Spring 2017 Classes

Here are the classes I’ve been taking this semester.

  1. Japanese Buddhism and Social Suffering.
    1. We learn about the role of Buddhism in Japan and how it is different from Buddhism around the world. We have field trips to supplement our understanding of the culture of Japan
  2. Children, Youth, and Migration: Everyday Experiences in Japan and Beyond
    1. We learn about immigrant youth in Japan and their experiences. We have a connection to the local high school in which we have a service learning project called One World Activity
  3. English and English Education in Japan in the Age of Globalization
    1. We learn about how English is taught in Japan and how how English education in Japan is developing considering the recent globalization
  4. Japanese Sound Culture in the Global Context
    1. We learn about different sounds from all over the world. This class is like the musicology class that UH offers
  5. Introduction to Japanese Art History
    1. We examine Japanese art from many years ago and relate it to the Japanese culture today.
  6. The Culture of Sports, Health and Longevity in Japan and Other Countries
    1. We examine why Japanese people have long life by looking at the culture and behavior of Japanese society
  7. Otaku Culture in Japan and its Transnational Relation
    1. We learn about the unique Japanese culture of otaku and how it is changing within Japan and in the world


After a few months of attending classes here in Japan, I noticed some major differences in the Japanese and American education system. In America, teachers are very clear as to what they expect from their students. In Japan, teachers are unclear about what they want from their students. For example, in America, students have a general idea of their grades throughout the semester because teachers give feedback on assignments and tests; however, in Japan, you never get feedback on your assignments. Teachers collect the assignment, and you just hope it was good enough.


Here is the list of things you should not expect in Japan:

  • Prompt feedback on assignments
  • Clear explanation on the test dates
  • Clear lecture
  • Knowing your grade throughout the semester


Just remember, everything is UNCLEAR.

Organize your class schedule and assignments early in the semester!

ASK the teachers what the evaluation method for the class is.


The evaluation method seems to include the following:

  • Participation
  • Class attendance
  • Weekly assignments
  • Exams
  • In class assignments
  • Presentations


All the classes here do not have that many assignments so it is important for you to complete all the assignments that are given.


This week, I plan to email my teachers and ask them if I’m on the passing line for the class.

I just thought I should let you know that the system here is very different so future students know what to expect in Japan.