UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts 189: Japanese Media Culture
Professor Machiko Kusahara and TA
Grace Tsai
Fall Quarter 2002

This course aims at providing a comprehensive view and understanding about the creative uses of new media technologies in contemporary Japan. The field is extremely rich and diverse. While some well-established genres of Japanese visual popular culture, like manga comics and anime animation films are already fairly well-known in the Western world, there are other forms of creativity which are often almost completely unknown or misunderstood. These include the use of robotics, entertainments like electronic games, digital idols, television experiments, virtual reality, innovative advertising strategies, multimedia telephone services (iMode, etc.), and the expanding field of Japanese media art. Indeed, the border between art and other forms of creativity is often less clearly defined in Japan than in the Western world. The course will provide up-to-date information about the developments outlined above, and analyze them within the framework of Japanese culture and aesthetics. An ample selection of demonstration material will be presented, ranging from videos, CD-ROMs, games, portable devices and DVD's to Internet projects.