Japanese University Tests Aspiring Students Using JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
posted on by Eric Stimson
It's college entrance exam season in Japan, and high school seniors are flipping through textbooks and study guides and crunching out math problems long into the night. At times like these, it's best to put down the manga and focus on your studies, right? Well, one university shows that a little understanding of manga can be educational too.
Kokushikan University in Setagaya, Tokyo had this question on its geography exam this year:
Hirohiko Araki's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (1987 - 2004, Weekly Shonen Jump) is an expansive manga about the over 200-year fight between the heroes, the Joestar family, and their archnemesis, Dio, and his descendants. Part 3 of the series, Stardust Crusaders, is set on the route between Japan and Egypt, and incidents unfold at stops along the way. It takes the form of a so-called road movie, and from a geographical perspective, the varying cultures and customs of Asia and North Africa depicted are quite interesting. Figure 1 shows the Joestar group's journey from Japan to Egypt (the story takes place in 1987). Answer questions 1 - 10 using the figure.
This prompt got a lot of JoJo fans excited, but the questions that followed test geographical knowledge more than manga plot points. Here's a sample.
1. The Joestar group takes a 20:30 flight from Narita Airport to Cairo, but on the way the plane crashes and makes an emergency landing in Hong Kong. Choose the most appropriate passage about Hong Kong's food culture.
1) Beijing food (like Peking duck)
2) Shanghai food (like xiaolongbao or Shanghai crab)
3) Sichuanese food (like dandanmian or mapo doufu)
4) Cantonese food (like yum cha)
2. The group heads by sea from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City, but meets with disaster again. Choose the islands in this region which China has recently been disputing with its neighbors.
1) Odasawara Islands
2) Okinotori Islands
3) Senkaku Islands
4) Nansa [Spratly] Islands
9. Upon arriving in Egypt, the party crosses the desert and arrives in front of the Abu Simbel temple on the Nile. Abu Simbel is a ruin of Egypt's New Kingdom discovered in the early 19th century, but in the 1960s it was put in danger of submersion by the construction of a giant dam. It was moved by UNESCO, which was the impetus for the creation of World Heritage Sites. Choose the name of this dam, which was completed in 1970.
1) Aswan High Dam
2) Three Gorges Dam
3) Akosombo Dam
4) Itaipu Dam
10. The group follows the Nile, passes through Luxor, and finally arrives in Cairo, where they finally fight with their archnemesis Dio. Over 50 days, how many countries do you think this group passed through, including Japan and Egypt? Choose the best answer. Do not include countries whose territorial waters were only passed through.
1) 5 countries
2) 10 countries
3) 15 countries
4) 20 countries
Reaction on Twitter to these questions was mixed. Some netizens felt that using JoJo was fun, while others complained that the questions had nothing to do with JoJo or that they were unfair.
A recent amateur anime short from Kobe Women's University also appealed to high school seniors studying for college.