Japan Then and Now: Japanese History, Government and Culture

Wofford College, Interim term 2015

JAN 420  Robert E. Moss     

            Can you really learn about Japanese culture from Spartanburg?  After having spent a mere 3 weeks in Japan over interim 2007, I can confidently say 'no'.   Join me in studying Japan and its culture, by spending 20 days living in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nara, and Hakone, Japan.   

            You’ll be ‘immersed’ in the culture, including 10 days of “homestay”, living with a Japanese family (an “awesome” experience according to the 21 students who did this trip in 2007!).

            And to really learn about the culture, you need to learn from the Japanese themselves.  In addition to living with a Japanese family, you will have language and culture classes taught by Japanese teachers; learn about Zen meditation by a Zen monk.  You'll actually stand on ground zero of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, and see this historical event as the Japanese did.   You will also see the Geisha in Kyoto; and visit art, science, and historical museums unlike any you've seen here.  You'll experience Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Not to mention the Japanese food!  We’ll experience a sumo wrestling match, Kabuki theater, and more. 


$4,150 includes flight; all transportation in Japan; accommodations for 19 nights in Japan; all program fees, admission fees for events included in the course, and breakfasts and dinners while in Japan.  Tour books and educational materials are also included, as is the cost of a printed photo and blog book that we will put together after returning to campus.

Dr. Moss will offer this course in conjunction with IES, which has years of experience leading study abroad programs in Japan.

Tentative calendar

From the 2007 trip:

·       Slide show

·       PHOTOS taken by students

·        BLOG TEXT

·       VIDEOS of Sumo wrestling, taken by students


Travel information:

·  Travel guide: Japan-Guide.com

·  Travel tips [this is from a commercial tour; but do check out the "travel tips" links on the right]

·  IES Tokyo web site

·  TOKYO WEATHER: Similar to Spartanburg.  In January, daytime temperatures typically range in the 40'-60's.  So you'll need a coat [packing to dress in layers is best], but there probably won't be much snow.  We had no snow in 2007, and the temperature was mild.

·  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT info sheet on travel to Japan

·  ·  Currency converter [Note: For shopping, it will be easiest if you just think of a Yen as about a penny]