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   May Term


 May Term In Japan



This seminar serves as an introduction to the rich cultural traditions of Japan. A series of lectures and field trips as well as personal contact with Japanese students will give a unique perspective on various aspects of contemporary Japanese society.

Classes are held on the campuses of Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo and Yokohama. The university setting allows Hope students to observe and participate in student activities on the campus and interact informally with university students, especially those who have visited Hope College or who plan to come to Hope's campus next September. The class lectures focus on the study of culture and religion, social and economic issues in Japan, Japanese education, as well as some “survival” Japanese lessons. Class content is reinforced with field trips to an elementary school and relevant business, social service, religious and historical sites. Students are housed in the central area of Tokyo with easy access by train or subway to museums, commercial and shopping areas and cultural centers.

An important aspect of the program is a weekend home stay with a Japanese family. Usually Japanese families entertain guests outside of their homes, so this is a special opportunity learn about Japanese home life first hand.

Since one cannot fully understand contemporary Japan without understanding its historical and cultural traditions, the participants will travel to the historic and cultural centers of Japan. Near Tokyo these centers include Nikko, with its famous ornate architecture, and Kamakura, site of the great outdoor Buddha and many temples and shrines. The last week of the program we will travel to such places as Kyoto, which offers 1,200 years of history; Hiroshima, site of the Peace Memorial Park, a tribute to the victims of the atomic bomb; and Mt. Fuji, most beautiful highest mountain in Japan.

Professors: Tom Ludwig and Fumihito Andy Nakajima
Length of Course: Four weeks - May 9 to June 6
Course Fee: $ 2,900 + airfare ($850)
(INCLUDES TUITION for 4 CREDIT HOURS, lodging, all the meals, extensive field trips, home stay)

  • Additional 2-4 credits can be obtained with regular May term fee. All the credits are transferable to many of the core courses.

1) May term in Japan Religion 295 will count toward RELIGION 200
2) May term in Japan Arts will count toward FINE ARTS 2
3) May term in Japan Sociology 295 will count toward SOCIAL SCIENCE 2
4) May term in Japan History will meet CD requirement or Cultural Heritage 2 if a student has completed Cultural Heritage 1
5) General Hope College credits or Japanese credits



In front of the Big Buddha in Kamakura 

At Himeji Castle 

In Kyoto

Schedule example (1997)
Wed Flying to Japan Arrive at Narita, Leave for Motona-so, Tea Party with MGU students Motona-so
Thu Survival Japanese, orientation Hiking : Nokogiri-Yama Mountain Motona-so
Fri Japanese culture & Homestay, orientation leave for Shirokane Campus, Meet with Host Family Motona-so
Sat Homestay Homestay
Sun Homestay, Participating in Sanjya Shrine Festival YMCA
Mon Campus tour at Shirokane Campus Orientation Meet with buddies Lunch and area orientation with buddies YMCA
Tue MG in the History of Protestantism in Japan Shinise : THe very Japanese companies Western Impact and Eastern Metoropolis Nuclear Issues in the Post-Cold war era YMCA
Wed Labor problem and policies in Japan Japanese legislativ system and process lunch with buddies Kendoo / Judo / sports YMCA
Thu   Child welfare in Japan Field trip : Children's castle YMCA
Fri Field trip : Azumazeki-Beya, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Sanja-Matsuri Festival YMCA
Sat Kamakura Trip with buddies YMCA
Sun Trip to Kansai area (Hiroshima and Kyoto), Hiroshima Hiroshima
Mon Hiroshima-Peace Memorial Museum, Kyoto-Kiyomizudera, shopping Kyoto
Tue Kyoto-Golden temple, Zen temple, Movie company, celebration in Gion Kyoto
Wed Nara-Todaiji, Nara National Museum, great Buddah, shopping Kyoto
Thu Kyoto-tea ceremony, Kyoto National Museum, Tokyo-baseball game YMCA
Fri Kabuki lecture Field trip : Kabuki-za theatre YMCA
Sat Optional field trip with buddies : Kamakura or somewhere for your reseach project YMCA
Sun Trip to Mt. Fuji, Japanese garden, amuzement park YMCA
Mon Organization of educational sytem in Japan Field trip: Shirokane elementary school YMCA
Tue Issues surronding Japanese women Global strategy of asian companies Chapel service Field trip : Toraya YMCA
Wed Campus tour at Yokohama campus "A sence realm beyond love and hate" Club activities, International party with MGU, ISP & UC students Brown House, YMCA
Thu Research project preparation, special lecture by Prof. Klay YMCA
Fri Research project preparation Research project presentation, Closing ceremony YMCA
Sat Free day, shopping, May term group farewell party YMCA
Sun Free day with buddies, host families, shopping YMCA
Mon Leave for USA