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Archive for February, 2012

Which Japanese customs and rules of etiquette do foreigners find strange?

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Go to the following links:

http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/some-japanese-customs-that-may-confuse-foreigners

http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/what-do-foreigners-find-strange-about-japan-ntv-finds-out

and/or download the following PDF files:

Some Japanese customs that may confuse foreigners ‹ Japan Today_ Japan News and Discussion

What do foreigners find strange about Japan

Read the original article and as many of the comments that follow as you have time for.

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Questions

Which responses were surprising to you?

Why do you think some foreigners responded as they did?

What other customs or rules of etiquette do you think foreigners would find odd about Japan?

Which Japanese rules of etiquette do you think are superior to those of other countries? Why?

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Comment

In the comment section below this homework post, write down your reactions to the two articles using the above questions as a guide (but feel free to express anything you wish as well in this connection). Minimum — 100 to 150 words.

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For Next Class

Write down a list of ten foreign customs or rules of etiquette that you find odd. Bring with you to class for discussion.

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Spring Term

Week 1

• Course Introduction/Guidance

Week 2

• Manners and Etiquette

— Which Japanese customs and rules of etiquette do foreigners find strange?

Week 3

• Manners and Etiquette (continued)

— Comparing and Contrasting Everyday Etiquette

Week 4

•  Manners and Etiquette (continued)

— Comparing and Contrasting Business Etiquette

Week 5

• Politics and Government

— The American Political System

Week 6

• Politics and Government (continued)

— The Japanese Political System

Week 7

• Politics and Government (continued)

— Comparing and Contrasting the U.S. and Japanese political systems

Week 8

• Crime and Punishment

— Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty

Week 9

• Crime and Punishment (continued)

— The Jury System (12 Angry Men)

Week 10

• Crime and Punishment (continued)

— Comparison between Japan’s Lay Judge System and America’s Jury System

Week 11

• Religion and Philosophy

— Christianity 101

Week 12

• Religion and Philosophy (continued)

— Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto

Week 13

• Preparation for Final Presentations

— Selection of topics, group members, planning, research, script

Week 14 & 15

• Final Presentations; Class Q & A

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Fall Term

Week 16

• Fall Term Introduction/Guidance

Week 17

• The Roles of Men and Women in Society

— A Woman’s Place is in the Home?

Week 18

• The Roles of Men and Women in Society (continued)

— Mr. Mom?

Week 19

• The Roles of Men and Women in Society (continued)

— LGBT Rights: What Lies Ahead?

Week 20

• Love, Marriage, and Divorce

— Western Notions of Romantic Love & Love in Modern-Day Japan

Week 21

• Love, Marriage, and Divorce (continued)

— Western Notions of Romantic Love & Love in Modern-Day Japan (continued)

Week 22

• Love, Marriage, and Divorce

— Getting Divorced in Japan

Week 23

• The Homogeneous vs. the Multicultural Society

— A Homogeneous Japan?

Week 24

• The Homogeneous vs. the Multicultural Society (continued)

— A Homogeneous Japan? (continued)

Week 25

• The Homogeneous vs. the Multicultural Society (continued)

— The American “Melting Pot”

Week 26

• The Freedom of the Individual vs. the Harmony of the Group

—  How Free is Free?

Week 27

• The Freedom of the Individual vs. the Harmony of the Group (continued)

— The Greater Good?

Week 28

• Preparation for Final Presentations

— Selection of topics, group members, planning, research, script

Week 29 & 30

• Final Presentations; Class Q & A

 

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This course will look at cultural differences between America and Japan. Looking just beneath the surface of these cultures reveals significant differences in areas such as governance, religion, legal systems, ethics, and family relationships. By contrasting the two cultures, students will learn more about their own culture by stepping outside and looking in. The primary focus of the course will be on cultural content, with various linguistic skills taught to improve meaningful communication. Students enrolled in the course will be engaged in a wide variety of activities covering the four language skill areas — listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Specific activities will include video and film viewing and analysis, intensive reading, in-class debates and presentations, and expository writing, Through the class website, students will be assigned background reading and research activities to increase their knowledge and confidence about the topics and to provide a solid basis for class work. The website will also be used for students’ comments and opinions about the topic and to provide a means of ongoing communication between the students and teacher.

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