Religion and Japanese Culture - RSST6490

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module explores the cultural specificity and diversity of Japanese culture, traditions, social and political systems and literature from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The topic of Japan will be approached on a thematic basis but with particular emphasis on an understanding of the historical and interpretive challenges to inter-cultural understanding between Japan and Europe/the West.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40
Private Study Hours: 260
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 20%
Essay 2 (2,000 words) – 30%
Examination (3 hours) – 50%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of and be able to critically examine a range of Japanese traditions associated with the category of religion, including Buddhism and Shinto;
2 Critically analyse a key concept, idea, theme or practice occurring in Japanese traditions;
3 Demonstrate a critical and systematic understanding of the problems of translating Japanese culture, traditions, practices and concepts into a western interpretive framework and language, for instance the problems of using terms like 'religion' and 'philosophy' or western notions of 'literature' in relation to Japanese contexts.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate their communication skills and organise information in a clear and coherent fashion through note-taking, independent research, writing and organising skills in the completion of their written assignments;
2 Demonstrate an ability to engage in critical independent research and appropriate humanities and social scientific approaches to their object of study;
3 Use electronic media to identify and analyse appropriate academic resources based upon independent research from library materials, including primary sources, as well as online journals, and other reliable electronic sources, and reference this material effectively;
4 Deploy a range of IT skills with a high degree of effectiveness, such as use of online search-engines, word-processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, searching databases and text files;
5 Demonstrate a well-developed capacity to take responsibility for their own personal and professional learning and development.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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