Wintersession in Kyoto

The 2015 Wintersession in Kyoto application is available here

REL 290 Kyoto: Center of Japan’s Religion and Culture

Professor T. James Kodera

Hands-on observation and critical analyses of religion and culture in Kyoto, Japan’s capital for over a millennium. Topics include: Shinto and Buddhism in traditional Japanese art and culture, such as “tea ceremony,” calligraphy, poetry, theater and martial arts; Shinto and Japan’s appreciation of nature; Japan’s selective memory of the Pacific War and Japan’s growing nationalism; today’s Buddhist clergy as specialists of the world of the dead, in sharp contrast to the earlier (pre-seventeenth century) focus on meditation and acts of mercy for the living; “new religions” in contemporary Japanese society and politics; Japan’s assimilation of Western religions, as manifested in youth culture; the complicity of religion in the resurgence of nationalism and xenophobia; the contemporary Japanese fascination with the “other world”. Kyoto will be the center of operation with possible side trips to Nara, Hiroshima, and perhaps Tokyo.

Length:  The group will depart from Boston's Logan Airport on January 6, 2015 and return to campus on Saturday, January 24, 2015. 

Not offered every year. Subject to Dean’s Office approval.

Prerequisite: At least one course in Asian religion; though not required, preference given to students of Asian religions and of East Asian Studies. Application required.

Enrollment: Limited to 10 and with written permission of the instructor.

Cost: $4,800 (Includes air and ground travel, lodging, visits, food, and program fees).

Distribution: Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semester: Wintersession Unit: 0.5

  • Application Deadline: Monday, October 6 (to be submitted to Robin Lush, in the Religion Department)
  • Notification to students: October 15
  • Signed Confirmation Form Due: October 27
  • First Compulsory Orientation Session: (General outline of trip, research topic review) Friday, October 24 @ 5:30, FND 222
  • Second Compulsory Orientation Session: (Health and safety and discussion about cities on itinerary) Friday, November 7 @ 5:30, FND 222
  • Third Compulsory Orientation Session: (Finalize research topics, assigned readings, itinerary) Friday, December 5 @ 5:30, FND 222

2015 Kyoto Guidelines

2015 Wintersession Program Application