JAPAN ACROSS THE ERAS

 Approximate Dates: July 5-26th, 2019


Program Overview

Traverse the intriguing eras of historical Japan through journeys to the seats of government of the formative Nara, Heian, Kamakura and Edo eras with Edu-Odyssey's program offering in Japan. Students can choose between a 'History and Culture' Track and a 'Creative' Track, or can follow a dual track, with focus on both the historic and creative elements to the trip.

All students will trace the development of the nation through themed sessions in Nara, Kyoto, Kamakura and Tokyo. Excursions to important sites such as Todaiji (the Grand Buddha Temple) and Deer petting park in Nara, Fushimi Inari Fox Mountain Shrine and the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, the Edo-Museum and Samurai Museum in Tokyo, and the Massive Kannon War Memorial and Enoshima Island in Kamakura with be included in the tuition. Visits are accompanied by lectures and academic or creative activities guiding students to make the most of their time. Can you imagine collecting Kitsune (fox spirit) themes photos for a class portfolio, or reflecting on the Edo Era’s significant contributions to the values and uniqueness of modern Japan while meandering through busting Harajuku Fashion area and stopping to pet loyal Hachiko statue?

Students are welcome to join both the History and Culture and Creative Tracks. By taking both courses you will have less free time, but you will have a more intensive experience.

Students will emerge from this program with an enhanced understanding of the contributions of historic events and trends to socio-cultural and artistic manifestations specific to the context of Japan, and through extension gain a deeper understanding of the influences of culture and experience on self development and the limitations and biases of one’s own culture of origin.

Students will receive 45+ lectured class hours per course, with additional field trips and excursions included in the tuition. An Edu-Odyssey transcript will be issued at the end of the semester as requested if classes are taken for credit. For gap year and continuing education students, a certificate of completion will be presented. 

 The departure point for each class will be the physical environment and culture of Japan in its myriad forms as museums, sacred places, communities, markets, modern sites and encounters with East Asian culture. Lectures, readings, and discussions contextualize the places we visit within the diverse array of the Japanese experience, and make critical connections between civilizations past, and ours today. The workshop component of each class engages students in creative production and feedback integrating the travel experience into personal creative portfolios.*

 

Courses

HISTORY AND CULTURE TRACK

 JAPANESE CULTURE AND HISTORY THROUGH THE ERAS

Have you ever wanted to delve deeper into the foundation of what makes Japanese culture stand out globally as innovative and unique? This course will help you get to the roots of this fascination. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.”. By experiencing Kyoto, Tokyo, Kamakura and Nara, four enthralling cities with polar characteristics, and by pursuing a studied understanding of a nation’s history along with the patterns by which value systems and cultures are developed internationally, the space between the ‘foreign’ and the ‘self’ is bridged.

Students gain a broad overview of traditional and contemporary Japanese society through a study of each era of Japanese history from ancient Japan to the modern Heisei Era. Special attention will be paid to the spread and influence of Buddhism, the artistic and cultural flourishing of the Heian Era, the development of the shogunate and warrior culture, and the political and social changes of the modern eras. Students will develop an approach to historical analysis and philosophical extension by analyzing texts and artifacts pertinent to the evolution of Japan as a nation and gain a better understanding of the process of influence of historical events on contemporary culture.

Students will draw their own conclusions through historical inquiry and clearly articulate their conclusions in discussion and writing. We will examine both universal and local themes in Japanese Culture, including but not limited to war, existentialism, individualism, family roles, enduring traditions and clashing cultures, modern values and mythology. Students will leave this course with an understanding of formative events of historic and modern Japan and an ability to identify thematic struggles in the nation's development such as conflicts between native and foreign influences, value development and preservation of traditional Japanese culture against modernity.

CREATIVE TRACK:

PHOTOGRAPHY AND TRAVEL WRITING WORKSHOP

As Thoreau said, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” Students pursuing the Creative Track actively attempt self expression in a new environment. You can enter either a beginner or advanced group. Beginner groups will approach Japanese culture by both analyzing existing notable Japanese creative works in various fields (film, fiction, photography, architecture, fashion...) and following our carefully designed curriculum involving creative writing, photography, digital design and creative feedback and response. Advanced students of a particular field (photography, graphic design, creative writing...) may focus on their specific projects in a mentored class setting, receiving regular feedback, direction and group critique to progress.

In Japanese Travel Writing Course, students will engage in artistic and creative project work surrounding travel writing and photography in an advancing curriculum throughout the term of the trip. For the creative writing segment, beginners will be introduced to principles and styles of travel writing with the aim to create professional, publishable pieces while more advanced students will be helped to fine tune their composition and voice throughout portfolio development. We focus on development of an eye for interesting and compelling stories, gathering material for stories, as well as analyzing and learning from successful contemporary travel writers and trends of the modern era. In the photography segment of the course, students learn the elements of composition and how to use them to achieve desired effects. Through surveys of established photographers, Japanese and international, and individual and team projects that take students on adventures in town, we develop as photographers. For the advanced student of photography or aspiring photographer, our instructors are adept at helping you to fine tune and challenge your body of work and creative direction. Use this semester to grow and experiment!

Students emerge from this course with a developed portfolio and new, useful life skills. It is designed to be paired with the History and Culture track, so students are able to attend all classes and participate in all activities


Tuition

1 Course - $4,550

 2 Courses - $4,950

 

Includes: Shared Housing in Student Accommodation, Excursion fees and Entrance Fees (including to included cities Kyoto, Nara, Kamakura and Tokyo and excursions therein), Transportation for Excursions, Welcome and Farewell Dinners, Round the Clock On-Site Support, Transcript and Tutored Class Support as Requested

*Programs are subject to change as deemed fit due to inclement weather, availability and varying circumstances as Edu-Odyssey adapts to provide the best experience for students.

 

 

Features Overview

Take a closer look …

Gion_street.jpg

Housing

Home base for the Japan program is a private house located in the Gion district of Kyoto. Students will stay in comfortable and conveniently located hostels when traveling through other destinations such as Tokyo. Student housing is outfitted with all the modern conveniences that make life easy or students such as a full kitchen, Wi-fi, washing machine, common room, emergency phones, beds, linens, and cooking supplies. Our assistant staff member will reside in the same house to ensure 24 hour support.

_DSC0309.jpg

Excursions

A typical itinerary includes visits to Fushimi Inari Fox Mountain Shrine, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Tenryu-ji, Shibuya Crossing, Harajuku Fashion District, the Ukiyo-e and Samurai Museums of Tokyo, the Edo-Museum, Sumo Museum of the Kokugikan, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Giant Kannon Statue and the Shrine of Hachiman in Kamakura, Yasaka Shrine and Nishiki Market, the Daibutsu and Deer petting areas of Todaiji in Nara and participation in select Gion Matsuri festivities. 3 World Heritage Sites!

_DSC0298.jpg

Orientation and Support

Edu-Odyssey programs offer stand out pre-departure assistance and 24 hour on-site support. Prior to leaving, each student is helped with the departure process and given key information about the destination and program requirements. Our on-site orientation introduced students to common behaviors, values and differences of the host culture in order to decrease culture shock and make sure you feel safe.