Religions and Pop Culture
- Participate in intensive pre-trip lectures and hands-on study in Japan.
- Visit monasteries, castles, Zen gardens, shrines, traditional theater, and anime/manga museums, while interacting with local Japanese people on a daily basis.
- Observe bustling urban life of Osaka and Tokyo.
The group will spend the majority of its time in Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, but will also take overnight trips to Nara, Mt. Koya, and Ise.
Course of Study
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to Japanese religions and modern/popular cultures. It is designed for students interested in exploring diverse aspects of Japanese culture, with particular emphasis on Buddhist and Shinto traditions, traditional and contemporary Japanese popular culture, and points of their intersection.
The course consists of intensive pre-trip orientation and hands-on study in Japan. Prior to the trip, the instructors will offer theoretical outlines of the respective fields and provide students with a survey of Japanese history and culture, focusing especially on different forms of Japanese religions in traditional and modern contexts, traditional and contemporary Japanese popular culture.
During the sojourn in Japan, students will stay in a variety of accommodations, such as Buddhist temples and capsule hotels, and will be exposed to realities of religious and cultural practices in the country. We will explore these elements through the first hand exposure to the kaleidoscopic daily life in contemporary Japan. We will visit monasteries, castles, Zen gardens, shrines, traditional theater, and anime/manga museums—all the while interacting with local Japanese people on a daily basis.
By the end of the program, students are expected to understand the interplay of diverse religious and cultural phenomena in contemporary Japan. The final assessment of students’ learning will be based on a 10-page essay, along with a portfolio which includes diary entries based on observations and reflections on each site and venue.
RELG 398-391 or MODL 398-691 - (3 credits)
The course can be used to fulfill requirements for Japanese Studies minor and Religious Studies major.
This program is open to undergraduate and graduate UNL students in good academic standing. While applications from non-UNL students may be considered, preference will be given to UNL students.
Dr. Amano is a native of Sakai, Japan, and used to work for the chamber of commerce and the municipal archeological center. She has traveled to South Asian countries including Singapore and Thailand for research of economic development, and Europe, notably Italy for research and pleasure.
Dr. Komarovski is a specialist in Buddhist studies. For more than nine years, Komarovski lived and studied in different Buddhist societies, traveled in Japan extensively, and had the firsthand experience of living in Buddhist monastic institutions.
Accommodations and Other Arrangements
- Students will stay in Buddhist temples, traditional guest houses, and capsule hotels.
- The group will travel by local trains and buses, as well as the high-speed "bullet train."
See the "Budget Sheet" above and the Financial page on the Education Abroad website
Explanation of Costs
Please see the Budget Sheet for a detailed explanation of billable and non-billable program costs, withdrawal policies, and the payment process. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Upon confirmation of participation, UNL Faculty-Led program participants will pay a $1500 deposit. The deposit will be applied to the final program cost balance. If a participant withdraws from a program, the participant will be responsible for any irrecoverable costs associated with the program at the time of withdrawal (including a non-refundable $150 Education Abroad Fee).
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Please see the Education Abroad website for detailed information about financial aid and scholarships.
Below you will find links to resources for travel, health, and safety:
Center for Disease Control
US Department of State
*UNL Education Abroad does not officially endorse, administer, or monitor the content of these links.