Kyoto: Heritage, Culture, and Identity in Japan’s Ancient Capital (EASC 360)

*Undergraduate applicants only, graduate students are not eligible*



Program Information

Global East Asia (GEA) is a four-week upper-division Maymester research course with a study abroad component for undergraduate students, made possible by the East Asian Studies Center and USC Dornsife. This intensive program gives students the opportunity to travel and conduct research in Japan. Students from all majors, schools and language backgrounds are eligible to apply and experience East Asia in a unique way.

This course aims to introduce the city of Kyoto via the history, religion, literature, architecture, and aristocratic milieu of the Heian period (794-1185). As students deepen their knowledge of Kyoto’s history, they will be able to address questions that fuse the past and present: In what way does Heian culture continue to inform the self-identity of present-day native Kyoto-ites? How do Kyoto natives differentiate themselves from natives of Osaka, Tokyo, or other parts of Japan? What is the difference, in the context of global tourism marketing, between using Kyoto and Tokyo as the “symbol” of Japan? The course will run for four weeks. Approximately one half of that time will be spent in the United States doing preparatory coursework and half of that time will be in Japan doing fieldwork.

Contact Information

Faculty Director: Jason Webb


Department Administrator: East Asian Studies Center