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Japan for Sale JAPN*280*01 Professor: Scott Lineberger Class Time: Tuesday 7-11 Class Location: World Affairs Center, Room 206 Office: 1-C World Affairs Center (in the basement) Phone: 608.363.2048 Email: email@example.com Note: I often do not respond quickly. I feel that many issues (particularly discussions concerning grades and the requirements for assignments) can be more effectively handled in person rather than via email, so I may wait to talk to you in person rather than answer an email about a sensitive topic. Office Hours: Thursday 1 - 4 Course Description and Objectives: Visitors to Japan are often struck by the pervasiveness of products based on traditional culture. For example, bottles of tea are sold from vending machines that are decorated with poems and images based on the early-eleventh century romance The Tale of Genji and school children decorate their cell phones with bobbles depicting ancient supernatural creatures. In recent years, more and more products based on traditional Japanese culture are being sold abroad as well. This course will examine the ways in which Japanese culture has been packaged as commercial products for consumption both domestically and abroad. Issues related to the commodification of important cultural elements have created long-simmering tensions in Japan. On one hand, the aristocracy, religious leaders, and cultural purists have been appalled by what they see as avaricious merchants, who debase the country’s intellectual heritage by converting priceless texts and artifacts into products to be sold at market. On the other hand, educators and activists have argued the process of adapting classical culture into forms that can be easily understood and consumed by people from all walks of life has actually had the very democratizing effect of opening up these forms of expression to all parts of society. Students in this course will investigate a number of case studies of cultural commodification including the many products based on traditional tea ceremony, manga and anime, so-called ukiyoe woodblock prints, and the presentation of traditional supernatural and religious icons in pop culture. Key questions will include: Why are products based on traditional Japanese culture so successful both domestically and abroad? How is traditional culture transformed when it is removed from its original context converted into products? How have market forces influenced the creation the canons of Japanese aesthetic values? A key component of the course will be a semester-long entrepreneurship project. Groups of students will research an element of traditional Japanese culture, study how it has been previously marketed, and then transform it into a product that can be sold to the local community. For example, students might select Edo period woodblock prints, which have become valuable commodities and also been converted into T-shirts, postcards, and wallpaper. The students could use images from traditional woodblock prints to make decals that could be sold at local bike or skate shops. The students will be asked to create a detailed business plan and keep track and innovatory and capital. The final and very important element of this project will be a self-evaluation in which the students will be asked to reflect on how their products represent Japan. Much of our information about other countries comes from products based on their cultures, so learning to decode these objects and understand how they (mis)represent other’s cultures is an invaluable skill. Course Goals: By the end of the semester students will: Understand the complex relationship between culture and commerce Study how Japanese culture is (mis)represented by commercial products both domestically and overseas Consider what constitutes “authentic” culture Learn how to start a company and write a business plan Obtain greater proficiency in academic and business writing Become more accustomed to giving presentations Grow more confident reading and discussing academic discourse Class Plan: A typical class will consist of the following activities. Quiz Discussion of readings Lecture on the next step in writing business plan Report on business plans Report on companies Grading: My goal is to make grading as fair, objective, and transparent as possible. I want all students to know where they stand at all times and be satisfied that their work is being equitably evaluated. If you ever have a question about your grade please speak with me. Grades in this class will be determined based on the following criteria. 1. Quizzes 10% 2. Discussion Leader 10% 3. Participation 20% 4. Entrepreneurial Project 60% Company Work 30% Lecture on Business Plan 20% Final Business Plan 50% Quizzes: There will be a quizz every week. The quizzes will consist of simple identification questions that cover the material from the readings and lectures. Missed quizzes cannot be made up. Please make sure to arrive to class on time. If a student misses a quiz due to an excused absence, then that quiz simply will not be factored into their grade. If a student misses a quiz due to an unexcused absence, then they will receive a zero. Discussion Leader: Each week a team of students will be in charge of facilitating the class discussion of the readings. You may take any approach that you feel will work best. You are welcome to use Powerpoints, break the class into groups, introduce discussion questions, etc. You will be evaluated based on the quality of the discussion (did everyone participate, were all the important issues covered, was the discussion exciting, was it civil?). At the end of class your classmates will fill out an evaluation form and I will decide your grade by consulting this data. Participation is mandatory. I will determine your participation grade based on evaluations by your classmates. The three qualities that I am looking for are: Consistency: Being well prepared and actively engaged in every class. Quality: Making insightful additions to the conversations. Courtesy: Respecting the etiquette of the group. The following actions are considered detriments to the class and will count against a student’s grade: Missing