Cultural Borrowing: Japan and China

Humans have always actively borrowed from other cultures. Such borrowing is a creative process which influences aspects of life ranging from basic material needs to aesthetic appreciation. Often, however, cultural borrowing is labelled as simple imitation. This results in cultural stereotypes that impede understanding of other cultures. Using Chinese and Japanese cultural borrowings as illustration, this module teaches second and third year students to analyze the creative process of cultural exchange. By developing theoretical perspectives from the study of China and Japan, students will learn about exchanges among culture in general.

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