International Baccalaureate Category 3 Topical Seminar: Japanese

Application is closed for this seminar.

This two and a half day seminar provides a forum for experienced educators to build on and enhance their professional development portfolios in Japanese literature. Participants will engage in an in-depth investigation into specific areas of interest and expertise.

July 27 - 29, 2012 (Friday-Sunday / 2.5 days)
Intended Participants:
IB teachers in Japanese A who have native level or near-native level Japanese language skills. More than three years of experience of teaching an IB course (Japanese) is preferable, but the workshops are also open to non-IB teachers who are interested in IB Diploma Programme.
Language of Instruction:
Temple University, Japan Campus in Tokyo (Access)
Exact building and rooms to be confirmed.
Fee: 53,500 yen
Deadline: June 26, 2012 (JST)
Application is closed.
Ms. Mai Mitsui ( / +81-3-5441-9800)


  • The fee includes tea/coffee, refreshments and lunch for three days.
  • Registration and payment must be completed by the date specified.
  • TUJ reserves the right to cancel the workshop if there is insufficient enrolment.
  • TUJ cannot be responsible for cancellation fee of air tickets or accommodation of participants when it has to cancel the workshop under unavoidable circumstances.

Seminar Content

Day 1: July 27

Session 1: Introduction

This opening session presents an overview of the workshop and explains and discusses how to bridge the gap between "theory" and "practice in a classroom" so that participants will be able to utilize the updated expert knowledge of literature they learn in the IB curriculum. It is imperative for IB teachers to be constantly updated on new theories and approaches in literature. To do so, they are required to explore new possibilities and new selections to introduce to their students. This opening session allows participants to see the relevance and importance of their professional growth in relation to their classroom practice, and gives them the opportunity to share their opinions and concerns regarding their professional development.

Ms. Miho Tsumura (IB certified workshop leader)

Session 2 & Session 3: Murakami Haruki

Participants are expected to have read the Japanese original of Murakami's "All God's Children Can Dance" (2000) before this session. Photocopies of another short story by Murakami will be distributed during the session. The chief aim of this session is not necessarily to have participants understand Murakami's works better, but rather to put on recommending an efficient "teacherless"/ "student-based" approach to the participants, using Murakami's texts as the samples for this teaching methodology. The session starts with a short lecture (45 minutes) on; 1) how to make our literature class "teacherless" and "student-oriented", and 2)how to make every student discussion fun, energizing, self-reflective, and voluntarily analytical, citing examples from the presenter's own teaching experience.

Participants are then given tasks to individually explore the connections between the story distributed in the session and "All God's Children Can Dance" (75 minutes). In the second half of the session, participants will be engaged in group works (45 minutes) based on the individual analysis of the texts and actually practice the "teacherless" discussion. The session concludes with the presentation from each group and feedback from fellow participants and the presenter (60 + 15 minutes).

Dr. Goro Takano
Required Reading:
村上春樹「神の子どもたちはみな踊る」(Photocopy to be distributed in advance.)
※『神の子どもたちはみな踊る』 (新潮文庫) に所収、2000年
村上春樹の別短編 (タイトル未定 — Photocopy to be distributed in class.)

Day 2: July 28

Session 4 & Session 5: Hayashi Fumiko

Fumiko Hayashi (1903/04 – 1951) is a complicated and paradoxical author who refused to belong to any of the established literary schools of her time. She rejected the proletarian literary movement and Communism, yet she wrote about the working class. She ignored the feminist movement yet her characters are women struggling under the patriarchal system. She laughed at Dadaism, but her book, Hourouki, is a hodgepodge of fiction, autobiography, diary, poetry, and social observation. This session will provide students with tools to unravel this exciting yet enigmatic text.

The session will be divided up in three parts: the first part of the session (120 minutes including Q&A) will introduce students to Hayashi's biography as well as background information about the book. We will also examine various literary theories to help us navigate the "ways of reading". In the second portion of the session (60 minutes), students will be divided up in groups to analyze a passage (or two) from the text based on the theories touched upon in the first section. The last part (60 minutes) will be spent discussing each other's findings.

Professor Mariko Nagai
Required Reading:
林芙美子 『放浪記』(新潮文庫).
Read at least the first section of the book before the session.
For students who do not have easy access to 新潮文庫 version of the book, please refer to Aozora Bunko version.

Session 6: Yoshimoto Banana

The main focus of this session is to introduce cognitive linguistic approaches (Grounding and Deixis (Koyama-Murakami 2001)) and analytical tools to analyze literary texts and demonstrate how Banana Yoshimoto's texts can be read, deciphered, and comparatively analyzed. In the first session (Session 6), cognitive linguistic approaches and theoretical background are introduced as to delve into both textual and contextual elements which bring out certain effects on the readers. As a sampler and a base text for participants to compare to, Yoshimoto's "Kitchen" (1991, 1997) is analyzed and presented.

