Coffee Culture in Modern and Contemporary Japan

Course Type: Lecture
Study Focus: VMC
Term: Spring

Teacher: Lauri KITSNIK

Course Code: JK11003

When did coffee first arrive in Japan, often thought of as a country of tea?

What was its initial reception and on which grounds was it domesticated? What are the patterns of coffee production and consumption in Japan, and how do these relate to global networks and trends? What are the brewing techniques and flavours that characterise coffee in Japan? How is coffee related to the everyday of urban spaces, technological innovations, and cultural change? These are some of the questions this course hopes to address by looking at the history and development of coffee culture in Japan during the past century and a half. For the class, we will be reading excerpts from several recent English-language studies; a number of research trips to coffee shops around Kyoto form an integral part of the course.

Course Information

Module: Focus 1 – Foundations
CATS Requirements: MA 1st year or above

Day/Period: Mon/2
Location: Sem. 9
Credits: 2

Course Goals

The students will 1) gain knowledge on the historical development of production and consumption of coffee in modern and contemporary Japan; 2) learn to relate the above developments to the ones taking place within a global context; 3) become familiar with approaches for studying coffee culture with an opportunity to apply these on their own future research projects; 4) acquire skills for historical and comparative analysis; 5) extend
their abilities to summarise past scholarship in oral presentation, and communicate their own original
arguments in classroom discussion and writing; 6) savour the varieties of coffee currently available in Kyoto.

Course Schedule and Evaluation

For a detailed course schedule, please visit KULASIS.

Evaluation is based on individual presentation (40%), participation in classroom discussion (40%), and final essay (20%).