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Arts and Material Culture of Japan


Admission requirements



“Arts and Material Culture of Japan”

This course explores Japan’s arts and cultures from the sixth century CE through the twenty-first century with focus on the relation of art to its historical contexts. Through a variety of representative examples – ceramics, architecture, painting, sculpture, prints, crafts, installation, performance, video art, manga, anime etc. – it examines changing concepts of the function, meaning, style, subject matter, medium, artist, “art” and “Japan” itself.

Course objectives

Students will develop:
1. familiarity with the historical development and topics of Japan’s arts and material culture,
2. a basic understanding of visual studies with a particular focus on Japan.


See timetable

Mode of instruction


Course Load

5 ects=140 hours

  • Lectures: 26 hours

  • Exam(s) 2 hours

Assessment method

  1. Mid-term Exam (50% of your total grade)
  2. Final Exam (50% of your total grade)


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


The resit examination takes place for all parts at once. The resit will cover the entire material of the course and the mark will replace all previously earned marks.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Yes, see for more info Blackboard

Reading list

  1. Sadao Tsuneko and Sephanie Wada. Discovering the Arts of Japan: A Historical Overview. New York: Abbeville Press, 2009.

  2. Varley Paul. Japanese Culture. University of Hawai'i Press, 2000.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

A la carte


Contact information: Dr. D. Müller


Language: English