Dr. Nobuko Koyama
Required Reading:
吉本ばなな 『キッチン』(福武文庫)1991,1997年
よしもとばなな 『ジュージュー』[単行本] (文藝春秋)2011年

Day 3: July 29

Session 7: Yoshimoto Banana

[Continued from Session 6] In the second session (Session 7), participants will analyze Yoshimoto's "Juu Juu" (2011) and analytically compare it to the base text "Kitchen" in order to understand the underlying leitmotif found in Yoshimoto's works and how the reader vicariously experiences and undergoes the process of 'healing.'

Session 8: Concluding Session

This session wraps up the 2.5 day workshop. It will give participants chances to reflect on what they have learned in the workshop, and to discuss ways to apply their learning to the classroom setting. Some time will be allocated for questions and answers, and for the evaluation of the workshop.

Ms. Miho Tsumura (IB certified workshop leader)


Ms. Miho Tsumura has always loved sharing her language and culture with others, and has spent her career doing so in various capacities. In Japan, she taught Japanese Language and Culture to non-Japanese adults, and also trained people learning to teach Japanese as a Foreign Language in Fukuoka for five years. Ms. Tsumura started her career in Singapore as a teacher of Japanese Language and Culture at a state school. She currently works at International School Singapore (ISS), where she has taught Japanese A1 for twelve years, Japanese AB initio for nine years, and has also acted as a counselor for the past 15 years. As a counselor, she has worked mainly with Japanese students and their families for their adjustment to international education. And she has supported a development of IB in Singapore, Beijing, and Japan.

Dr. Goro Takano, born in the city of Hiroshima, is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Saga University, where he teaches English and Japanese literature. He obtained his M.A. from the University of Tokyo (American Literature), and his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (English/Creative Writing). His first novel, With One More Step Ahead, was published in US by BlazeVOX in 2009.

Professor Mariko Nagai is an Associate Professor of creative writing and Japanese literature at Temple University Japan (TUJ). She is a graduate of the New York University master's program in creative writing (poetry), where she was the Erich Maria Remarque Fellow. She has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Yaddo, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for the Arts, Akademie Schloss Solitude-Stuttgart, Hawthornden, among others. Her writing and translation have appeared in literary journals in the US and Europe, and she received Pushcart Prizes both in poetry (1998) and fiction (2001). Histories of Bodies: Poems, the winner of the 2005 Benjamin Saltman Award, was published by Red Hen Press in 2007, and Georgic: Stories, the winner of the 2009 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, was published by BkMk Press of University of Missouri Pressin 2010. Georgic has received Silver Medal in Independent Publishers Book Award in Short Fiction category.Her current research is a nonfiction book on the life and death of her maternal grandfather, who died in Papua New Guinea during World War II, interwoven with meditation on the nature of war, soldiering, molding of the collective narrative and memory, atrocities, and propaganda. She is also working on translation of Fumiko Hayashi's Horoki.

Dr. Nobuko Koyama is an Assistant Professor of Japanese Language Major and Coordinator of Japanese/Critical Languages Program at TUJ since 2006. She established Japanese Language Major at TUJ in Fall 2010. Since then, she started conducting her research on "Academic Japanese" and its relevance in university curricula. Before joining TUJ, she taught Japanese, sociolinguistics, and contrastive linguistics in Taiwan for five years. She is a linguist specializing in discourse analysis and cognitive linguistics while she's actively engaged in language education. In discourse analysis, she applies cognitive linguistic approaches to literary texts to delve into a narrative construal. Her approach—a composite framework of grounding and deixis—is an analytical tool to examine both the textual and contextual, and the macro- and micro-structure of a literary text.

Schedule (Subject to change)

Day 1: July 27

Session 1: Welcome & Introduction, Overview
Session 2: Murakami Haruki
Session 3: Murakami Haruki

Day 2: July 28

Session 4: Hayashi Fumiko
Session 5: Hayashi Fumiko
Session 6: Yoshimoto Banana

Day 3: July 29

Session 7: Yoshimoto Banana
Session 8: Conclusion
Workshop Closes.
Ceritificate Awarding Ceremony & Lunch Reception.


Sheraton Miyako Hotel

Participants to the workshops can book rooms at Sheraton Miyako Hotel (approx. 20 minutes walk to TUJ Mita Campus) at a substantially discounted rate of 13,000 yen plus tax per night (without any meals).

For reservation, please directly contact Sheraton Miyako Hotel. Be sure to mention "Temple University Japan (テンプル大学)" at the time of reservation in order to take advantage of the discount.


Nearby Hotels (for reference only)

Entry Visa Information

Detailed information about Visa requirements can be found on the Japanese government Immigration Bureau homepage below.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Payment Policy

Payment should be made within 14 days upon receipt of the confirmation e-mail. Early birds rates are only applicable if application and payment are received by May 24, 2012. Applicants who pay after that time must pay the normal fee. If participants choose to pay by credit card, the payment is immediately confirmed by e-mail. Unless full payment is received, the participation for the workshop is not considered secured. The final due date of payment is July 10, 2012.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation received before 14 days prior to the event start date will receive the full refund.
Cancellation received within 14 days prior to the event start date will be charged the full registration fee.