Links for Teachers & Students

Explore the links below for lessons, resources, and professional and academic opportunities specific to Japanese Studies. 

CJS Resources

CJS produces a number of educational materials through involvement in teacher workshops and community events. 

Exploring Japan

Download our K-12 publication, Exploring Japan, created specifically for middle and high school students with an interest in Japan. The articles are written by University of Michigan students and staff, and include topics on Japanese society, language, and opportunities for student involvement.

Issue 1, 2010        Issue 2, 2011

Lesson Plans

Download Interview for a Job in Japan, created by Mina Mori, Japanese Teacher at Athens High School in Troy, MI. Mina wrote this lesson plan as part of her participation in the K-12 Business Language Conference held at Florida International University in January, 2010. Mina attended this conference through the support of CJS and the Center for International Business Education (CIBE) at the University of Michigan.

Workshop Materials

Buddhism in Book of the Dead
Order a free copy of this slidecast, featuring UM professor Kevin Carr presenting on Japan's early cultural and religious history, or borrow the Book of the Dead DVD by contacting CJS.

East Asian Celebration: New Year's Traditions
Download a recording of this workshop featuring presentations on the customs, language, art, and food, as well as demonstrations on music and dance from iTunes U. Note: You must first download iTunes in order to access this video.

East Asian Celebration: The Art & Etiquette of Tea
View the Japanese Cha-no-yu (tea ceremony), performed by the Japanese Society of Detroit Women's Club and narrated by Anita Savio of the Consulate-General of Japan in Detroit.

Understanding your Students: A Workshop on Cultural Competence
Increase your knowledge of the challenges faced by Japanese children in the American schools by viewing presentations on culture shock, cultural identity, cross-cultural communication, and more.

Understanding your Students: A Workshop on Cultural Competence

University faculty and staff, independent consultants, educators, administrators, and community members gather together in a two-day workshop to explore the cultures and challenges of international K-12 students. Videos and slidecasts are available for viewing here

Additional Materials

See also our recommended books for children, and visit our Experiential Teaching Kit page for information on books, videos, and Japanese materials available for loan.

K-12 Lessons & Units

  • About Japan - A Teacher's Resource (from the Japan Society) provides lessons, essays, and a discussion board that enable teachers to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively teach about Japan.
  • The Japan Project connects teachers with different topics in Japanese studies.
  • J-Guide to Japan provides a topically arranged directory of Internet-based resources.
  • OSU: Institute for Japanese Studies contains lessons and units available for teachers on various subjects, including heritage, contemporary culture, and Japan's place in the world.
  • Visualizing Cultures provides visual images and interactive units for teaching about Japan.
  • Expanding East Asian Studies provides lessons on  East Asia categorized by core subjects.
  • Japan Past and Present provides links to various lessons, categorized by subject.
  • Education about Asia is a journal available through Association for Asian Studies. Explore their website for information on subscribing, as well as access to past editions.
  • Outreach World allows teachers to search for lessons organized according to country, time period, grade level, and more.
History & Geography
Civics & Governance
Music, Art , and Literature
Language & Culture
Contemporary Society
  • Trends in Japan - Lists resources from Web Japan that provides articles on various aspects of Japanese life and society, including street fashion, food and travel, and popular culture.
  • Channel J - Links to internet TV and movie news website. Available in Japanese and English. 
  • Feminism in Japan - Provides an extensive list of books on Japanese gender relations.
  • Short videos - Provides links to videos of contemporary Japan.
  • Deai & The Way We Are - Offer a look into high school life in Japan.
Film, Anime, and Folk Tales
Just for Kids
  • Kids Web Japan - Offers an interactive site for learning about various topics in Japanese cultural studies.
  • ABC Teach and Enchanted Learning - Provide elementary teachers with arts & crafts ideas, worksheets, and handouts.

Community Resources

  • Visit Ann Arbor and Yookoso Ann Arbor J-Blog - Resources designed for Japanese expatriates, available through the Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Japanese School of Detroit - A K-12 heritage language school providing instruction in Japanese for area students.
  • Consulate-General of Japan in Detroit -  Promotes mutual understanding and ongoing dialogue between the citizens of Japan and the U.S. Contact their public relations section for resources about Japan.
  • Japan Business Society of Detroit (JBSD) - Provides support to Japanese businesses in the area.
  • JSD Women's Club - Promotes relationships between the Japanese community and the local communities in Michigan through cultural and educational activities. The volunteers provide demonstration and instruction on the arts of origami, Japanese calligraphy, tea ceremony, Japanese classical dance, among others.  
  • Great Lakes Taiko Center - Offers live taiko performances, classes in taiko drumming and is committed to sharing and spreading taiko drumming in Michigan and the Great Lakes area. 
  • Michigan-Japan Professionals' Association (MJPA) - Provides a network to Japanese businesses, organizations, and residents that strives to stimulate cultural, economic, and educational opportunities in Michigan.


