This course is discontinued

JAP4510 – Topics in Modern Japan Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

NB! This course is always given by a visiting professor in the field of Japanese popular culture, hence the precise content of the course varies.

Spring 2012:

Japanese popular culture has developed into a global force, dominating such fields as comics, animation and computer games, and has become a strong regional force in the fields of music, film and television drama.

In this intensive course visiting professor Koichi Iwabuchi will analyze various issues concerning Japanese popular culture and its diffusion in other parts of the world. He will discuss such topics as Japanese culture and globalization, media culture and transnational connections in East Asia, the uses of media culture beyond soft power and brand nationalism, the de-nationalization of the dialogue on popular culture, and the re-imagination of Japan as a multicultural society. This intensive course consists of lectures and seminars on the basis of the lecture content and related readings. The seminars require active participation by the students on the basis of readings prepared in advance.

Koichi Iwabuchi (Waseda University) is a leading scholar in the field of popular culture. His book 'Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism' is a classic in the field and will also form the backbone of this course. He has contributed to various projects on the diffusion of Japanese popular culture in East Asia and vice-versa, and accordingly 'Trans-Asian cultural traffic' will be a major focus of this course.

Learning outcome

  • The aim of the course is to give students a thorough understanding of the most important characteristics of contemporary Japanese popular culture.
  • In addition the course aims to make the students aware of the trans-national nature of popular culture, considering for instance the wide diffusion of Japanese popular culture in other parts of the world and the increasing reciprocal influence of East-Asian popular culture in Japan.
  • The students will also be further trained in searching, analyzing and comparing sources, and in presenting and writing an academic paper.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Only master degree students / Ph.D. students can formally enroll, and take the course for credit. The course is open to graduate students from all faculties.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.


Spring 2012:

This intensive course is given in a combined lecture/seminar format and will convene two or three times a week. The lectures are conducted either as part of JAP2501 – Japanese Contemporary Society Through Film and Animation or as public lectures, of which place, date and time will be announced. The seminars will go deeper into the issues addressed during the lectures, on the basis of the textbook and other related readings.

An outline and bibliography of the term paper must be approved by the teacher in order to sit for the exam.
An approved outline and bibliography are only valid for ONE semester.

See Guidelines for obligatory instructional activity at IKOS


The students write an essay (term paper) on a theme related to the course. The essay should be ca. 3000 words not including the list of references.

An outline of the essay together with a literature list should be approved by the teacher within a given deadline (the deadline will be available in the detailed teaching plan) in order to sit for the exam.

Information about writing and submission of assignments at IKOS.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Spring 2012


Spring 2012

Only offered some spring semesters. It is unclear when the course will be given again.

Teaching language