Japan Studies: Lecture⑤ Japanese Pop Culture

We started out this lecture-filled Tuesday with an introduction to Japanese popular culture. Before the lecture started, the international students had some free time, so they mingled with Japanese students (who came to attend the lecture as part of their “Culture Today” class), sharing some of their cross-cultural experiences. The lecturer, Patrick Galbraith, specifically went over the topic of manga, emphasizing its historical origins and prominence in modern Japanese society. He also discussed reasons why the medium of manga is able to attract such a large audience and paid tribute to the famous Tezuka Osamu (often referred to as the “God of Manga.”)

Japan Studies: Lecture⑥ Japanese Art
For the second lecture, the students learned about the traditional art of the kimono. Professor Reiko spoke about kimono styles through the different periods of Japanese history from the elaborate courtesan style of the Heian period to the fashionable simplistic style of the 18th century. She also explained the methods of creating the design for the kimono: Yuzen (textile dyeing method), Komon (woodblock method), and Shibori (tie-dying method).

Japan Studies: Lecture⑦ Japanese Fashion
In the last lecture of the day, Professor Takamura from Bunka Gakuen University came to talk about modern Japanese fashion. He explained how some elements of Tokyo (such as its large population, stable economy, and seasonal climate) allows it to be a center of fashion. Takamura-sensei also elaborated on the roots of modern fashion, and how contemporary Japanese fashion calls inspiration from both foreign and domestic influence.