2019 Course Offerings Coming Soon

Please review our 2018 Class Offerings & Schedule below to get an idea of what we may offer in 2019.

First Period: 9:00 - 10:30 am

Modern Japanese Cities

 Second Period: 10:45 am - 12:15 pm

Deciphering Manga and Anime

Philosophy & Film: The Silver Screen & The Rising Sun

Tomodachi Program (during lunch) 12:15 - 1:10 pm

Third Period: 1:10 - 2:40 pm

Journey to the Heart of Zen

Intermediate Japanese I

Remember: Pre-departure Online Intro Session is from May 16-26 
and Four-Day Class Weeks in Kyoto!

   Click the images below to view larger versions of them.


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  • Each student is required to enroll in exactly 2 courses.
  • Each student should choose the level most appropriate for his/her academic career. Questions? Contact us now.
  • Each student should choose 2 courses NOT taught by the same professor (for example, you should not sign up for both courses with Dr. Rands)
  • All students enrolled in the HIST 3992 (Modern Japanese Cities) course are required to sign up for the Anniversary Field Trip.
  • One Japanese language course will be offered based upon expected student enrollment. If you wish to sign up for Japanese language and are not sure if this level is right for you, email us.
  • You will be expected to indicate your course preference when you fill out the online application, including alternate choices.
  • All courses will include an online intro session from May 16-26. Therefore, all students must obtain a syllabus from the instructor for each course, and be able to log into UNO Moodle PRIOR TO May 16, 2018.
  • All classes meet Monday through Thursday unless a special program event is scheduled. Our schedule follows the Doshisha University class schedule, as their academic term is in session. Therefore our students are going to and coming from classes at the same time as the "regular" Doshisha students.


Deciphering Manga and Anime

HUMS 2090

Instructor: Dr. David Rands, Ph.D

Course Description: This course is designed to develop students' understanding of Japan through materials, such as anime and manga. Anime and manga are extremely popular and can be used to approach a number of historical, cultural, and traditional aspects of Japan. This course will explore Japanese language and society through the use of these media. Students will gain a better understanding of the different genre, historically significant, and current uses of manga, culminating in students visiting the Kyoto International Manga Museum. Students will also utilize anime as a lens through which to view Japanese society. They will evaluate several styles of anime and discuss the implications of different anime as a reflection of Japanese values. The inspection of anime will also provide an opportunity for students to evaluate the linguistic components of anime and the ways in which the Japanese language interacts with the visual presentation. 3 credit hours.

Philosophy & Film: The Silver Screen & The Rising Sun

PHIL 3260

Instructor: Dr. Hans Gruenig

Course Description:  This course explores philosophical influences and themes in Japanese films — from classic works by Ozu and Kurosawa to more contemporary films, including popular films and anime.  Students will learn about Japanese aesthetics and philosophies rooted in traditions such as Shinto and Zen Buddhism — and explore how these philosophies influence the visuals, narrative styles, moods, and messages of a variety of Japanese films.  Students will also explore the philosophical messages of the films themselves and gain a clearer understanding of how film can bring philosophical concepts to life like no other medium.

This course is a critical study of the relation between philosophical concepts and the medium of film, which examines the unique manner in which film conveys concepts arguably too intricate for more traditional media.  Through a survey of films whose content illustrate philosophical ideas, as well as a variety of philosophical sources, students learn about the palpable ways in which film can "bring to life" philosophical concepts like no other medium (as well as about how potential filmmakers might utilize philosophical ideas in the production of their own work). 3 credit hours.

TEXTBOOKS (required): TBA

Modern Japanese Cities

HIST 3992

Instructor: Dr. David Rands, Ph.D.

Course Description: This course offers a detailed examination of cities throughout Japanese history. Beginning with the imperial capitals of Nara and Heian, and extending through Japanese megacities of the twenty-first century, the course will explore the historical contexts of Japan’s urban spaces including the organic and planned development of Japanese cities. Students will have the opportunity to compare and observe different types of urban environments. Note: all students enrolled in this course are required to sign up for the anniversary field trip.

Textbooks: TBA

Intermediate Japanese I

JAPN 2001

Instructor:Dr. Noriko Ito Krenn, Ph.D.

Course Description: A continuation of the development of all four language skills: speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. The course includes the study of approximately 100 Japanese characters, and the presentation and discussion of Japanese culture. This is a third semester Japanese language course. Prerequisites: JAPN 1001, 1002 or consent of the department. 3 credit hours.

Textbooks: TBA


Journey to the Heart of Zen

HUMS 2090

Instructor: Dr. Hans Gruenig, Ph.D.

Course Description: This interdisciplinary course explores the history, theory, and practices of Zen Buddhism and its approaches to wisdom, mindfulness, meditation, compassion, enlightenment and living a good life.  Students will learn about the original teachings of the Buddha in ancient India, the development of Chan/Zen in China and Japan, and the impact of Zen on Japanese culture.  This course will include experiential and practical learning activities and assignments, and students will receive instruction in traditional meditation and mindfulness practices, which have been scientifically shown to enhance happiness and well being. 3 credit hours

Note: this course will include some afternoon field trips which may extend beyond 2:40pm. Some field trips may require additional expenses.

The Foundations of Buddhism by Rupert Gethin
Early Buddhist Discourses (free, online - translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu)
Later Buddhist Texts (free, online), including:
Hsin Hsin Ming
Heart Sutra

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