Study Abroad in Japan: Summer 2011

The Art Department is pleased to offer for the second time the Study Abroad course ARTH 390 Japanese Gardens and Architecture. Based primarily in Kyoto, the course is an intensive introduction to the Japanese aesthetics and cultural history through the medium of designed spaces, sacred landscapes and traditional architecture. Students will study first hand some of the most important gardens and architectural sites and have the opportunity to see them within the context of the living traditions and the modern challenges facing Kyoto, the UNESCO World Heritage City.

The course will take students to the major Kyoto Buddhist temples and gardens, to the imperial and shogunal residences and their gardens, to the ancient city of Nara, the sacred Shrine of Ise, the castle of Himeji and to other culturally significant sites. Students will study the history and theory of design through lectures, on-site presentations and individual research, and engage in a variety of aesthetic activities which inform the practice of gardening, such as the tea ceremony, a performance of Kabuki and a study of calligraphy. They will also spend a day in a Zen monastery and meet with professional gardeners and conservation specialists.

This course will be of benefit to students of art history, art, Asian studies and those interested in world cultures. The program is also open to non-degree-seeking students who will register for the course with Old Dominion University. A PDF with detailed information on the course is available here. Small posters with basic info are available here and here.

Japanese Gardens and Architecture
June 1–16, 2011
ARTH 395, ASIA 395, JAPN 310, 3 credits

Faculty leader: Agnieszka Whelan

Estimated Cost: $4570 with scholarship.

Contact: Agnieszka Whelan (, Art Department, 118 Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Building, 757 683 4772
or: Office of Study Abroad (, 212 Spong Hall, 757 683 5378

Artwork: Sakura by Jennifer Ritchie

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