Understanding Japan : The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Mark J. Ravina
  • Series: The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture
  • 12 hrs and 0 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Japan's extraordinary culture is like no other in the world, and it remains mysterious to many of us. And that's unfortunate, because to truly understand Japan's influence on the world stage, one needs to understand Japan's culture - on its own terms.
In an exciting partnership with the Smithsonian, The Great Courses presents these 24 lectures that offer an unforgettable tour of Japanese life and culture. Professor Ravina, with the expert collaboration of the Smithsonian's historians, brings you a grand portrait of Japan.
From the dawn of Confucianism and the Meiji Restoration to World War II and the economic miracle years of 1955 to 1975, you'll explore landmark periods of Japanese history and learn how broad events and movements introduced, innovated, and revised everything from spirituality to popular entertainment. Along the way you'll get revealing insights into Shinto (Japan's indigenous religion), the art of Katsushika Hokusai, literary works like The Tale of Genji and the haiku of Basho, the everyday lives of samurai, the universal appeal of filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa, foods like yakitori and tempura, and so much more.
You'll come away from Professor Ravina's final lecture with a stronger sense of the very soul of this one-of-a-kind nation.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very interesting and informative

What made the experience of listening to Understanding Japan the most enjoyable?

This course is a delight to listen to with a lot of information and a great narrator. My only complaint is that there is no PDF booklet to accompany the course like the other Great Courses. Hope it shows up soon!!!


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- Amazon Customer

Informative, entertaining, and well-presented!

I really enjoyed this overview of Japanese culture. My only complaint is that it ended. :)
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- brenty

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-24-2015
  • Publisher: The Great Courses