Education About Asia: Online Archives

Genji to Godzilla: Using Art and Film to Teach Japan

Download PDF

Articles in past issues of EAA have suggested effective strategies for using Japanese film in the classroom to introduce Japanese culture.1 These include the works of internationally recognized masters of the format, as well as popular anime, Japanese animation, which has only recently attracted similar scholarly attention. In this essay, I propose that expanding the scope of the visual culture we discuss, and applying art historical pedagogy, can further students’ understanding of Japan, past and present. As educators, one of our primary goals is to address the
perception of Asia as strangely exotic and unfathomable, to take students beyond their comfortable Eurocentrism, and spark an interest and curiosity in the unfamiliar that will continue throughout their lives. Combining art with film effectively advances these efforts.