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Weekend Workshops

November 4, 2011

In addition to our semester-long seminars the USC U.S.-China Institute offers weekend workshops at USC focused on specific themes and topics using Asian case studies.

 Current seminars open for enrollment

 Cool Japan: Japanese Pop Culture at Home and Abroad

A Day-long Workshop for Educators

Saturday, December 3, 2011
9 am – 3:30 pm

You’ve no doubt seen images from Comic-Con or other gatherings. Or perhaps you’re one of the many who love Japanese anime, manga, music, game shows, video games, food, and fashion have become hugely popular far beyond the country’s borders. K-12 educators are invited to join us for a workshop that will explore some of what is popular in Japan, what this suggests about contemporary values and worries, and how some of Japanese pop culture has attracted legions of fans in the U.S. and elsewhere. 

Who should attend? Anyone who teaches about Japan or would like to do so and anyone interested in issues such as how history is presented in popular media and what has facilitated or hampered the embrace of elements of Japanese pop culture by Americans and others. 


William Tsutsui, Southern Methodist University
Dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, William Tsutsui is the author of Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters and co-author of In Godzilla's Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Before helping scholars and the general public make sense of the global reach of Japanese pop culture, Tsutsui was well-known for his path-breaking work on Japanese business history. For example, his 1998 book Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan received the top award for a book on Japan from the Association for Asian Studies. 


 Lynne Miyake, Pomona College
A popular professor of Japanese language and literature, Lynne Miyake has followed the rise of manga (comic books) and, especially, how manga creators have remade Japanese classics. One of her recent articles is “Graphically Speaking Genjis: Manga Versions of The Tale of Genji.” Miyake notes that manga has had an impact on virtually every aspect of Japanese life. Most of Miyake’s research has focused on classical Japanese literature and she’s published extensively on narrative strategies and portrayals of gender in Heian Japan. 


 Akira Mizuta Lippit, University of Southern California

One of the nation’s top specialists on Japanese cinema, Akira Lippit is professor of cinematic arts, comparative literature, and East Asian languages and cultures. His books include Atomic Light (Shadow Optics) looks at those moments when science and technology create ways of seeing that which is otherwise can’t be seen. His analysis utilizes films where key elements are invisible or made invisible. His current research looks at contemporary Japanese cinema and the relationship between Japanese culture and the world. 


In addition to working with these presenters, participants will discuss how to effectively utilize elements of Japanese pop culture to teach about Japan, about cultural exchange, and about globalization. Each participant will be given a copy of William Tsutsui’s Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization as well as additional readings and resource recommendations. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

To enroll:
2. Send the application and a check for $35 (payable to the University of Southern California) to the USC U.S.-China Institute at the address below. The check holds your registration space. It will be returned to participants at the end of the workshop. If you do not attend the full workshop, the check will be cashed. 

USC U.S.-China Institute

Japanese Pop Culture Workshop
3535 S. Figueroa St.  FIG 202

Los Angeles, California  90089-1262

Questions? Please call 1-213-821-4382 or write

Curious about Comic-Con, manga, and more? Please take a look at these abbreviated selection of Asia Pacific Arts articles, interviews and photo collections.

Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2011

A Good Husband

AFM 2010: Japanese Films

2010 Pia Film Festival

A Poem of 3 Letters that is Ozu

The Hariyama Bridge (African American director)

Chaos Reigns

Nobody to Watch Over Me

Air Doll


AFM 2009: Japanese Films

Dawn of the Arcana
Tekken: Blood Vengeance

Rei Hiroe

Kenji Kamiyama

FanimeCon 2011

Pokemon Experience

Evangelion 2.0
Anime Expo 2008

Shoko Nakgawa

Masakazu Morita

Morikawa Toshiyuki

Nobuo Uematsu and Arnie Roth

Akemi Takada

Tatsumi Yoshihiro

Report from Comic-Con 2009

Photos from Comic-Con 2010

Alternative Manga Anthology




Final Fantasy Orchestra

Akanishi Jin (2010)

Hiromi Uehara

Utada Hikaru


Morning Musume

Ryu ga Gotoku

Memento Mori

Daisuke Ishiwatari and Toshimichi Mori

Sakura Wars

Past workshops

Fall 2011 (October 21-22): Media Culture in Contemporary China: A conference and workshop for educators
Spring 2010 (May 1, 2010): Integrating Human Rights into Your Curriculum: Case Studies from Asia
Fall 2009 (December 9, 2009): Images of East Asia
Fall 2009 (September 12, 2009): Islam in China
Spring 2008 (May 3, 2008): Integrating Human Rights into Your Curriculum: Case Studies from Asia
Fall 2007 (October 20, 2007): Images of East Asia
Spring 2007 (May 5, 2007): Islam in Asia