and covering grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Japanese History for Fans of Japanese Media

In this module we will cover a general overview of major periods, events, and personages that often crop up in Japanese films, dramas, anime, and manga. For example, are you a fan of the manga and drama series Jin? When Dr. Jin finds himself in the Edo period, do you want to know more about that historical context? This module should help with that and much more! Join us for a light and fun overview of Japanese history useful for engaging with Japanese media more deeply.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT): N5 Test Prep

This module is offered for those Japanese language students who wish to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, level N5. We will not be learning new language skills in this module. Instead we will be reviewing and repetitively practicing the precise set of skills tested on the JLPT N5 test, as well as covering various test-taking strategies. We'll cover all the sections in the exam and, apart from working in class, we'll have some homework assignments to further develop test-related skills. Upon passing the test, participants will receive an official certification of language skill level from the Japanese government.

Japanese Through Culture 1 First in the Series

In this series, we will learn about various Japanese expressions and grammar through history, daily life, and pop culture such as anime. We will read, listen, speak, and write Japanese.

Note: Japanese Through Culture will be taught in Japanese. Therefore, it is for students who already have basic level of Japanese.
Precepted by Hitomi Takemura

Japanese Through Culture 2 Continuing Series

In this series, we will continue our study of Japanese expressions and grammar through history, daily life, and pop culture such as anime. We will read, listen, speak, and write Japanese.

Note: Japanese Through Culture will be taught in Japanese. Therefore, it is for students who already have basic level of Japanese.
Precepted by Hitomi Takemura

Japanese Through Culture 3 Continuing Series

In this series, we will continue our study of Japanese expressions and grammar through history, daily life, and pop culture such as anime. We will read, listen, speak, and write Japanese.

Note: Japanese Through Culture will be taught in Japanese. Therefore, it is for students who already have basic level of Japanese.
Precepted by Hitomi Takemura

Japanese Through Culture Series Series of 3

In this series, we will learn about various Japanese expressions and grammar through history, daily life, and pop culture such as anime. We will read, listen, speak, and write Japanese.

Note: Japanese Through Culture will be taught in Japanese. Therefore, it is for students who already have basic level of Japanese.
Precepted by Hitomi Takemura

Japanese Through Lyrics

The goal of this course is to study Japanese by analyzing song lyrics. While there will be an initial list of songs, students will be invited to either choose or vote on songs they would like to analyze (depending on number of students), and then we will spend each class studying the vocabulary and grammar contained in those songs.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Miyazaki: Recovery of Innocence

One of the principal thematic elements found in the works of Hayao Miyazaki is the restorative power of childhood. Through his works, childhood itself becomes a utopian site. It is through this emphasis that we recover its best aspects: innocence, curiosity, and wonder. In this module we will watch and discuss four of Miyazaki’s works which best represent childhood and his usage of it to facilitate recovery.
Precepted by Keli Fancher

Miyazaki: The Beginning

Come join us as we examine Hayao Miyazaki’s early years as a director and the films which set the groundwork for his career. This module covers Miyazaki’s directorial debut film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro through the rest of the films in the 1980s: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Precepted by Keli Fancher

Miyazaki: The Continuation

Come join us as we consider the follow-up to Hayao Miyazaki’s breakout success of the late 90s and early 2000s. In this module we’ll cover the last three of Miyazaki’s directorial releases (Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, The Wind Rises) as well as two feature films that he’s credited as co-screenwriter on during the same time period (Arrietty and From Up on Poppy Hill).
Precepted by Keli Fancher

Miyazaki: The Fame

Come join us as we look at the decade which propelled Hayao Miyazaki into international fame. We’ll begin by covering talking about flying pigs (Porco Rosso) and talking cats (Whisper of the Heart, screenplay) before progressing to the two international breakout hits which really made this time period a turning point in his career: Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
Precepted by Keli Fancher

Nature and Shinto in Anime

Shinto, usually identified as “the indigenous religious tradition” of Japan, heavily influences the aesthetic and worldview of many anime films and series. Join us as we explore aspects of Shinto practice and how they influence and shape the films Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, as well as the idiosyncratic but popular series Mushi Shi.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

The Anime of Everyday Life: Hobbies, Romance, Sports, Slice-of-Life, Iyashikei, Educational Anime, and More

Anime as a medium can create worlds of all kinds, including those that feel familiar, quiet, or even mundane. In this module, we will consider what I am calling the anime of everyday life — anime that tells smaller, more personal stories about life. What makes these sorts of shows and movies so appealing, and what can they do for their audiences? In this module, we will consider several major genres usually grouped under “slice-of-life anime,” but we will also look at the intersection between everyday life and the fantastic. Each class will include a discussion of the history and elements of the anime of everyday life, with examples. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples, as well!

The Fantastic in East Asia

Come join us as we explore various aspects of the weird, the strange, the uncanny, the dreamlike, and the visionary in East Asian literature, religion, folktales, poetry, and popular media. Whether it is ecstatic visions in Daoist texts, shamanistic expressions in Chinese poetry, gumiho and ghosts in KDramas, or stories such as that of the Yuki Onna (Snow Woman) in Japanese folklore, we’ll explore them all (and perhaps more!) in this class.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Video Game Studies

Inviting students to share their delight in, and deepen their appreciation of, video games, we will discuss examples of the art, music, gameplay, and story from a range of influential titles. We will introduce and experiment with some of the theoretical frameworks that have been applied to video games as media objects and cultural artifacts. But mostly, we will enjoy learning more about the medium and the games we already love. Aside from links and selections shared throughout the module, Gabrielle Zevin's novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. will be the only required reading.
Precepted by Wesley Schantz

Yōkai and Legends: Exploring the Weird in Japanese and Latin American Cultures

Ghost stories are an important element from all cultures, but in weird and, of course, mysterious ways, there seem to be similar legends and stories of Yōkai in Japanese and Latin American Cultures. From the similarities of Obon with Día de los Muertos to different legends such as Kuchisake onna and La Llorona, we will discuss these legends within their cultural context and have fun with these weird and fantastic beings.

Zen History and Thought: An Overview

In this module we will examine the origins and development of Zen Buddhism from its roots in Mahayana and Daoist thought through its formative years in China and its spread to Korea and Japan. Among other topics, we should have time to cover the Patriarchs of Zen, the Five Houses of Zen, and major figures within the tradition. We will also gesture towards Zen's impact on East Asian arts and culture more generally.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].