About the Seminar
Seminar of Japanese Studies was established under the Department of Linguistics and Baltic Studies, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in September 2007. Since the following year the Seminar has been offering an undergraduate course in Japanese Studies. The study programme includes practical as well as theoretical schooling in Japanese language and writing. An indispensable part of the curriculum are also courses specialized in a number of topics ranging from Japanese culture and society to lectures and seminars on history, literature, religion, arts, culture, society, politics, economy and so forth.
The members of the Seminar not only hold the positions of lecturers of Japanese language and of other courses on Japanese studies, but are also active in research in their particular areas of interest. These too are numerous and diverse, ranging from ancient religions through medieval and contemporary theatre, as well as touching on modern linguistics and current nationalistic issues. Besides publishing in national and international academic journals, collective monographs and individual works, members of the Seminar also take part in workshops and conferences both at home and abroad, and work on preparation of study materials for practical language seminars and theoretical courses at Masaryk University.
The Seminar is also working in close cooperation with the wide non-academic public by means of organising annual preparatory course for the programme applicants, participating in courses for the University of the Third Age, and giving public lectures on topics concerning popular Japanese language and culture.
The main theoretical objective of the Seminar of Japanese Studies is a contemporary view of Japan, Japanese society and culture, regarded in a modern global context. There are many antagonistic tendencies occurring under the influence of the ever advancing globalisation. On the one hand, there is the emerging universal "global society", and on the other hand there is a reaction to globalization in the form of a simultaneous attempt for distinction on the part of individual cultures. Japanese culture and the knowledge of its divergence, with its specific mechanisms of dealing with internal and external stimuli, becomes not only a fruitful source of inspiration, but can serve as a reference for one's own reflection on cultural background.
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