An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

Online Course

Future Learn
An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

What is the course about?

An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures
The course An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures is an online class provided by Keio University through Future Learn. It may be possible to receive a verified certification or use the course to prepare for a degree.
Explore Japanese subcultures and learn about their history from the 1970s to today.
Course description
  • 4 weeks
  • Subcultures have existed for a long time: the greasers of 1950s America, the mods and rockers of the 1960s and 70s in England, the grunge of the 1980s and 90s, to name a few. Each subculture sits within a broader ‘parent’ culture and can often give us an insight into cultural fears and hopes, especially in the youth of the population.
  • On this course you will get an introduction to Japanese subcultures that have developed since the 1970s.
  • Explore different aspects of Japanese subcultures
  • Japanese subculture has been long considered as ephemeral youth culture compared to authentic traditional culture. It contains, however, subversive power which encourages younger generations to re-create the world they live in. We mainly focus on the significance of immaturity and vulnerability of youth which eventually give permission to younger people (in other words, minorities) to stay as they are.
  • In this course, together with three other specialists, Professor Niijima, Professor Takahashi and Professor Ohwada, we will explore girls comics, boys comics, the Hatsune Miku vocaloid, cosplay, and J-pop idols, focusing on the themes such as Love, Battle, Technology and Fan culture, in which you’ll learn about the different cultural creations that underpin Japanese subcultures. With materials for cultural analysis, you’ll develop a basic knowledge of key Japanese subcultures, learning the recognisable traits of each.
  • Understand the historic context of Japanese subcultures
  • On the course you’ll discover historic background of youth culture in Japan, and understand the enormous impact of World War II.
  • Learn about Japanese subcultures and the youth of Japan
  • Finally, this course will give you a new perspective on the young people of Japan, exploring how they can be seen to elaborate the world of “immaturity” and “vulnerability.” You will see the reason these characteristics of Japanese subculture attracts “global” attentions.
  • Understanding Japanese youth culture
  • Considering vulnerability and immaturity in Japanese social context
  • Love relationship and self-acknowledgment
  • Battles and competition in educational institutions
  • Machine and Human
  • Derivative works and fan culture
  • A history of subculture since 1970
  • Evaluate the significant meanings of youth culture
  • Interpret subcultural materials along with social background
  • Compare the context of Japanese subculture with learners’ own cultural background
  • Investigate the reason why Japanese culture has a strong impact and popularity in global context
  • This is an introductory course and is open to anyone with an interest in Japan and Japanese culture.
  • Some of the course videos will be in Japanese with English subtitles.
  • Keio University
  • Keio University is Japan’s first modern institution of higher learning, and since 1858 has established itself as a leader in Japan through its continued commitment to education, research and medicine.

Prerequisites & Facts

An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

Course Topic

History, Language, Social History

University, College, Institution

Keio University

Course Skill Level

Course Language


Place of class

Online, self-paced (see curriculum for more information)



Degree & Cost

An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

To obtain a verified certificate from Future Learn / Keio University you have to finish this course or the latest version of it, if there is a new edition. The class may be free of charge, but there could be some cost to receive a verified certificate or to access the learning materials. The specifics of the course may have been changed, please consult the provider to get the latest quotes and news.
Keio University
An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures
provided by Future Learn


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An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures
Keio University Future Learn
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School: Keio University
Topic: History, Language, Social History
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