Japanese Martial Arts as Popular Culture: Teaching Opportunity and Challenge
Japanese martial arts, here after Japanese budō, are popular cultural icons that are found in films, comics, video games and books. Teaching Japanese budō at university offers a novel way to teach about East Asian and in particular Japanese culture, history, and philosophy while including ideas about the globalization and the localization of culture. Question though remains as to how and what should we teach about the popular culture of Japanese budō at the university level? This paper found that a comprehensive approach to teaching about budō was effective. By using many kinds of materials and the incorporation of opportunities to experience budō and to try budō, students were better able to grasp the historical, cultural and religious characteristics of budō.
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