Cultural Studies: Japan


*This course is intended for lower elementary students


Class Schedule

Thursdays, 5:00-5:50 pm PST

March 7, March 14, March 21, March 28, April 4, April 11, (no class April 18), April 25, May 2, May 9, May 16


Note: Classes are listed in PST, click below to convert time to your time zone.

Course Overview

Are you a fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s films or Japanese cuisine? Do you enjoy origami or calligraphy? Do you dream of reading manga in their original Japanese or diving deeper into the world of haiku? Join us for this cultural studies course, in which we will explore various aspects of Japanese culture, making connections across historical periods and geographic regions in order to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Throughout our time together, we will also learn to introduce ourselves, read and write characters from Japanese phonetic alphabets, converse with others, and even order food in Japanese.

In future semesters at Cresconova, I’m excited to continue to dive into the global study of culture and humanities via courses that focus on topics like physical movement, megacities, and music that we’ll begin to explore in this introduction to Japan and Japanese.

Student Outcomes:

  • Explore Japan through its classical and modern traditions
  • Communicate in a language that is new to you
  • Build connections between your culture and the cultures of others

This course is a part of a series of Cultural Studies that will be offered throughout the school year.

Student Experience


Literary Analyst


Global Citizen

Your Teacher: Zac Carr

Zac has worked in education for almost twenty years, a majority of that time focused on supporting the growth of gifted learners. After eleven years teaching Japanese and Humanities and working as the assistant middle school head at the Nueva School in California, he recently moved to Kyoto where he now teaches high school language and culture courses with Global Online Academy. Zac received his masters degree in Japanese literature from Columbia University, concentrating on Meiji-era novels and post-war film, and then managed a Japanese antiquities gallery in Manhattan and Tokyo, specializing in Jomon and Yayoi period pottery. He knew his heart was in education, and a few years later, he brought his excitement for learning to the classroom, first at public and charter schools in Philadelphia and New York City, then at Nueva, and now at GOA. Working at schools with a range of programs for gifted education has allowed Zac to appreciate the importance of identifying and supporting gifted students, who (along with their families) are far too often unseen, misunderstood, and underserved. Schools, students, and families alike need and deserve the resources to help our gifted learners thrive, and Zac is grateful to be here at Cresconova to explore these challenges and opportunities.