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Columbia and Tokyo's Waseda University launch new summer program

Monday, February 17, 2014

Columbia has partnered with Tokyo’s Waseda University, to launch a new, innovative summer program that will provide undergraduate students the unique opportunity to explore the influential works of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, director of the classic film Rashomon, from both a global and local perspective.

The 4-week course, taught by Paul Anderer, Columbia Professor of Japanese Literature, will focus on the black and white films Kurosawa made during the long postwar period.

For Anderer, who has been teaching a seminar on Kurosawa for approximately 10 years, Kurosawa “stands out as one of the truly distinctive artists” in the history of Japanese and world film. Tokyo, he said, is an important part of understanding Kurosawa as an artist. “It’s important to understand that this work came from somewhere, and from someone who had a birth and an upbringing in an environment that profoundly affected him,” he says.

Students will study alongside local Waseda students, offering the chance for an in-depth cultural exchange. Students will also participate in a Japanese Language and Culture Workshop taught by local instructors from Waseda University, which was founded in 1882. The course will help students strengthen their language skills while also opening a forum for students to discuss cultural interactions and questions.

The program, developed with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will include site visits to locations relation to Korasawa’s filmmaking and upbringing, such as the Kyobashi Film Center, Ueno black market district and Toho Studios. Students will live in the Waseda International Student House (WISH) in Nakano, 20 minutes from the Waseda campus.

Applications are due Saturday, March 1. For more information on the program or to apply, please click here. 

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