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JPN2004 : Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gitte Marianne Hansen
  • Lecturer: Dr Shiro Yoshioka
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The primary aim of this module is to familiarise the students with contemporary Japanese popular culture and help them develop skills allowing them to critically study this field academically. Japanese popular culture is an ever changing field and students are expected to bring their own knowledge of Japanese popular culture to class discussions.

Transmediality is today a central factor for understanding Japanese popular culture and in this module we will study the characteristics and interrelationship between different media types such manga, anime, TV productions and cyber culture. The module will also introduce basic theories and concepts for critical analysis of popular cultural texts as well as cultural, social and historical background of different media types in contemporary Japan. This module will prepare students for their social and cultural experiences in Japan by helping them to develop a critical attitude toward the study of contemporary Japan. While original materials may be introduced, all required reading materials, lectures and assessments will be in English.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is structured to cover various elements of media types in contemporary Japan such as manga, anime, music, TV productions and so forth.

A detailed syllabus will be available in the module handbook.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching161:0016:00Seminar
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide the students with knowledge of theory, historical and cultural background which are necessary for critical thinking on the topics.

In small group teaching, the students will be asked to do presentations that can open up to a general discussion on issues related to contemporary Japanese popular culture with their peers. Students are also expected to bring their own knowledge of Japanese popular culture to the discussions.

In drop-in surgeries, the students can seek advice from the lecturers on the coursework. The two workshops will prepare the students for the coursework by familiarising them with skills for academic writing and oral presentation.

Throughout the module, audio visual materials including films and documentary will be also used in class. Depending on need, time may also be dedicated to sessions on how to do a presentation and write an essay.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination152M2015 minute oral presentation in English during class time throughout the year
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A803000 word essay. To be submitted at the end of the semester.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will allow students to demonstrate a solid knowledge of contemporary Japanese culture and society, developed via critical analysis of popular cultural texts. Goal setting & action planning, independence and active learning will be tested together with written skills, critical thinking, innovation and creativity and self-awareness and reflection.

The oral presentation will test students’ skills in orally presenting information in a limited period of time in a coherent and succinct manner. They are also expected to show leadership abilities by taking charge of the following discussion.

Reading Lists