An introduction to the study of Japan and its place in the world An introduction to the study of Japan and its place in the world

Academic Lead - Dr Simon Kaner

“Japan plays a very significant role in the contemporary world, and I am thrilled we are hosting this innovative short course to enthuse others with a passion for the history of Japan, Japanese culture and its future.”- Dr Simon Kaner, Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies and Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

The significance of Japan today is based upon a fascinating past which informs the present in a multitude of ways. Japan is at the forefront of issues challenging human society in the 21st century, from demographics to sustainable development, and the impact of new technologies and advances in communication.

The course draws upon the Centre’s dedication to producing excellent interdisciplinary research on Japan and provides an introduction to generating a deeper understanding of the past, present and future of Japan. Delivery will focus on stimulating discussion with contributions from a number of programme speakers who are leading researchers in the field of Japanese Studies.

Read our Japan Orientation Brochure

This module is delivered in partnership with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.  

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Be a more intercultural member of society, having gained knowledge about Japan’s social, political and cultural context. 
  • Have a greater understanding of Japan’s history and geography. 
  • Have an appreciation of Japan’s significance within European society. 
  • Have enhanced study skills, in particular the ability to present information and express ideas about materials studies in oral and written formats.

Field Trips

Field trips are likely to include two day trips to London and Cambridge to visit cultural sites such as the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum. There is also likely to be some time spent off campus in Norwich at the Sainsbury’s Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.


The course is suited to those who are interested in Japan, East Asia and the latest approaches to Japanese Studies. No specific prior knowledge is required, except a desire and willingness to learn and engage.

School Profile

In May 2011, the University of East Anglia established a new Centre for Japanese Studies (CJS). Located within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UEA, CJS leads and coordinates Japan-related teaching and research at UEA. CJS is dedicated to developing a centre for excellence in Japanese Studies at UEA, whilst stimulating the highest quality interdisciplinary research on Japan in Norwich. Our world-class research networks aim to develop a deeper understanding of Japan and its place in the wider world of the past, present and future. For more information, please visit the Centre for Japanese Studies webpages.

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