University Course Info: Daito Bunka Advanced Composition

Winter 2012/2013

December 20th: Social Justice and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans) Rights

‘Heart School’ Brings “It Gets Better Project” to Japan (Stonewall AJET, November 28, 2012)

December 13th: Pre-Election Special! Youth and Voting

Youth, politicos find common ground: Beer (Japan Times, April 21, 2012)

December 6th: Social Justice and Gender

Advertising and Marketing: Sexism Doesn’t Always Sell (Feminist Anthropologist, August 23, 2012)

November 29th: Multiculturalism and Racial Justice

‘No papers, no fear’: immigrants declare on bus tour  (, August 17, 2012)

November 22nd: Food and Justice

Edible City: Grow the Revolution – Filmmakers’ Statement

Edible City: Film Trailer #1 (You Tube)

November 15th: Peace and Militarism

Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War (Kurashi Japan Eco-blog, May 5, 2008)

Why not 9? (FUNKIST) (You Tube video, April 10, 2008)

動画でわかる!自衛隊の役割と重要性 (You Tube video, March 13, 2012)

November 8th: Environmentalism and civil disobedience

Indigenous Leader Raoni Fights against Belo Monte Dam at Rio+20  (The Pachamama Alliance, June 19th, 2012)

October 25th: Nuclear Power (Overseas)

Lithuania nuke plant snub rattles Hitachi (Japan Times, October 17th, 2012)

October 18th: Nuclear Power (Japan)

Anti-nuclear campaigners launch Japan’s first green party (The Guardian, July 30th, 2012)

September 27th:  Socioeconomic Justice: Homelessness/Poverty

The Word On the Street: Writing as Personal and Social Transformation (Worldbank blogs, June 15th, 2009)

October 4th:  Socioeconomic Justice: Youth and the Political System

Welcome to the DIY Generation (Los Angeles Times, May 20th, 2012)

Spring 2012

July 12th: Sexuality/LGBT Issues

Video About Being Gay in Japan Released (Gay Star News, 7/10/2012)

July 5th: Multiculturalism and Racial/Ethnic Justice

“Citizens of the World Against Belo Monte”

Extra Credit: Attend Anti-Nuclear Demo at the Prime Minister’s residence, Friday, July 6th 6-8 PM, and write essay about your impressions.

Event site is here.

Map of the local area is here.

June 28th: Food and Justice

Links to Local Food“, (Our World 2.0, 2/1/2010)

June 14th: Street Art/Graffiti and Social Messages

B.N.E. (Artist) on Wikipedia

B.N.E. Official Website

June 7th: Environmentalism and civil disobedience

“Tim DeChristopher Interview: Time to be Honest” (Unity, 7/30/11)

May 31st: Nuclear Power (The Resistance: Overseas)


Homework Assignment:

Please write an essay on the following:

* In the videos above, the MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) members make numerous powerful statements regarding the value of life (both human and environmental) during the 1979 concert following the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in New York, as well as during their 2009 reunion video project in response to the “dirty politics” tying together the U.S. Congress and the nuclear industry. What are your thoughts regarding these statements?

* Do you feel that music can play an important role in forming opinions on social issues? Why or why not?

May 24th: Nuclear Power (The Resistance: Domestic)

Frying Dutchman: Human Error

May 17th: Nuclear Power (The Structure)

“Voices: Nuclear Plants and Natural Disasters: Fukushima’s Fallout” (Earth Magazine, 5/31/11)

May 10th: Arab Spring/European Indignados/Occupy Wall Street Movement

“The Start of a New American Movement” (Spiegel Online International, 10/11/2011)

Occupy Wall St. Hip Hop Anthem: Occupation Freedom, Ground Zero and The Global Black Collective video

April 26th: Socioeconomic Justice (Youth and the Political System)

“Japanese Youth Too Disillusioned to Vote” (Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, 4/7/2008)

April 19th: Socioeconomic Justice (Homelessness/Poverty)

“For Some in Japan, Home Is a Tiny Plastic Bunk” (NY Times, 1/1/2010)


Advanced Composition (Winter 2011)

Homework for December 22nd:

Did your opinion  regarding the problem of nuclear power change after hearing the song “Human Error” by Frying Dutchman, or did your existing views grow stronger? What do you think are three of the most powerful, shocking, or inspiring messages from the song? Why did you choose these particular messages? Song lyrics and video here:

Homework for Nov. 24th:

Watch this video about Occupy Wall Street, and choose two of the messages from the signs/chants (which were written on the chalkboard in class). Write a one-page essay describing why you think these particular messages are the most powerful and inspiring!

Homework for Nov. 10th:

Review the following article/video and write a one-page essay regarding your impressions. What was shocking/interesting? Did watching these videos change your previous impressions of the Occupy Wall Street movement? If so, how?

Class assignment of October 20th

Watch the video “Right Here All Over (Occupy Wall St.)” and write an essay including the following:

* Things that you think are interesting and/or positive about the Occupy Wall Street movement

* Any questions or doubts that you have about the Occupy Wall Street movement

Try to include a short introduction and conclusion in your essay.

Homework for October 20th:

Watch the following videos regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement, and write a one-page essay regarding your impressions of the videos, as well as the article we read last week in class. Also, don’t forget to study for your vocabulary quiz!

Final Project (Spring 2011) 

For your final course assignment on the final day of the semester (Thursday, August 4th), you will be asked to write an in-class essay on a topic of your choice from among several questions relating to the topics we have studied in class thus far.

In order to prepare for this essay, you are asked to re-read (or re-watch 🙂 all of the materials that we have used in class until now, including those on nuclear power (articles on the grassroots citizen anti-nuclear power/alternative energy movements in Japan; music videos from Brazil, the United States and Japan; and Haruki Murakami’s speech in Barcelona); the situation of young people fighting for social change in Spain; the Half-Farmer/Half-X movement in Japan; and the McSpotlight movement discussing the social problems associated with McDonald’s and other multinational corporations.

In preparing for your in-class essay, please think about the major points raised within these articles / videos, as well as your opinions about them.

Please bring paper and a pencil (or erasable pen) to class on the day of the exam. You may use a paper or electronic dictionary in class while writing your essay, but no cellphones or iPhones will be allowed.

July 4 Homework

Write a one-page essay about the article “Half Farmer, Half Something Else: “New” Lifestyles for an Eco-Friendly 21st Century“. What are your thoughts regarding the ideas proposed here? Do you think it is something you yourself would like to try? If so, what do you think your “X” is? If not, why?

Homework for June 9th:

Watch the two videos from class today and write a one-page essay about what you think are the strongest messages from each video, and why.

Video links:

“You Can’t See it and You Can’t Smell It Either” by Rankin & Dub Ainu Band
Rush” by Blue King Brown

Homework for May 24th:

Write a one-page essay (A4) about a song that you have found by an artist or group of musicians in Japan that addresses the issue of nuclear power. Your essay should include the following:

* Description of song (title / name of singer or group)

* URL of video (if there is one)

* Main message of the song/video

* Your impressions/opinions of the song

Note: If you are in both of my classes, you only need to write one report!

Homework for May 9th:

1) Look closely at the photos and watch the video from the article that we read
together last week in class:
W17,500 gather in Tokyo on Sunday in lively events to demand clean energy, urge halt to Hamaoka nuclear power plant (Please sign petition!)

2) Write a 1/2 – 1 page (A4) article giving your opinions regarding this article
and the nuclear power issue that we have discussed so far in class.


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