272/ASIAN STUDIES 255/AMERICAN STUDIES 131
Culture Abroad: Japan
Department of Anthropology
Philadelphia, PA 19122 USA
Fall Semester, 2002
"... the Americanization
of Japanese culture has been going on since the
beginning of our relationship--according to a
local historian of Kochi in Shikoku Island, it
was John Manijiro, after his return from America
where he had stayed 11 years, who first sang Stephen
Foster's "O, Susanna!" in Japan around
Nagayo, "What Does it Mean to Understand
America? -- A Japanese View" International
House of Japan Bulletin 14(2): 1-7 (Spring, 1994)
"I wanted also, while I was in Asia, to see
how America was regarded and reconstituted abroad,
to measure the country by the shadow it casts".
Iyer, Video Night in Kathmandu (New York: Knopf,
1988), pg. 11.
In this course we will examine versions and varieties of American
life that have become a part of Japanese society and culture.
There exists a tremendous curiosity for "things American"
in Japanese daily life -- but how is American culture in Japan?
What kinds of transformations, re-formulations and re-inventions
have taken place? We will review Japanese adoptions and adaptations
of language, "American" settings, architecture and
design, foods and restaurants, clothing and fashions, popular
films, television and advertising, and even holidays. We will
review and critically evaluate such films as The
Japanese Version, Mr.
Baseball, Black Rain,
The Barbarian and the Geisha,
Tokyo Pop, The
Colonel Comes to Japan.
Packet: Readings for Anthropology 272
This packet is available from Docucare, located at 900
North Broad Street (call 215-235-8740 before going to make
sure of availability and stated cost).
Re-Made in Japan--Everyday Life
and Consumer Taste in a Changing
Society edited by Joseph J. Tobin, New Haven: Yale
Univ. Press, 1992.
Japan Made in the U.S.A.
edited by Zipangu, New York: Zipangu, 1998
Night in Kathmandu by Pico Iyer, New York: Knopf, 1988.
From Bonsai to
Levi's by George Fields, New York: Macmillan, 1983.
You Gotta Have Wa by Robert
Whiting, New York: Vintage, 1990.
Japan and the Pursuit of a New
American Identity by Walter Feinberg, 1993
Transformations -- U.S. Culture in Europe and Japan
edited by Heidi Fehrenbach and Uta Poiger, 1999