China and Japan: Traditional and Contemporary "Silk Roads"

Fall 2016, Winter 2017, and Spring 2017 quarters

Taught by

Hirsh Diamant
visual arts, Chinese studies, human development
Japanese language and culture
  • UG

This program will introduce the history, culture and philosophy of China and Japan. We will use the theme of the Silk Road in our examination of China as the heart of Asian civilization and Japan as a constant presence at the eastern end of the route.

Our inquiry into Chinese and Japanese history will focus on periods in which foreign contacts were most influential, for example when Buddhism, along with tea, traveled the Silk Road to reach Japan. Japan embraced Chinese culture while modifying it to fit Japan’s political and cultural needs. Japanese language, literature and art cannot be discussed without Chinese influences. Japan is also a repository of both tangible and intangible Chinese culture, which has disappeared from China itself. For example, treasures from the Silk Road, as well as Tang Dynasty dance and music from the 8th century, still survive in Japan. Such a heritage has, in turn, helped produce a present day cultural renaissance in China. We will examine contemporary “Silk Roads” that incorporate new trends, technologies and aspirations.

The program will also include discussions on Asian philosophies, including Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Shintoism and their distinct time/space concepts. We will study the Chinese and Japanese ideographic languages and their embedded worldviews and sensitivities as expressed in poetry and literature, both classic and contemporary.

In the Fall quarter we will study Chinese and Japanese history, along with important cultural concepts for understanding these two countries. In winter we shift our focus to a more thorough examination of both cultures. Students will take part in a three-day Lunar New Year celebration in early February. There will be an optional three-week study abroad trip to both China and Japan starting in Week 9 and extending into the spring break at an estimated cost of $3,500. During Spring quarter students will continue their focused studies through independent or group projects and will have an opportunity to connect their learning with the community. Other program activities include field trips to the Chinese and Japanese gardens in Portland, Oregon; calligraphy demonstrations and workshops, and studying Chinese tea culture and the Japanese tea ceremony.

Students are strongly encouraged to take a Japanese or Chinese language course for four credits in addition to this program.

Quarters

Fall Open Winter Open Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location

Olympia

Study Abroad

Optional study abroad trip to both China and Japan starting in Week 9 of Winter quarter and extending into the spring break at an estimated cost of $3,500.

Time Offered

Evening and Weekend

Advertised Schedule

Saturdays, 9am-5pm. First Winter meeting Saturday January 14, 9am, Sem II B1105. There will be an optional three-week trip to China and Japan during  Winter quarter week 10, evaluation week, and spring break week.

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online

Special Expenses

Optional study abroad at the end of Winter quarter in Japan and China - approximately $3500.00 for three weeks of study

Fees

Fall: $125 for field trips, entrance fees, and calligraphy and tea supplies. Winter: $30 for a tea ceremony presentation. Spring: $50 for field trips, entrance fees, and calligraphy and tea supplies.

Revisions

DateRevision
2016-12-06Winter fee increased (from $15 to $30).