This course examines contemporary Japanese popular culture from historical, social, and anthropological perspectives. The course will examine very recent topics in an attempt to understand Japanese culture as it exists today. The scope of topics examined will be wide ranging, including folklore, anime, manga, advertising, cinema, music, food and politics. As this last year was the 70th anniversary of the end of the end of World War II and an important year of reflection in Japan, special emphasis will be given to war memory, militarism, and pacifism in Japan’s postwar popular culture.
The objective of this course is to provide students with an academic understanding of Japanese popular culture & mass culture through the study of scholarly perspectives from the fields of anthropology, sociology, and media studies.