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Culture and Society Course (taught in English)



2020/12/11 :  Schedule for Natural Sciences and Technology is updated.
2020/10/12 :  The information about Project Works is updated. Please refer here.
2020/10/1  :

  • Postponed Summer Program, including Culture and Society Course ('Transborder Issues in Japan' and 'Exploring Natural Sciences & Technology'), will be held ONLINE.
  • Course Structure is updated. Please refer here.

Date of the Course 

 6 (Sat.) February - 20 (Sat.) Feb, 2021 [2 weeks]

Course Structure and Notes


※Please click the image to see the larger and clearer version

  •   "Culture and Society Course" will consist of 'Trans-border issues in Japan' and 'Exploring Natural Sciences & Technology'. Some part of lectures of 'Lifestyle in Japan' will be combined into the other two sub-courses. Students should pick either sub-course. Project Work with Japanese students is mandatory for both sub-courses. 
  • Up to 15 students for 'Trans-border issues in Japan' and up to 15 students for 'Exploring Natural Sciences & Technology' are accepted.

Course Contents

【Lectures】 Choose ONE sub-course from the below (two credits)

Sub-course 1: Trans-Border Issues in Japan

Sub-course 2: Exploring Natural Sciences and Technology in Japan

 Sub-course 1: Trans-Border Issues in Japan

   We can regard that Japan today is located in a whirlpool of globalization. Many people come in and go out, various goods and information are exported and imported, and the fundamental constitution of Japanese societies is transformed drastically, keeping some traditional dimensions. Now let's learn about the contemporary Japan from the viewpoint of trans-border issues: you will study various aspect such as culture and sub-culture, human movements, language, fine arts, international education, leadership etc.

Date Lecturer/Topics
February 8th
Yusuke Sakurai

Trans-Border Issues in Education: Student Mobility

This seminar lays out some major trends in student mobility, in particular, in higher education. It provides students an opportunity to develop their awareness and understanding of meanings and significances of student mobility. The seminar takes as its "object" students' experiences as those crossing border(s) to critically examine what student mobility means in the era of globalisation.

Trans-Border Issues in Education: Short-Term Intensive International Programs

This seminar, following the previous class discussion, narrows down students' focus to their experiences in intensive summer/winter program(s), one of major pedagogical formats of short-term international courses. This seminar poses the enduring question, "how do we provide high-impact educational experiences in short-term international courses?" This seminar invites students' active and reflective analyses on their own experiences as course participants of short-term international courses.

February 9th
Shu Imaizumi

Cultural and Linguistic Influences on Cognition

Human cognition and personality could vary between different cultural groups (e.g., West and East) and between different language speakers (e.g., English and Japanese). I will introduce empirical studies in cognitive psychology demonstrating this hypothesis, and discuss implications for daily lives.

February 11th

Satomi Ito

Invitation to Linguistics: Seeking a Framework to Analyze any Language in the World

Are you struggling to master a foreign language? If you are, then you've already found that the language variety is intriguing yet cumbersome. In this lecture, I will introduce a framework to interpret and compose any language in the world: formal semantics. The talk covers Japanese, English, Chinese and hopefully, your native language!

February 12th

Maki Tsuchiya

The Inside and the Outside of the Japanese Fine Arts

Japanese fine arts often seem to have strong originality. Of course, on the other hand they are also influenced and developed by images and formats brought from the surrounding areas. In this class, I introduce several cases in Japanese fine arts, and the participants do with time to exchange views with other members about such cases.

February 15th

Rie Okamura

Japanese Working Women in Leadership Positions from the Viewpoints of Integrating Work, Family and Education

The Japanese government has set a goal to fill 30% of leadership positions with women by 2020. In this class, we will discuss how we can achieve this goal referring results of the survey conducted by Institute for Global Leadership in 2019

February 16th
Mayumi Mizumura

Dance as Human Movement

Human movements are affected by cultural backgrounds such as lifestyles. Japanese people has been changing their lifestyle during several decades from Japanese traditional ways to more westernized ways which would also affect our health status. Dance is artistic human movement originated from deep into cultural origins of each area or country. Let's learn about Japanese dance as human movements and enjoy Japanese culture through dancing.

February 17th
Shoka Utsumi

The history and new trends of child education and care in Japan

Japan's first and oldest kindergarten, Ochanomizu university kindergarten opened in 1876 (F. Froebel had founded the world’s first kindergarten in 1837). The class focuses on the history of early childhood education in Japan, the education and childcare philosophy of Ochanomizu University, and the recent efforts and activities at Bunkyo-ku municipal Ochanomizu university kodomo-en, providing opportunities for learning early childhood education and childcare through group dialogues.