class Being tardy Being rude to others Using electronic devices (laptop, cell phone, etc) Not completing the readings Not carefully reading or viewing Not participating in discussions Excessive eating, drinking, chewing Entrepreneurial Project: This is the most important aspect of the class and consequently accounts for 60% of your grade. Please note most of this project involves group work and, although individual effort will be considered, you will often be graded as a group. Also note that you will be expected to develop these projects on your own outside of class time. In order to succeed in this class you will need to be self motivated, able to plan your time wisely, and capable of working in a group. The project will consist of two elements: starting a small scale company during this semester and writing a detailed, professional business plan by the end of the semester. Company Work: During the semester the class will from several small companies to produce and market products based on some element of Japanese culture. In the first few weeks we will research what kinds of products already exist and brainstorm for new ideas. In week four each student will pitch their product idea and the class will vote for their favorites. The winners will be the CEOs of their respective companies and the other students will be “hired” to work with them. Each group will be provided with seed money to start their business. From there you are on your own. Go out and try to make some money! Each group will report back to the class each week. Your grade for this project will be based on: the success of the company, how well you work together as a group, and your effort. Your grade will be determined by your company’s weekly reports and a group evaluation that each student will fill out. Lecture on Business Plan: During the second half of the semester each group will draft a business plan based on the criteria provided by the Small Business Administration. Each week a team of students will be in charge of explaining one element of how to write a business plan. See: o http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing- business/starting-business/writing-business-plan You will be graded based on the following criteria: Quality of the information presented. Is our presentation engaging and useful to your classmates? How much do your classmates learn? Quality of the sources used. Have you done some real research or just checked Wikipedia and a few other websites? Quality of your delivery. Have you practiced your talk so that you are able to present smoothly while making the most of the time you are allotted? Has the group met to plan out who is in charge of each part? Do you comport yourself professionally and use language appropriate to an academic setting? Note: if you are using technology it is your responsibility to make sure it works properly. Final Business Plan: At the end of the semester each group will submit a final business plan and present their plan to the class. The business plan must include the follow elements: 1. Business Plan Executive Summary 2. Market Analysis 3. Company Description 4. Organization & Management 5. Marketing & Sales Management 6. Service or Product Line 7. Funding Request 8. Financials 9. Appendix Each student will be graded based on the overall quality of the document (it will be peer reviewed) and their effort in the group (based on student evaluations). * * * Important Notes on Grading * * * A significant portion of your grade in this class is based on: Group work: you will have to find a way to work out the issues that come up. Peer assessments and evaluations: you will have to get along with your classmates. Class participation and in-class presentations: Find your voice! Semester-long projects: Get organized and budget your time! Accommodations If you have a disability and would like to discuss the possibility of accommodations, please visit the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services Office located on 2nd floor Pearsons (north side) or call x: 2572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need accommodations in my class, you must bring me an Accommodation Verification Letter from the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services office and then we will discuss specifically how to meet your needs. Please make an appointment there as soon as possible; accommodations are not retroactive. Academic Responsibility In an academic institution, few offenses against the community are as serious as academic dishonesty. Such behavior is a direct attack upon the concept of learning and inquiry and casts doubt upon all measures of achievement. Beloit insists that only those who are committed to principles of honest scholarship may study at the College. Acts of academic dishonesty include cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism. I take these issues very seriously- cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism contradict the very basis of that a liberal arts education. The assignments in this class are designed to help you become more thoughtful and articulate, so when you cheat, fabricate sources, or plagiarize; you cheat yourself and defraud the educational system. Therefore, I work hard to maintain the integrity of the system. Tentative Schedule Date Class Activates Entrepreneurial Project January 18 Class Introduction Discuss Authenticity January 25 Discuss Japanese products View film The Japanese Way February 1 Snow day February 8 Discuss tea readings Product brainstorming February 15 Elevator pitch Discuss tea readings Organization & February 22 View film Rikyu Management Discuss ghost & monster March 1 2. Product or Service readings March 8 No Class No Class Discuss manga & anime March 15 readings Market Analysis View film Made in Japan March 22 Discuss ukiyoe readings Company Description Marketing & Sales March 29 Discuss cars readings Management Discuss cars readings April 5 Funding Request View film Made in America Discuss Japanese food April 12 Financial Analysis readings Discuss Japanese food April 19 Executive Summary readings April 26 TBA Final Sales Pitch Note all readings are available on Moodle
"Japanese for Sale syllabus"