Each fall semester, the East Asia Institute offers four primary courses. However, students may replace primary courses with electives listed below. Please see the EAI Curriculum Rules for more information.

Syllabi for the below courses offered from April 2020 through March 2021 (all of the “primary courses” as well as a number of electives) can be viewed online.

For Fall 2021, the primary courses will remain the same. Electives will be similar to the ones listed below, but please note that the course listing is tentative and subject to change. Please check back for the final course listings at a later date. 

Students who need more information about the courses offered should contact the admissions office (

Primary Courses (Fall 2021)

JST301 Japan, Asia, and the West (3 credits)

An overview of Japanese culture and society in its international context. The course will take a primarily historical approach from the origins of the Japanese polity to the 21st Century, with an emphasis on Japan’s long-term interaction with Korea, China, and Western countries. Building on this background, the students will read sociological, psychological, and economic studies of contemporary Japan. This course provides the knowledge and skills needed to take full advantage of the other courses in Japanese and East Asian art, religion, practical culture, and language. It should prove highly valuable to students with an interest in Christian mission or business in Japan and Asia. Students may also expect a basic introduction to China and Korea. Lastly the in-class portions of the course provide a context for the various field trips and guided experiences. JST 301 is geared for junior-level students, but it may be taken with profit by students from the sophomore through the senior years.
Depending on the enrollment, the class will use lectures, seminar presentations, and tutorials. For one or two students, entirely tutorials. For three to six students, mostly seminar presentations. More than six students, a mix of lectures and seminar presentations.

FA320 History of Japanese Arts and Aesthetics (3 credits)

In this class, students learn about the culture of Japanese art and aesthetics from a Christian perspective. This year, we will focus on Ghibli Animation as an art and culture that will influence the world. Since the early modern period, Japan has been influenced by Western culture in every aspect. However, critic Shuichi Kato has argued that the influence of Japanese culture on the West was limited to Japanese art. Now, Ghibli Animation is attracting a lot of attention from around the world. The Ghibli movies also depict Japanese native natural religions, such as the worship of spirits in the forest. We will also watch movies featuring works of Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki of Studio Ghibli as a reference. As representative works, I would like to study “My Neighbor Totoro” “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” “Princess Mononoke” and “Sen and Chihiro no Kamikakushi” while watching them in class and discussing them. As a textbook, WE will read ‘Miyazaki World – The Dark and Light of Hayao Miyazaki’ by Susan Napier and translated by Tatsushi Naka. Finally, We will give lectures on the tea ceremony and its aesthetics and experience the tea ceremony in the school’s tea room (Kyoritsu-an).

PHIL370 Japanese Religion and Philosophy (3 credits)

This course aims to understand and analyze how religion functions as social systems in contemporary Japan. Although Japan is considered as one of the least religious countries in the world, it can be argued that religion still plays a significant role in Japanese people’s private and public lives. This can be observed in the intersections of various themes such as Shinto and politics, Buddhism and views of life and death, New Religions and social engagement, and the Aum Affair and violence. Through lectures, student presentations, class discussions, and field trips, students are expected not only to gain knowledge about relationships between religion and society in Japan and achieve a necessary familiarity with the religious landscapes in the contemporary Japanese society, but to develop critical skills for examining their own views of religion itself. The course will also provide an opportunity to visit local religious sites. Class preparations and active participation constitute a major part of the student’s grade for the semester.

JPN 101-103 Elementary – Advanced Japanese Language and Culture (3 credits)

The elementary, intermediate, and advanced courses help students to build a strong foundation in the Japanese language, aiming for the ultimate goal of being a true bridge person between Japan and their home countries. In order to be such a bridge person, the students should be able to use the Japanese language as their tool, being fluent in reading and writing as well. All four skills speaking, listening, writing, and reading will be covered.

Students will be assigned to the course below that best suits their level:

JPN 101 Elementary Japanese Language and Culture I
JPN 201 Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture I
JPN 301 Advanced Japanese Language and Culture I

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Electives for 2021

Below are the electives scheduled to be offered at TCU.

<Electives for Fall 2021>
Electives for fall are listed as 3-credit courses. However, students can also take them as 2-credit courses, which is the standard for full-time TCU students. For instance, students who need 3 or 4 credits in theology at their home university can take any two ST courses (if offered while the student is at TCU) for 2 credits each, making an ST course of 4 credits. Of course, the student could also take the two ST courses for 3 credits each, bringing the ST course total to 6 credits.

