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19 December 2012

Japanese Popular Culture and Teaching

Mr. Masashi Ogawa
Language Instructor, Department of Japanese Studies HKU

Date: 19th Dec(Wed). 2012. 17:30-19:30
Venue: CPD-2.45 (2/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU)
Medium of speech : Japanese

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Department of Japanese Studies, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong and The University Alliance for Japanese Studies in Hong Kong, Macau and Guang Dong Province present Open Seminar: Japanese Popular Culture and Teaching.

In Hong Kong, Japanese popular culture is not only consumed as a foreign culture. It is already integrated as a factor of own culture by adding new/different meanings and values. Therefore, it is imagined as already known. This fact is usually perceived as ‘positive’ factor to teach Japanese Popular culture in Hong Kong.

However, it can cause a kind of paradoxical situation for teaching Japanese popular culture because the teaching could be the act to treat the culture as a foreign culture despite the fact that the students tend to perceive the culture as a part of own culture and already known.

This presentation is based upon the findings of author’s previous investigation on the course of Contemporary Japanese Popular Music in Japanese studies program in HKU, in which the students attempt to have social scientific consideration on the cause of the popularity of Japanese songs and singers.

In the previous investigation, the questions below were problematized.
1) In what kind of interpretational gap in appreciation of popular music is caused by what kind of differences in cultural literacy?
2) In attempt to conquer such problems, what kinds of strategies were taken by the students and teachers, and how effective were they?

Based upon the detailed description of the results of investigation above, what kind of the educational problems the peculiarity of teaching Japanese popular culture in Hong Kong can be caused and what kind of attempt to convert it to the advantage is taken will be discussed.

Also, the various issues on taking such a cultural products for the course aiming to let the students obtain language proficiency will be discussed.

Japanese Studies HKU