University of Iowa

FACULTY STUDY TOUR 2017 - Regional Japan: Culture from the Margins

From July 26 to August 8, 2017, five faculty members representing diverse areas of study participated in a faculty study tour led by Assistant Professor Kendall Heitzman, “Regional Japan: Culture from the Margins.” The tour brought participants to the major cities that supply the world with many of its iconic images of Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. But the majority of our time was spent in three diverse regions, to see the richness of cultural production off the beaten path. In Okayama, we visited Japan’s first collection of Western art in Kurashiki, visited the landscape garden Kōrakuen, and spent a night in the mountains at the prefecture’s most unlikely international tourist draw, the 300-year-old thatched-roof Hattori Villa. In Tottori and Shimane Prefectures, we visited a museum dedicated to the work of manga artist Mizuki Shigeru, enjoyed Lafcadio Hearn’s garden in Matsue, and paid our respects to the Shinto complex Izumo Taisha. Finally, in Kōchi Prefecture, we learned about the tea ceremony with a local practitioner, went to sites associated with local legends John Manjiro and Sakamoto Ryōma, and visited a manga museum for Yokoyama Ryūichi. Along the way, we sampled local delicacies whenever possible: duck in Okayama, the “Seven Treasures of Lake Shinji” in Shimane, and, of course, seared bonito in Kōchi.

Please click on the faculty reports for individual perspectives on the tour:

Japan Foundation Trip Report, Corey K. Creekmur

Japan Foundation Trip Report, Elizabeth Heineman

Japan Foundation Trip Report, Luis Martin-Estudillo

Japan Foundation Trip Report, Jiyeon Kang

A Language Tour of Japan, Wenfang Tang