Please note that the following three courses are offered as 2-credits/ 1-credit courses.
・Great Books II: Japanese Literature (2 credits)
・Japanese Extensive Reading and Listening I (2 credits)
・Mastering Kanji I (1 credit)

Elective for Fall 2021

Please note that the course listing below is tentative and subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. 

BST260 The Gospels (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the study of the four canonical gospels and the study of Jesus. The aim of this course is to lay a firm foundation for the lifelong study of and engagement with the four canonical gospels that are at the heart of Christian faith. Students are expected to appreciate each gospel in its own terms, i.e. to have a clear grasp of the distinctive features of each gospel. For this purpose, we shall learn some key analytical methods developed in modern New Testament scholarship. Both the strengths and the limitations of each method will be evaluated in the course of our discussions. We shall spend more time on the gospels of Mark and John in order better to understand the relationship between the Synoptic gospels and the fourth gospel. Throughout the course, we shall briefly review the ongoing scholarly investigation called “the quest for the historical Jesus”. We shall evaluate some scholarly views on the historical Jesus in the light of the testimonies of the four canonical gospels. By doing these studies, students are expected to deepen the understanding of the “Kingdom of God” that was at the heart of Jesus’ ministry.

Global Studies I: Intercultural Communication (3 credits)

The need to acquire the knowledge and skills in intercultural communication is growing in the globalized word. Developing the ability and competence in cross-cultural communication is not simply relevant but crucial today. This course aims to introduce the basic knowledge and skills necessary for developing healthy intercultural relationships. To archive this goal, this course will explore the fundamental concepts and variables in cross-cultural communication. In addition, students will learn cultural patterns that help students to objectify both their own and other cultural ways of communication in order to foster healthy intercultural relationships. The cultivation of positive attitudes towards different cultures is essential. The necessary components and basic skills for effective intercultural communication will be discussed. In this course, a special emphasis will be given to the intercultural communication in the Japanese context. This specific emphasis is intentional and it aims at helping students for their cultural adjustment in the Japanese culture and society.

ICM380 Japan Encounters the West (3 credits)

Japan has experienced three major encounters with the West throughout its history. In the 16th century, the Japanese did not have a strong spirit of nationalism, and they naturally accepted European culture, digested it, and Japanized it. However, Western influence gradually disappeared because of Japan’s isolationist policy. The second encounter occurred in the 19th century, at the end of Edo period. Whilst recognizing superior Western scientific technology, the Japanese insisted on the superiority of the Japanese spiritual tradition. Japan accepted superficial Westernization with the slogan, “Japanese soul and Western technology.” The third encounter started with Japan’s defeat in World War II. Although this encounter began with Japan’s inferiority complex towards Western culture, the nation came to possess a superiority complex because of Japan’s economic development. This course analyzes these thee encounters from political, economical, sociological, and theological viewpoints, and explores the essence of Japanese culture. It aims to equip students to analyze various elements of contemporary Japanese culture and to critically examine it.

ICM450 Christian Mission and Church Movements (3 credits)

This course introduces studies in the transmission of faith from the historical and missiological points of view, thereby discussing the present and future of missions. Students will study various aspects of Christian mission in terms of the transmission of Christian faith, Africa’s place in Christian history, and the missionary movements of the Old and the New. Using the textbook of Andrew Walls, we will discuss what kind of theological insights and missiological understandings there were, the relations of Church renewal and bold efforts toward mission, mission structures they adopted, the roles of the key mission leaders, and finally, the influences of one mission movement to another movement. This course is not lecture-centered, rather an interactive setting where students carefully read the assigned chapters in the textbook and present them in the first part of each class. Students will learn subjects in-depth by evaluating their presentations with one another and by the advice and comments from the instructor.

SOC430 International Society & Japan (3 credits)

This course begins by exploring the nature of global studies as an academic discipline and its relevance in light of historical globalizing trends from the fifteenth century onward. Next, students will examine selected global domains (e.g., education, human rights, government, economics, environment, culture) through the framework of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while assessing them in light of five primary themes: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. In addition to employing social-scientific perspectives, this course will consider globalization through biblical, theological, ecclesiological, and missiological lenses.