 Sub-course 2: Exploring Natural Sciences and Technology in Japan 

   Nature is filled with structurally diverse substrates and living creatures, which are altered in spatio-temporal manners.
The physical nature of form (structure or assembly) and its change are figured out by the scieces, especially mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and information science, with technology. The lectures examine and explain natural science and technology and are given in English by teaching staff in Faculty of Science. The lecturers will present, in simple terms, the areas of interest in their own field of expertise. This will ensure an overall comprehensive approach.

Date  Lecturer/Topics

February 8th

Masayuki HATTA

A quest for the Principle of Animal Body Plan

Diverse animals are derived from a single ancestor in evolution.This fact suggests that various animal forms are all derivative and that a common ancestral body plan should be hidden in their
morphological diversity. What is the principle of animal form, the body plan? Animals are moving organisms in the planet Earth. This condition has given the axis and symmetry to animal forms. We try
to extract the simple principle of animal body plan from diverse animal morphogenesis by focusing on the axis and symmetry.

February 9th

Quantum Origin of the Universe - atoms, planets, black holes, stars, and galaxies… -

All the structures in the Universe originate from quantum mechanics and attractive forces such as gravity and electromagnetism. In particular, the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics provides the universal supporting pressure which balances with the attractive forces. In this lecture, we will focus on the basic role of quantum mechanics providing macroscopic structures although the strange behavior of quantum mechanics is often emphasized in the microscopic world.

February 11

Protein structure: From its folding through static and dynamic structures.

The protein plays a major role as an element in forming structure of organisms. The protein is a single chain molecule and its blueprint is encrypted in DNA.
Recent studies in computational and molecular biology unveiled how information in DNA converted into a structure of a protein and how proteins perform function in a cell. This lecture gives a brief
overview of the information flow and mechanisms of protein function through its structure.

February 12
Toshihiro KONDO

Nanoworld: Behaviors and functionalities of atoms and molecules.

Contents: "Nano" world means very very small one, namely world of atoms and/or molecules. How do you think that atoms and molecules have shape? If so, do those shapes change with time?
In this lecture, “nanoworld" is briefly explained as a first, simple discussion about atoms and molecules are performed by several groups, and then, those results and shape and time of atoms and molecules are discussed at all.

February 15
Miodri KASAI

Dashi and Umami in Japanese Food 

Umami is one of the basic, or primary tastes and it is the fifth taste, joining sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Especially in Japan, umami substances are extracted by making dashi. Three major umami substances were discovered in Japan about 100 years ago and play an important role in Japanese food. The class will lecture about the discovery of umami, how to make dashi, and typical Japanse food washoku using dashi.

February 16
Takanori KONO

Experimental techniques to probe atomic and subatomic structures

Radiation facilities, i.e. particle beam accelerators and synchrotron radiation facilities, are used in many areas of science.For example, structure and functionalities of various materials are explored
with X-ray diffraction and various spectroscopic measurements.Subatomic structures and the fundamental particles and their interactions have been discovered by high energy particle accelerators. 
In this lecture, we will review the principles of typical experiments using particle beams and discuss key concepts to understand what can be learned with such experiments.

February 18
Takayuki ITO

Computer Graphics: From Data To Visual Messages

Recent computer graphics techniques archived realistic and fine representations.It has the power to convert data into visual messages.

The former part of this class introduces fundamental computer graphics techniques which are used to various industries including engineering design and entertainments.

The latter part introduces information visualization techniques which make visual representation of daily information.

【Project Works】 (2 credits)

Class objective:

The Project Work aims to conduct project works through the collaboration of Ochanomizu University students and overseas partner university students. In groups, students will discuss to fix the project theme of the group, schedule the research work, and make a video of an oral presentation in a group.

Class evaluation:





Work in pairs of one Ochadai student and one International student
Activities as pairs are going to be such as: Self-introduction, a presentation of home university, Choose a SDGs goal, Tokyo Virtual Tour

End-December to Mid-January


Work in a group of 4 students/ two pairs that worked together in December
Present your partner to the group, choose a SDGs goal as a group and make a presentation (short movie) appealing to what the group wants to research about the theme.




Each group of 4 students should choose a group to work together by watching the appealing video. After making a group of eight students, prepare the proposal sheet and submit it to the instructor.



Work in a group of eight students according to the approved proposal sheet. At last, make a presentation video and upload it to the platform set by the instructor.
On the last day of the program, we are going to have a Q&A session in order to answer the questions of the other students regarding the presentation video.

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