Japanese Culture Through Film

Course Description


Summer course. For decades, the animated films and TV series of Japan have delighted audiences throughout the world. But how closely related are the Japan of anime and the Japan of the real world? What can we learn about the history and culture of the Japanese people through their most famous and popular films? Students will explore these and related questions in this friendly seminar-style introduction to Japanese history, folklore, and pop culture.

Example Syllabus (Download the PDF)

Required texts:

  • Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
  • Mimi o Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)
  • Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)
  • Kaguya Hime no Monogatari (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya)
  • Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
  • Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies)
  • Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro)

*Please note: Films may be purchased via Amazon or GKids. (Remember to check your local library before purchasing!)

Class meets once per week for 50-55 minutes.

Class cap: 20 students.

Designed for grades 9-12.

Students in grades 9-12 may be awarded 1 Foreign Languages credit upon completion of this course.