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  • I'm looking for a university to attend in Japan...

    Hello everyone, I've been browsing the web and I found GaijinPot and decided to join. In Fall of 2013 (I'll be a junior in college), I'd like to transfer to a university in Japan- preferably an American one. I took Japanese for half a year, so I'm barely knowledgeable with the language, but I'll be taking Japanese classes in college my sophomore year and possibly buy Rosetta Stone for further learning. Right now my major & minor are undecided, but I'm taking computer science classes because I want to have some sort of career in game design. I'm also thinking of doing the artistic side of game design rather than programming, because I've been drawing all my life and it's a big passion of mine; doing concept art and/or animation for games doesn't sound too bad. If anyone has information on universities in Japan that offer computer science, something with animation, or even creative writing as a major it'll be greatly appreciated!

    Another thing to add, I've read around the web that International Christian University is a great school in Japan. Does anyone know if it's VERY Christian, as in the students/teachers push that onto others? Because I do not partake in religion, but if ICU isn't ridiculously religious I might consider going there.


    Thanks,
    Mel ^-^

  • #2
    The best advice I can give you is find a school that has international exchange programs with your university and you can exchange credits. You will be taking classes for foreign students anyway, mostly taught by foreign professors, or English speaking Japanese professors.

    Im not you of course but i would also think about what you want to do with your degree when you finish. Its all very well doing things you love but it doesnt always translate into a career or a job. Many end teaching on the JET program or as language teachers as they cant find jobs that are in their major. Be careful not to miss the wood for the trees here.

    Most students studying computer science etc will go to a vocational college or a trade college, not a university though if you are doing engineering or some information technology major (which will be taught in Japanese here) you may find something in your field. Anime is a new subject here and I have heard of courses where they teach about anime as a field of study as part of popular culture etc.

    Lastly Japan is a Buddhist country, less than 1% of Japanese are Christians. I have worked at Christian based universities and usually they are founded by priests or missionaries. They may have weekly prayer services and chapel etc but i havent known schools to proselytise or "bible-bash" students, even though its a Christian school. Its not like in the US.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
      Lastly Japan is a Buddhist country, less than 1% of Japanese are Christians.
      Japan is a SHINTO country where Buddhism has had significant influence, but Buddhism in Japan has almost always been subordinated under Shinto.

      ...I think the "Why, Japan?" question is one to ask here. The foreigners I know working in animation fields here in Japan have animation degrees- from the United States.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kionon View Post
        Japan is a SHINTO country where Buddhism has had significant influence, but Buddhism in Japan has almost always been subordinated under Shinto.
        ...I think the "Why, Japan?" question is one to ask here. The foreigners I know working in animation fields here in Japan have animation degrees- from the United States.[/QUOTE]


        I guess thats why they have thousands of temples all over the country and there funerals are usually all Buddhist. I think subordinated is too strong a word. Buddhism was brought in from China and has been part of Japanese culture for 2000 years. Shinto is the Japanese religion and the two exist side-by side, Japanese see no dichotomy in having two religions at once.

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        • #5
          Japan is both Buddhist and Shinto, not one or the other. Both are so deeply intertwined in most peoples lives that they are not separable. It's also not the same as the west, where they feel the need to identify with their religion and proselytize, it's just something they all do, because it's what everyone does. I've met very few people in Japan I would call devout, but I've met even less who don't follow the cultural Buddhist and Shinto 'norms'.

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          • #6
            KB, I don't think subordinated is too strong a word at all. Not when you start studying both feudal and early modern Japanese elite responses to Buddhism. Certainly, you have subordinated Buddhism in the 1920s and 1930s. State Shinto is pretty much mandatory, and Buddhism is put into that framework. I can give examples if you would like. Consider the work of Aizawa Yasushi for one in his 新論 of 1825... Look at all the Shinto shrines on the grounds of Buddhist temples today as well as the funerals you mention. Buddhism- as a functioning part of Shinto- is very much still with us today.

            I quote: "If clerics can be made to obey the nation's laws there is no evil in their taking delight in Buddhist teachings and living in the peace and solace of enlightenment. Only when they violate the law do they menace the nation." Here Aizawa is speaking about Shinto rites, which he considers the proper purview of government. He says elsewhere, "Religious rituals are a means of political rule, and political rule is identical to ethical inculcation." You see very similar views of Buddhism after the 1925 Peace Preservation Act and in the 国体の本義. Even 80 years later, the idea of a separation between the two is not in existence, while the view of Buddhism as filtered through Shinto is very much in existence in daily Japanese life.

            EA, Japanese Buddhism is intertwined with Shinto, absolutely, but this is because of a dedicated view of Buddhism that is still Japan-centric. Consider Nichiren Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and the like. However, Japanese Buddhism is very distinct from Indian Buddhism or Chinese Buddhism precisely because of its interaction with Shinto.


