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Unit of study_

JPNS2672: Japanese Media and Popular Culture

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit explores contemporary Japanese media and popular culture. Through analysis of authentic Japanese language materials and the study of secondary sources in English, students will improve their understanding of Japanese culture and society as well as their Japanese written and oral competence.

Unit details and rules

Unit code JPNS2672
Academic unit Japanese Studies
Credit points 6
JPNS3621 or JPNS3631
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Masafumi Monden,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Presentation
In-class Presentation
20% Multiple weeks 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4 LO3 LO1
Assignment Short Critical Assignments
Short critical works (2x1000 words)
40% Multiple weeks 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO1 LO3 LO4
Assignment Final Essay
Critical Essay
30% Week 13
Due date: 05 Nov 2023 at 23:59
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO4 LO2 LO1
Participation Participation
Contributions to general tutorial discussions of weekly topics and readings
10% Weekly n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

This unit will be conducted in Japanese; It consists of six major modules (themes) on Japanese media and popular cultures topics over 12 weeks.

  • Class quiz 1: will be conducted on Canvas, a timed online quiz during Week 7.

The quiz will test student’s understanding of authentic reading materials towards Japanese youth culture and street culture. It will also determine student’s understanding of the influence of US and UK youth cultures since 1950s to the present time on Japanese pop culture.

  • Class quiz 2: will be conducted on Canvas, a timed online quiz during Week 11.

The quiz will test student’s understanding of Edo period, 1860s, popular culture by analysis of traditional Arts” Noh, Kabuki, Bunraku” through the medium of video clips.

  • Summary writing: will be conducted on Canvas, a timed online quiz during Week 11, test requires a critical analysis of digital social media.
  • Group presentation: is a research based group presentation; developing research and retrieval skills on Japanese and East Asian topics using ProQuest 5000, Sage, Blackwell and Synergy, Project Muse, Factiva, PAIS etc. to determine small student groups understanding of  how Japan and Asia  engage through Media. Presentations in conjoint Japanese and English language.
  • Presentation report: each student has to make an AV presentation using Zoom together with a written report of their research finding to ascertain student’s knowledge in the scope of the unit content.  
  • Class discussions: this unit from week 1 is to gauge student’s ability to engage with each other, group or pairs to exchange ideas, opinions, cultural aspects, media theory and important authors in media and popular culture areas of studies.
  • Final exam: will be conducted online during the exam period. Students will be examined on their understanding of authentic materials, newspaper articles, academic articles and media theory presented within the unit of study.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

You must make yourself aware and follow the University Guidelines in respect to assessments and procedures. Non-compliance with assessment procedures can and will adversely affect your marks. There are provisions within the University guidelines for special consideration. If you are granted a special consideration then an alternative test may be provided.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Weekly History and Theories Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Discussions and Activities Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Readings to be distributed on Canvas site.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Recognise the ways in which popular culture in contemporary Japanese society is shaped by, reflects, and in turn shapes, the broader social, cultural, political and economic processes in Japan
  • LO2. Apply this understanding of the relationship between popular culture and sociocultural, economic and political processes to broaden knowledge about Japan and other sociocultural contexts (including Australia)
  • LO3. Enhance language and communication skills and the ability to read, listen to and understand a variety of Japanese written and audiovisual texts
  • LO4. Critically analyse popular culture texts and practices, thereby gaining an appreciation of the influence and significance of popular culture, both in society and at a personal level
  • LO5. Assess and identify relevant resources for a research project and be able to prioritise conclusions reached from analysis of a variety of cultural and academic texts, giving reasons

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Some aspects, including assessment duration and structures, have been updated since this unit was last offered. Learning objectives have been simplified and made clearer to students. These changes correspond with the changes requested via FASS Unit Approval System in March 2023.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.