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Project Seven: Japan

• Films: Trad. Of Performing Arts/Japan / Poison Sugar
• Projects: Choose ONE of the following…
o A.  Film: Here’s your opportunity to learn more about Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s greatest director of animated films, OR Akira Kurasawa, arguably Japan’s greatest film director…period! For this project, you should plan on viewing at least two films by either director (see IMDB.com), and then first give us a very brief biography of the director, then focus on his work.  I’ll leave it to you to decide what aspect of the work you focus on—it might be themes or design or use of myth or Shakespeare, color, acting—see what I mean?  Use specific examples from the films to prove your assertions.
o B.  The Samurai tradition.  Look more closely at this cultural and military way of life and try to find out what the typical life of a samurai might be like.  What is the connection between Zen and the Samurai code of behavior?  Why are these strong men also amazing poets, artists and gardeners?  Lots of things to examine here, so start digging and enjoy yourself!
o C.  What is the meaning of Japanese gardens?  How does it relate to Zen Buddhism, to living in very tight spaces, to tea, to calligraphy, to Japanese cultural identity?  These are just a few hints to explore.  I would certainly want to Google Images some gardens or see what the library has in books, or even films on the web…you have to see these places to believe it!  You might even try designing a Japanese garden…but o course you would have to know what they are all about to try!  Have fun!
• Guidelines
o All projects should be submitted as an email attachment in Word.
o Double-spaced text.
o Inserted pictures should be in addition to the required length of at least 750 words.
o In all cases, be creative and try to reflect what you learned from the chapter and films to inform your project.  Ask questions: What’s worth knowing about this subject? What’s interesting about this culture? How does this culture reflect the greater world community? How does religious faith influence the culture and its theatre and drama?  What more would you like to know? Explore and find out and share with me!
o If you have questions or are confused about anything, please ask me!


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