THEO101 Survey of Christian Doctrine (3 credits)

This course provides a foundation for the more detailed Systematic Theology courses 201, 301, and 401. Whereas those courses explore specific doctrines in a detailed way, the present course introduces the concept of systematic theology in general. We will discuss the nature of theology, theological method (how to study theology), the history of systematic theology, the major topics addressed by systematic theology, major modern theologians and their systems, and some general issues relating to the practice of theology: creeds and confessions, philosophy, and biblical interpretation. Through this study students will become familiar with basic theological vocabulary, people, and works relating to the discipline. We will not be discussing major differences among Evangelical traditions—such as the Lutheran, Anabaptist, Reformed, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, and Dispensationalist—since any differences will be discussed at the relevant points in other courses. Neither will we discuss detailed debates on various theological topics like infant vs. adult baptism. Such debates will be taken up in the three subsequent systematic theology courses.
There is no single textbook for the course. Readings will be provided by the professor or will be available from the library.

THEO401 Systematic Theology III (3 credits)

The concluding course in a sequence of four courses in Christian theology, and a continuation of Systematic Theology II. The main part of the course will focus on soteriology and ecclesiology – the doctrines of justification, sanctification, church, sacraments, etc. This includes a discussion of Christ’s incarnation, life, death, descent into hell, resurrection, and ascension. We will also discuss eschatology – the doctrine of the last things.
There is much common ground on these topics with the Lutheran, Reformed/Calvinist, and Wesleyan/Arminian theological traditions that inform much of modern evangelicalism. Yet evangelicals even within these traditions debate many issues. The course explores the coherence and interrelation of doctrinal topics, their roots in biblical sources, and their expression and development within the wider church. The course is focused specifically on doctrine and not on practice or ethics, but with the assumption that the knowledge of God and oneself is integral to Christian living. However, we will be touching on Christian living in relation to sanctification and law/virtue.

Great Books II: Japanese Literature (2 credits)

Expanding students’ exposure to seminal literary works across time, space, and culture, this course focuses specifically on major works of Japanese literature by figures such as Sōseki Natsume, Yasunari Kawabata, Yukio Mishima, and Shusaku Endō, as well as more recent authors such as Kenzaburō Ōe and Haruki Murakami. These contributions to the Japanese literary canon have gained international acclaim and offer unique cultural insight by harnessing the power of narrative. The instructor will vary the readings for each offering of this course. Students can anticipate rigorous engagement with primary source material through close reading of assigned texts and insightful question formulation. This course adopts a Socratic-style structure for in-class discussion, so all students should be prepared for thoughtful interaction with their peers and instructor regarding the material’s original impact and contemporary relevance.

Japanese Extensive Reading and Listening I (2 credits)

This course aims to help students acquire and effectively use Japanese through Extensive Reading and Listening. A large amount of Japanese input through Extensive Reading and Listening makes students’ output in speaking and writing smoother and more fluent. In order for the students to be successful at Extensive Reading and Listening, they are encouraged to keep the following four rules: 1. Start with simple and easy books. 2. Read without using a dictionary. 3. Skip unknown words. 4. When stuck, or when a book becomes uninteresting, find another book.

JPN211 Mastering Kanji (1 credit)

Beyond the stage of true beginner, no two speakers of Japanese as a second language have the same experience with, or exposure to, spoken and written Japanese. This is especially true, it seems, for Japanese language learners’ exposure to Kanji. Therefore, this course is designed to account for the vast range of abilities that exists among Japanese learners. We will adopt an approach that will not only accommodate but also challenge every participant, whether a complete beginner or an advanced learner of the Japanese language. In the weekly sessions, the class members will acquire and hone strategies for learning and remembering Kanji; learn how to use analog and digital tools for Kanji acquisition; set personal and group goals (short-term and long-term); check and report on progress; and encourage one another in their efforts to achieve their goals.

ENG101 Academic Research and Writing (3 credits)

Students will come to understand the connection between good writing and good thinking, and they will develop skills to become a “great rewriter.” In order to do this, they will learn the causes of bad writing and learn tangible techniques for good writing. Moreover, they will learn the basics of discourse: paragraphing, topic statements, thesis statements, and supporting information. They will mainly learn principles for writing with clarity, cohesion, emphasis, and coherence. Additional time will be spent learning to analyze texts, use evidence, question and engage sources, develop ideas, and structure arguments. Students will learn to summarize, paraphrase, quote, reference, and avoid plagiarism. Most of all, they will learn clear principles for applying the Golden Rule of Writing: Write as you would be written to.

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