New Program in Anime/Manga at Temple University Japan



The Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University's Japan Campus announces the launch of a new academic program in Studies in Japanese Popular Culture. This unique summer institute program is designed to develop a systematic and focused study of Japanese culture, analyzing how Japanese popular culture is becoming a leading global force of social innovation.

Through qualitative, collaborative research projects, the institute curriculum allows students experiential opportunities to understand Japanese popular culture on its own terms. Taking advantage of TUJ's central Tokyo location and association with popular culture networks and professional organizations, the courses include ethnographic site visits and lectures by noted authorities on Japanese popular culture.

The TUJ Summer Institute is conceived by Temple University as a study abroad program: students register through the university's office of International Programs, and the program is open to all qualified students regardless of academic affiliation. Students enroll in three of the five substantive courses offered for a total of nine or ten credits, all of which transfer to the US university system (Temple University's Japan Campus is the oldest and largest American University in Japan). Courses are taught by distinguished faculty and are conducted in English. Japanese language proficiency or previous Japan experience is not required, but students may begin or continue their study of Japanese as a component of the program.


Anime in Japanese Popular Culture (Asian Studies: 3 credits)
This course critically examines the themes and representations in anime works in relation to the historical and socio-cultural contexts of postwar Japan, in order to gain insights into how and why it has gained global significance as a subculture. Topics to be covered include the historical development of the production and reception of anime, in relation to media, Visual Arts and technology; the themes, characters and representation in major works; and their symbolic meanings in the Japanese as well as global context.

Manga in Japanese Popular Culture (Asian Studies: 3 credits)
This course will provide a basis for understanding Japanese manga in social, historic and cross-cultural context, reviewing the emergence of manga and the conditions of its development as an art form, commercial industry and cultural commodity. Topics include the art historical origins of manga; the variety of manga characters, genres and their relation to social and technological development; the relation of manga to computer games; and their adaptation in contemporary Japanese TV and cinema. Special attention will be paid to the 1970s and 1980s, when "otaku" fan culture emerged. The course adopts a hands-on approach to manga, offering guided excursions into areas including Akihabara, Nakano and Ikebukuro. Manga artists and industry insiders will also visit the class to share their experiences and insights.

Problems in Sociocultural Anthropology (Anthropology: 3 credits)
The focus of this course is to develop a nuanced understanding of contemporary Japanese society, by incorporating substantial fieldwork and collaborative research projects addressing social problems facing youth today. Youth issues are of global concern, as they reflect the structural dislocations of late modernity, but, in Japanese society, they are often conceived to reflect ‘uniquely Japanese’ particularities of the local culture. These issues underlie the production or consumption of popular culture, and in Japan have come to be expressed in social problems facing youth, as they respond to the challenges of social change.

Japanese Youth and Popular Culture (Sociology: 3 credits)
This seminar addresses the convergence of youth and popular culture, highlighting the performative aspects of youth subcultures in contemporary Japanese society. The course looks at the impact of mass media (music, film, television) on Japanese society and youth culture in particular; the intensive communities of on-line cyberculture and digital media networks; racial and political representation in Japanese hip hop and punk music; the style subcultures of Goth[Lolita], Cos-play and their subcultural networks; and examines how youth culture embodies and creates new forms of cultural innovation in these various realms.

* * Faculty for the Summer Institute: Studies in Japanese Popular Culture * *

The faculty for this program have diverse experience and academic expertise which complement each other, so that the courses are integrated into a structured academic program that explores the multi-faceted varieties of Japanese popular culture. The Institute faculty are:

Roland Kelts (M.A., Columbia University, Fine Arts) is the half-Japanese American author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US and the forthcoming novel, Access (Penguin). He is also a contributing editor and writer for Adbusters magazine and A Public Space literary journal, and a columnist for The Daily Yomiuri. He has taught at New York University, The University of Tokyo and Sophia University, and has delivered speeches on contemporary Japanese culture at numerous institutions across the US, Japan, Australia and the UK. His writing appears in Psychology Today, Animation Magazine, Bookforum, Vogue, The Village Voice and other publications, and he is a contributor to the collections A Wild Haruki Chase, Playboy Fiction, Gamers!, Kuhaku, Art Space Tokyo, Zoetrope and others. He is the Editor in Chief of the Anime Masterpieces screening and discussion series and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio.

Patrick W. Galbraith (Ph.D. Researcher, The University of Tokyo, Information Studies) is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the impact of material conditions on fantasy, specifically how shifts in modes of capitalism and consumption impact otaku culture in Japan. He has worked as a freelance journalist specializing in Japanese popular culture since 2004, which culminated in writing The Otaku Encyclopedia and co-founding He contributes to Metropolis and Otaku USA Magazine. He also offers a professional weekly guided tour of Akihabara.

Sachiko Horiguchi (Ph.D., University of Oxford, Anthropology) is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Temple University Japan Campus. She is the only anthropologist who has successfully conducted long-term field-based research of hikikomori (socially withdrawn youth), with particular focus on the social construction of the hikikomori problem and changing notions of the "self" in contemporary Japan. She has published in both English and Japanese on hikikomori and has taught at Sophia University and in the exchange program at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

Kyle Cleveland (Ph.D., Temple University, Sociology) is the Summer Institute Director, and is an administrator and Associate Professor of Sociology at Temple University Japan Campus. As the founding Director of the university's Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, he has supervised special programs in Japanese popular culture and visual media studies, organized a lecture series, and produced events and symposia related to contemporary political issues. Through the Wakai Project, he organizes a series of events in which students from various universities, scholars, activists, and media collaborate to address how globalization is affecting youth culture in Japan.


For students who reside in the U.S., and who are coming as study abroad students via US-based institutions, see the website for Temple University's Office of International Programs. For more information, please contact Temple University International Programs: 200 Tuttleman Learning Center, 1809 N 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122; 215-204-0720; study.abroad (at Application deadline for those non-Japan based students who enroll through Temple University's American-based main campus is February 15, 2010.

Japan-based students (including local TUJ students) and students applying from non-U.S. overseas countries may apply directly to TUJ in Tokyo through TUJ Admissions Counseling at ac (at or 0120-86-1026. Application deadline for those Japan-based students is April 1, 2010.

US-Deadline for enrollment: February 15, 2010 / Japan-based Deadline: April 1, 2010

TUJ Summer Institute Information:
Summer Institute Director: Kyle Cleveland (cleveland (at / Tel. +81-3-5441-9800

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