Rich in history and tradition, Kyoto was Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. It is now Japan’s seventh largest city, with a population of 1.4 million people. One can easily retreat into a small temple courtyard, stroll down a narrow street lined with small homes and shops, or relax in a park under a stand of swaying bamboo.
But Kyoto’s modern side is never far away. From the glass and steel architecture of Kyoto Station to the convenience of its world-class subway system, Kyoto is an easy place to live and learn about Japan.
By studying in summer program based at Doshisha University, you will encounter both modern and traditional Kyoto. Professor Adolphson’s course examines Japan’s historical traditions and transformations, exploring the nation’s tumultuous move to modernity.
Course of study
You take two courses. Noncredit Japanese language instruction with Doshisha staff is provided for students with no previous exposure to the Japanese language.
HIST S-1851 Study Abroad in Kyoto, Japan: Japan—Tradition and Transformation (32604)
This course examines Japan from the emergence of a court-centered state 1,500 years ago to a warrior-dominated society centuries later. Starting with the people, institutions, and ideas of premodern Japan, the course then turns to the extraordinary transformations of Japan's modern era. It examines the invention of new traditions as one crucial aspect of the process of change from the mid-nineteenth century through the present, and explores how the Japanese have dealt with the dilemmas of modernity.
Additional courses to be announced.
How to pay and funding options
See Payment and Funding for payment deadlines, deposit amounts, and more information, including funding options for Harvard College students.
You stay with a local family, where you will have the best chance to experience the Japanese way of life. You have a private room. Access to a kitchen, laundry facilities, and a telephone may be arranged between you and the family. Families live in safe neighborhoods within commuting distance of the university.
Students with disabilities
Contact the disability services coordinator as soon as possible. See Students with Disabilities for more information.