JPN225 Japanese Society

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Ing. Ivo Plšek, M.A., M. P. P. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Jiří Matela, M.A., Ph.D.
Japanese Studies Centre - Department of Linguistics and Baltic Languages - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Zuzana Kubovčáková, M.A., Ph.D.
Supplier department: Department of Japanese Studies - Asia Studies Centre - Faculty of Arts
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 9 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course is designed for the students of the bachelor program who are interested in deeper understanding of the contemporary Japanese society, including its broader cultural and historical framework. The students will learn how to interpret the various social processes which occur in the contemporary Japan, not only in their external manifestation but in their deep causation as well. Students will familiarize with the methodological foundations of the Japanese society studies, mainly based on the still remaining notion of the uniqueness of the Japanese ethnic (nihonjinron)at first, and then move to the analysis of the selected aspects of the social life in the contemporary Japan.
Learning outcomes
At the end of the course students will be able to
define general principles of functioning of contemporary Japanese society;
explain the principles of functioning of contemporary Japanese society in their broader contexts;
interpret the essential methodological approaches toward studying Japanese society;
formulate critical approach toward the theories on specifics of Japanese society;
evaluate the selected problems of modern Japanese society in the context of research in Japanese Studies.
  • 1. Theoretical and methodological foundations of the Japanese society studies 2. The theories of the uniqueness of the Japanese ethnic (nihonjinron) in the Meiji, Taisho and early Showa periods. 3. Japanese society viewed from the cultural and social anthropology – Ruth Benedict, Chie Nakane, Takeo Doi 4. The coming of revisionists - Edwin O. Reischauer, Ezra Vogel, Chalmer Johnson, Karel van Wolferen 5. Demographic characteristics of the postwar Japan 6. Japanese family system and its changes in the postwar Japan 7. Minorities and the problem of discrimination in contemporary Japan 8. Educational system and the problem of bullying (ijime) 9. Political culture and the Japanese political economic system 10. Legal system and the limits of democracy 11. National security and the territorial disputes 12. The crises of values at the dawn of the 21st century
  • Reischauer, Edwin O., The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity, Tokyo, Charles E Tuttle 1990
  • Wolferen, Karel van, The Enigma of Japanese Power, Knopf 1989
  • Doi, Takeo, Anatomy of Self: The Individual Versus Society, Tokyo, Kodansha International 1986
  • Prestowitz, Clyde V., Trading Places: How We Allowed Japan to Take the Lead, New York, Basic Books 1988
  • Davis, Winston B., Japanese Religion and society: Paradigms of Structure and Change, Albany, State University of New York Press 1992
  • Nakane, Chie, Japanese Society, Berkeley : University of California Press, 1970
  • Lebra, Sugiyama, “Is Japan an Ie Society, and Ie Society a Civilization?”, Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2
  • Benedict, Ruth, The Chrysanthemum and the Swords, Tokyo, Tuttle 1946
  • Hall, John Whitney, Reflections on Murakami Yasusuke’s ’Ie Society as a Pattem of Civilization’, Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2
  • Ochiai, Emiko, The Japanese Family System in Transition: A Sociological Analysis of Family Change in Postwar Japan, Tokio, LTCB International Library Foundation 1996
  • Uno, S. Katheleen, „The Death of ‘Good Wife, Wise Mother‘?“, In: Gordon, Andrew (ed.), Postwar Japan as History, Berkeley, University of California Press 1993
  • Hendry, Joy, Understanding Japanese Society, London, Routledge 2003
  • Doi, Takeo, Anatomy of Dependence, Tokyo, Kodansha International 1973
  • Hamaguchi, Eshun, „A Methodological Basis for Japanese Studies – With begard to „Relatum“ as its Foundation“, Nichibunken Japan Review, No. 9, 1997
  • Hamaguchi, Eshun, „A Contextual Model of the Japanese: Towards a Methodological Innovation in Japan Studies“, Journal of Japanese Studies, 11:2
  • Ivy, Marylin, „Formation of Mass Culture“, In: Gordon, Andrew (ed.), Postwar Japan as History, Berkeley, University of California Press 1993
  • Watsuji Tetsuro, Climate and Culture, Tokyo , Hokuseido Press 1961
  • Vogel, Ezra F., Japan as Number One, Harvard, Harvard University Press 1979
  • Johnson, Chalmer, MITI and the Japanese Miracle, Stanford, Stanford University Press 1982
  • Murakami Yasusuke, „Ie Society as a Pattern of Civilization”, Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 10, No. 2.
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussions, self-study selected readings.
Assessment methods
Final written exam as assigned by the tutor. Students are expected and required to attend seminar classes of this course.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every other week.
Information on course enrolment limitations: Zápis mimo japanistiku je podmíněn souhlasem vyučujícího.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2020, recent)
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