Would you like a little history with that?


In the entertainment department, I’m looking for some new Japanese dramas to watch (my all-time favorite is きみはペット or You are my pet, I also love the manga). This is not only because I like them, but because it will help with my listening skills. I saw a few clips of 風林火山 (Fuurin Kazan), and am thinking about that one for two reasons:

1. Gackt is in it

2. I love Japanese and Korean dramas/movies that are placed in historical settings and times periods.

Everything about the drama is intriguing, including the history of some of the names in the drama. Perhaps a bit of background reading will help in understanding the drama. As someone who is continuing to learn about other cultures, I always find it amazing how much I can miss because of something I don’t know about the culture or language.

I showed my Korean friend, the movie “Duelist” (형사) a few weeks ago and she taught me a lot about the usage and dialects the characters used. Duelist is one of my favorite films (that and the film, King and the Clown 왕의 남자), and a lot of the meaning is implied through various ways. Unfortunately, I know very little Korean so I also had missed the language elements that added to the film. When she pointed out certain things, I had many “oh! I get it” moments, despite having watched the movie over 10 times.

I wouldn’t know where to begin in my quest to know more about Ancient Japan and Korea, but luckily I found this.

It’s a list of foreign language and literature courses that are available online to non-MIT students. The individual courses have the materials (books, movies, etc) listed that are used for the course.  It’s really just the course material used so don’t think you will get academic credit for these! Below are some of the “courses” I’m interested in:

East Asian Cultures: From Zen to Pop

Japanese Popular Culture

Japanese Literature and Cinema


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