Japanese Studies 101 – a society and culture course


This multidisciplinary course in Japanese Studies is aimed at a wide audience of fairly educated and fairly curious people interested in Japan and its history, culture, society, and arts. It contains 24 topics ranging from The Making of Japan and Japanese Values to Traditional Arts and Gender and Sexuality. It will give proper research-based answers to many questions such as how Japan became a great world power, why Japan is always an outlier, whether Japan needs immigration, why Japanese fairy tales are so weird, or where the samurais are now, etc.


  • You will learn from the best of the past and recent Japan-focused research in anthropology, sociology, history, international relations, political science, and art history.
  • You will discover answers to the most acute Japan-related questions from a painstakingly selected range of most interesting and incisive scholarly views on the subject – presented in plain English.
  • You will enjoy the content style that hits the middle ground between journalism and academia making scientific knowledge accessible and fun. No po-faced grandiloquence, no condescending dumbing down.
  • Your will be introduced to both local and international terminology and concepts to help you understand Japan better.
  • You will be spared spurious ideological trends and biases in contemporary science and instead presented with a range of alternative or competing views and solid research backed by empirical data.
  • You will gain access to the most exciting and trustworthy written and visual sources about Japan.
  • You will be able to engage with your lecturer in individual tutorials and receive tailor-made guidance and exhaustive answers to all your questions from someone who has spent his entire adult life focussed on Japan.


 I am a professional educator with a PhD, Level N1 in JLPT, a JETRO Japanese Business Language Certificate, and a certified Cross-Cultural Competence Trainer, with three-decade experience of teaching the Japanese language and Japan-related subjects. I studied in Japan on a government scholarship, worked for Japanese companies, and took over 30 university courses during my education. I am deeply passionate and perennially excited about all things Japanese. My admiration and respect for the achievements and contributions of Japanese civilisation are truly boundless.

Over the last three decades, I have been increasingly frustrated with the university way of teaching about Japan. Outdated or ideologically biased knowledge, lack of meaningful engagement with students, hiding absence of substance behind impenetrable academic jargon, teaching topics that no one cares to know about are just a few of my pet peeves.

The growing trend for the institutional takeover of universities by bureaucratic functionaries trying to run it like a for-profit business has driven the final nail into the coffin of university as I knew it and loved it. Sick and tired of being an expendable cog in the soulless sausage factory of trading rubber-stamp degrees for exorbitant tuition fees, I have decided to put this course together.


YouTube: Free 3-minutes lectures (link to full lectures)

Canva (and/or other educational platforms): paid course consisting of full video lectures + individual tutorials + reading lists with Amazon Associate links to books

TikTok: 1-minute reels introducing course topics in a funny way (link to full lectures)

Instagram: posts introducing course topics (link to full lectures)

SubStack: (eventually paid) subscription to a weekly mail list with articles with in-text links to related YouTube/Canva lectures

Twitter: the punchiest snippets from each lecture or SubStack article (link to full lectures)

LinkedIn: weekly updates for new SubStack/Canva/YouTube content with links to full lectures

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