Asia Past and Present Books

Teaching Japanese Popular Culture

ISBN 978-0-924304-78-1. 308 pages. Paperback.

Edited by Deborah Shamoon and Chris McMorran

Interest in Japanese popular culture is high among students at all levels, driving enrollment in Japanese Studies programs. However, there has been little reflection on the pedagogy of teaching Japanese popular culture. Now is the time for critical reflection on teaching practices related to teaching about and with Japanese popular culture. This volume encompasses theoretical engagement with pedagogy of popular culture as well as practical considerations of curriculum design, lesson planning, assessment, and student outcomes. While the main focus is undergraduate teaching, there is also discussion of K–12 teaching, with authors discussing their experiences teaching Japanese popular culture not only in North America, but also in Australia, Germany, Singapore, and Japan, both in Japanese-language and English-language institutions.

“This is an incredibly valuable book. It might well be retitled ‘Taking Japanese Popular Culture Seriously.’ The book demonstrates how much study of Japanese popular culture has matured over the last two decades, and also shows off Japanese popular culture in all its richness and variety. Accessibly written but theoretically engaged, the book offers a fascinating variety of approaches to a fascinating variety of subjects. It will be invaluable both to those of us who work on popular culture and in Japanese Studies.”

— Susan J. Napier. Professor of Japanese Studies, Tufts University

“As Japanese popular culture has captured the imagination of youth around the world, educators have struggled to integrate diverse and rapidly evolving forms like manga, anime, J-pop, and video games into their classrooms. This pioneering collection on the pedagogy of Japanese pop offers practical advice as well as theoretical reflections on the opportunities and challenges of teaching with (and about) Japan’s globalized media products. Instructors at all levels (from K-12 through university) and in all disciplines (including language teachers) will find this volume timely, stimulating, and thoroughly useful.”

— William M. Tsutsui, President, Hendrix College, AR

“Two decades since ‘cool Japan’ began to attract widespread interest in the university classroom, resources on the teaching of Japan’s popular culture remain scarce. This outstanding collection does much to fill this gap – offering insightful, hands-on approaches to help students engage critically with pop culture materials. Featuring chapters on curriculum design, language pedagogy, and the use of popular music, television and fashion as well manga and anime, the editors have brought together an essential volume that needs to be read by all those engaged with Japanese culture in the classroom.”

— Mark McLelland, Professor in the Sociology Program at the University of Wollongong and former Toyota Visiting Professor of Japanese at the University of Michigan

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