student at sumo match


Japanese Media and Global Culture

Program Overview

Field Trips and Guest Speakers

Program Director

Estimated Costs


Information about Tokyo and TUJ

General Summer Program Information

Eligibility and Application Requirements

Deadline and More Information



Based at Temple University, Japan Campus, the Japanese Media and Global Culture program introduces students to various aspects of Japanese society and culture through the vehicle of different media: television, magazines, music, anime, manga, and film. Each medium is taken as a starting point to discuss important dimensions of Japanese culture, its history, and Japan’s relationship to the rest of the world. Major themes addressed throughout the program include race, ethnicity and gender dynamics in Japan, the construction of Japanese national/cultural identity, Japan’s position in a global context (as it relates both to “the West” and to the rest of Asia), and its involvement in processes of transnational cultural exchange. The program considers these dynamics from multiple perspectives and angles—the impact of the “Korean wave” on Japanese media consumers, anime’s long history of cultural influence in France, Japanese hip hop’s parallels with its Turkish counterpart—aimed at destabilizing common dichotomies and stereotypes. Students are also encouraged to reflect more broadly on the concept of culture, what it means, how it evolves and how our cultural context influences who we are.

In an age of converged global communication, students in all majors must learn to understand and effectively handle cultural differences in order to be professionally successful. This course provides them with both the intellectual skills and knowledge (through field trips, discussions and readings) and the practical tools (through cultural immersion, interviewing and writing) to successfully compete in an increasingly globalized world. More specifically, the course:

  • Allows student to experience the research/reporting process by planning, investigating, and producing a final project
  • Helps students think critically about the concept of culture, its influence on our daily lives and the way we write/report about our everyday environment
  • Increases students’ understanding of the Japanese social and cultural environment
  • Increases students’ understanding of the American social and cultural environment
  • Increases students’ awareness of concepts and issues relevant in our contemporary era regardless of the cultural context examined (international relations, the racial and gendered dynamics of globalization, concentration of media ownership, the role of global media, etc.)
  • Hones students’ writing and reporting skills
  • Develops students’ presentation skills through the final project presentation

Undergraduate students will register for a total of 6 credits, choosing one of the course options below:

  • Journalism 3751: Foreign Studies in Journalism (6 credits)
  • Media Studies and Production 4571: Foreign Studies in Media Studies and Production (6 credits)
  • Asian Studies 2000: Special Topics I (3 credits) plus Asian Studies 3000: Special Topics II (3 credits)

Graduate students will register for Journalism 5890: Seminar in Communications Abroad (6 credits).

Tentative Schedule





Concept of culture; historical background on Japanese society and culture; and development of Japan’s media system.


Japanese television. Themes include the role of television in creating a sense of national unity, gender representations in Japanese television, and the influence of the Korean wave.


Japanese magazines and popular music. Themes include representations of gender, race and class in Japanese popular magazines; different genres of Japanese popular music and their relationship to Japanese cultural identity and history;  the hybrid nature of Japanese popular culture; and Japanese hip hop in a global context.


Japanese animation and manga. Themes include the significance of the genre in the Japanese context, different types of Japanese anime/manga, and Japanese animation as both globally influenced and globally influential.


Japanese film. Themes include the history of Japanese film, its connection to Japanese cultural identity and different genres of Japanese film.


Throughout the program students will be asked to contribute to an ongoing blog focused on the week’s theme. Students can decide to explore these themes through photography, video and/or the written word. Students will also have the opportunity to create a more comprehensive final project exploring one aspect of Japanese popular culture.


Temple undergraduate students who successfully complete this program automatically satisfy the World Society (GG) requirement of GenEd.





The program focuses on experiential learning and includes fieldtrips to museums such as the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the Ghibli Museum; television studios such as Asahi or Fuji-TV; and numerous cultural sites. Students will also attend a Sumo wrestling match, Kabuki theater, and a Japanese traditional culture workshop introducing them to tea ceremony, flower arrangement, Koto playing and calligraphy.


Guest speakers will be invited to address the students. Possible guest speakers include:

Iwabuchi Koichi, author of Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism; Ian Condry, author of Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the paths of cultural globalization; and industry professionals such as media executives, producers and journalists.


TUJ's Office of Student Services also organizes optional field trips and excursions each summer. These may include outings to festivals, museums, and sporting events.



Dr. Darling-Wolf is an associate professor in the Journalism Department and the Mass Media and Communication doctoral program in the School of Media and Communication. Her research focuses on global media flows and processes of transnational cultural influence with a particular interest on Japan and Europe. Originally from France, she has conducted research on the Japanese media for more than 15 years and has lived in Japan at several points in time. Her upcoming book Imagining the Global: Transnational Media and Popular Culture Beyond East and West (Michigan University Press) explores historical and contemporary dynamics of popular cultural exchange between the United States, France, and Japan.


Takashita Street




  Undergraduate (6 credits) Graduate (6 credits)
Budget Item PA Resident Non-Resident PA Resident Non-Resident
Billable Item
Tuition $3,102* $5,004* $4,470 $6,258
Program Fee** $1,750 $1,750 $1,750 $1,750
Required Health Insurance $51 $51 $51 $51
Non-Billable Item Estimates
Meals $1,250 $1,250 $1,250 $1,250
Personal Expenses (including local transportation) $1,250 $1,250 $1,250 $1,250
Round-Trip Airfare $1,700 $1,700 $1,700 $1,700



All estimated costs are subject to change. They should be used as a guideline only. Accepted students will receive detailed cost information as soon as it is available after the application deadline.

*Per university policy, Temple students who are considered “upper division” are charged additional tuition ($21 per credit) in the summer. “Upper division” is defined as an undergraduate student with a minimum of 60 earned credits, regardless of how obtained. This policy does not affect non-Temple students.

**The Japanese Media and Global Culture Program Fee includes housing and some field trip activities. Please note that this fee is an estimate and will be updated.

Students are highly encouraged to bring a laptop or a tablet to Japan for coursework.

In addition to the items above, students should budget money for travel outside of Tokyo and any additional personal expenses.



Dates are tentative and subject to change.


June 8
  Arrival in Japan
June 9
  Program Ends
July 15




Please see Temple Japan Information to read about Tokyo, TUJ's campus, and housing.




Please see General Summer Information to read about pre-departure information and orientation; passports and visas; scholarships; costs and payment policies; accreditation; and transfer of credits.


Please see Eligibility and Application Procedures for program eligibility, application requirements, and application procedures that apply to all summer programs.





For additional information, please contact Dr. Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Department of Journalism, School of Media and Communication, Temple University:, 215-204-2077.


Education Abroad:, 215-204-0720.