Educational Organizations

National Resource Centers (NRC)

The following NRCs offer Japan-related events, resources, and expertise (Title VI federally funded):

        Columbia University, Weatherhead East Asian Institute
        Cornell University, East Asia Program
        Duke University, Asian/Pacific Studies Institute
        Georgetown University, East Asia Center
        Harvard University, Asia Center
        Illinois/Indiana East Asia National Resource Center Consortium
        Michigan State University, Asian Studies Center
        Ohio State University, East Asian Studies Center
        Stanford University, East Asia National Resource Center
        University of California-Berkeley, Center for Japanese Studies
        University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California, Asia Institute
        University of Chicago, Center for East Asian Studies
        University of Hawaii, East Asia Council - Japan
        University of Iowa, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies
        University of Kansas, Center for East Asian Studies
        University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies
        University of Pennsylvania, Center of East Asian Studies
        University of Pittsburgh, Asian Studies Program - Japan
        University of Washington, East Asia Center
        Yale University: Council on East Asian Studies

Japanese Publications & Databases

  • Asahi, Daily Yomiuri, Mainichi, and The Japan Times - Links to newspapers in English.
  • Social Science Japan (Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo) and Nipponia (quarterly about culture and society) - Links to journals.
  • East Asian History Sourcebook - Provides a comprehensive collection of links and documents to aid scholars interested in East Asian (most of the resources relate to Japan or China).
  • Foreign Press Center Japan - Links to a private, non-profit foundation that supports the foreign press in Japan.
  • Japanese Studies Research Resources - Provides a collection of research tools and bibliography at Duke University.
  • The Japanese Text Initiative - Offers a part of the online library of the Electronic Text Center Library, University of Virginia. Currently includes the Kokinshu, Ise Monogatari, Hojoki Noh plays, Sarashin Nikki, the Manyoushu, works by Saikaku, Basho and many others. Can be searched in Japanese or English.
  • JPOLL - Link to the Japan Public Opinion Location Library. Contains a searchable archive of public opinion data from Japan.
  • Kinema Club - A searchable database of Japanese film, organized by Abe Mark Nornes, Chair of the Department of Screen Arts & Culture and Professor in Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan.

Professional Development & Funding Opportunities (non-UM)

  • The Japan Society - Offers courses, workshops and summer study tours in Japan for educators.
  • Educator Exchange and Professional Development - Available through ALLEX—Alliance for Language Learning and Educational Exchange (formerly Exchange: Japan).
  • Workshop for Teachers of Japanese - Offered through Michigan State University.  
  • CARLA Summer Institutes - Designed for for foreign language and ESL teachers at all levels of instruction, as well as program administrators, curriculum specialists, and language teacher educators.  
  • Franklin R. Buchanan Prize - Available through the Association for Asian Studies, is awarded to educators that develop curriculum materials dealing exclusively with one or more Asian countries.
  • Pre-College Education Program - Offered through the United States-Japan Foundation, provides support to projects that promote mutual study and learning on topics related to the U.S.-Japan relationship, including in-depth study of the culture, society and history of both countries.
  • New Perspectives: Japan - Offered through the Laurasian Institution and open to all pre-collegiate teachers for summer study.  
  • Study Homestay Program - Offered through the Andeo International Homestay and open to college-age students and adults.

K-12 Student Opportunities (non-UM)

  • The Hikone Exchange Program - Offers 7th and 8th grade student in Ann Arbor a chance to compete to become student ambassadors to Japan, attend a Japanese Junior High School and live as part of a Japanese family, and be matched with a Japanese student host.
  • LanguBridge - Offers study abroad summer immersion programs for high-school and college students 14 years of age and older (varies by program) in Tokyo.
  • Andeo International Homestays - Offers flexible 2-6 week summer study program for high-school students ages 14-18.  
  • ASSE International Student Exchange Programs - Offers students a chance to study in Japan for the summer or one academic year.  
  • YFU USA - Offers semester-long and academic year programs for high-school students and recent high-school graduates, ages 15-19.  
  • The Experiment in International Living - Offers an Anime Four-week Summer Arts Program, open to high school students and focuses on Japanese animation, and a Japanese Language Training Four-week Summer Language Program, open to high-school students who have at least one year of language study.
  • CCI High School Exchange - Offers semester or academic year programs open to high-school students ages 16-18.
  • Japan National Tourism Organization - Lists information about Japan, the Japanese, travel, major cities, holidays, hotels and much more.

Jobs, Internships, and Career Resources