MSU Denver

About the Program

Japan Study Abroad Brochure 2019

MSU Denver’s Study Abroad program in Japan provides undergraduate students with valuable international experience, and opportunities to study Japanese language and culture and practice ethnographic field methods. Established in 2012, the program explores Japanese culture, communication, and identity in three distinct regions of Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto, and Okinawa.

Students in front of Japanese temple.
ANT 3330 – Japan: Culture, Communication, and Identity. Students enjoying the Japan Study Abroad course in Summer 2016.

The program begins in Denver with pre-departure instruction in Japanese history, political economy, and communication. Instructors Rebecca Forgash and Su Il Kim meet students in Tokyo, where they spend one week exploring metropolitan history and society, including visits to the Imperial Palace, Tsukiji fish market, and Harajuku. In Tokyo, students visit the campus of Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU) and participate in an academic and cultural exchange with TMU anthropology students. The second week is spent in Kyoto, where students study Japan’s traditional arts and religious culture, with visits to Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple, and the Gion geisha quarter. A day trip to the ancient capital city of Nara is included. From Kyoto, we fly to Okinawa for a final week exploring the island’s rich World War II history, contemporary military base culture, and emerging tourism economy. Meetings with local activists and university students allow students to interact with local people and expand their understanding and appreciation of Japanese cultural and linguistic heterogeneity.

Students record their experiences in a field journal, write reflection papers, and turn in a final research paper on a topic they have developed in consultation with the faculty and supported by Japanese resource people. The program concludes with a day-long post-travel session back in Denver. Students earn 6 upper-division credits in Anthropology. No background in Japanese language or anthropology is required.

Contact Dr. Rebecca Forgash at [email protected].

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Campus Location:
Central Classroom 106

Mailing Address:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Campus Box 28, P.O. Box 173362
Denver, Colorado 80217-3362


E-mail (Program Coordinator, Vonda Knox):
[email protected]