HART2043 Zen Gardens to Manga Mania: A Survey of Japanese Art

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit explores the art and visual culture of Japan, with an emphasis on the modern period. As an introduction to the artistic practices and aesthetic principles of Japanese culture, this unit offers a broad history of Japan through a close consideration of specific artists and material traditions. From Hokusai's Great Wave, to in the indoor surfing clubs of Tokyo, from Zen tea bowls, to the Manga empire of Takashi Murakami, this unit encourages interactive engagement with Japanese art through objects, images, and experiences. Over the semester, students will examine a wide array of topics, including Buddhist art, the politics of craft, and the complexities of cultural appropriation, ultimately enhancing their interpretive skills through hands-on learning, site-visits, oral presentations, and written work.
Students are able to (1) identify relevant Japanese artists and artworks; (2) identify key aesthetic principles of Japanese art; (3) apply knowledge of Japanese culture and aesthetic principles to the interpretation of works of art; (4) employ effective research skills including the use of primary and secondary materials; (5) construct a compelling and well-structured argument in a written paper; and (6) demonstrate critical thought and cogent analysis through oral communication.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; and (3) discursive exercises. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Assistant Professor Emily Eastgate Brink
Unit rules
HART1000 Great Moments in Art (formerly VISA1000)
HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
Contact hours
Up to 3 hours per week.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.