            ...as to the OP, why Japan?
            Last edited by Kionon; 2012-03-16, 11:34 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kionon View Post
              EA, Japanese Buddhism is intertwined with Shinto, absolutely, but this is because of a dedicated view of Buddhism that is still Japan-centric. Consider Nichiren Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and the like. However, Japanese Buddhism is very distinct from Indian Buddhism or Chinese Buddhism precisely because of its interaction with Shinto.
              And how does that disqualify Japan from being a Buddhist country?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Effected After View Post
                And how does that disqualify Japan from being a Buddhist country?
                I just think that calling it a Buddhist country without including Shinto is disingenuous. It's not precise enough. Perhaps KB could quibble with me on the "subordinated" phrasing, but it still seems as though we should agree on calling Japan a Shinto and Buddhist country, recognising the significant combination of the two in Japanese life.

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                • #9
                  So none of you think that degrees from Japan count for anything?
                  I have family in England and they said I could live with them and go to school there, so finding a school with a Japan study abroad program might be my best bet.
                  To answer you question on "Why Japan?", why not? I grew up around Chinese and Japanese people when I lived in New Jersey, and my parents were best friends with a nice Asian couple. I've just been fascinated with the culture since I was young, so I can't really give a simple answer.
                  Anyways, can any of you recommend me a school in Japan? Or know of a school in England that has study abroad programs? (yes I know this is a site for Japan, but it doesn't hurt to ask.)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mellop View Post
                    So none of you think that degrees from Japan count for anything?
                    This largely depends on what you're trying to do. If you notice, the thread next to yours is my thread: I want to become a Japanese Teacher of English in the Japanese school system. I must go to a Japanese university for that. I want to do advanced research with Japanese primary documents. I must go to a Japanese university for that. I think that the question we have is why you need a Japanese degree... You might, but then again, you might not.

                    My best friend in Japan is from Colorado. He has a BA in Graphic Design and Animation, but ended up teaching as an ALT. After five years of looking, he is now working for a Japanese production company in Kansai in the same city we live in. In fact, besides doing the opening animation for the show, he also hosted the most recent episode, which was pretty cool, since I know how hard and long he worked for it. His degree mattered- in that he was qualified for the position, but it was the connections he made in Japan in our city that eventually got him his dream job. And he had to put up with teaching in area elementary schools until he got his break. He was good at it, actually, I sat in on a few of his classes, but it was a means to an end, not the end itself. Maybe the Japanese degree would have helped him, but then again... maybe it wouldn't have. Probably wouldn't have, since so much in Japan is built on who you know and what you know.

                    Also, animation is a dying industry in Japan. A lot of it is being outsourced. Hell, non key frames have been outsourced to Southeast Asia since the 90s. With computers, it's even gotten worse. You might be stuck doing other stuff if you want to work in animation in Japan- along with Japanese animators.

                    I have family in England and they said I could live with them and go to school there, so finding a school with a Japan study abroad program might be my best bet.
                    To answer you question on "Why Japan?", why not? I grew up around Chinese and Japanese people when I lived in New Jersey, and my parents were best friends with a nice Asian couple. I've just been fascinated with the culture since I was young, so I can't really give a simple answer.
                    You're reasoning isn't much worse than when I was your age. I made similar comments when I was in high school. The difference between us is that I did not move to Japan until it became economically imperative for me to do so. I actually was offered more money as an ALT in Japan than I was offered to teach in Texas. Before that, moving to Japan because of my interest in the culture was just a pipe dream. For most people that come on GP before they acquire a BA, that's all it will ever be.

                    Anyways, can any of you recommend me a school in Japan? Or know of a school in England that has study abroad programs? (yes I know this is a site for Japan, but it doesn't hurt to ask.)
                    Can't help you with England, as I'm upstart cousin Jonathan, but there are animation technical schools, but I have heard they can be a rip off. I can ask my friend from Colorado where his coworkers went, but the question becomes, can you handle the coursework in Japanese? Can you pass the the entrance examination?

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                    • #11
                      Though I am economically sound- because of my parents- no matter where I go, I totally understand what you're saying. I basically just want to live in Japan, and I saw college/university as an opportunity to do that. I might just stay here in Florida and attend UCF (University of Central Florida) and get a bachelors in Digital Media (essentially game design tracked) and a minor in Music. I just want to work with game companies; the amount of money that I make in a career isn't that much of an issue for me as long as it's in the $40k area. I also want to start up my own company in the future and perhaps move to Japan. Like you said, it's a pipe dream to want to live in Japan now, but I'd like to make it come true one day.
                      UCF does have intensive Japanese language summer programs that I could do as well to get a taste of the place.

                      By the way thanks for the replies (:

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