Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research

About the Program


“Western Comics Culture/s vs Japanese Manga Culture?” with Chris Reyns-Chikuma

Course Summary
Although there are many cultures of comics in the world, it is often accepted to say that there are three main traditions: American, Japanese and Franco-European. In his famous didactic book Understanding comics, Scott McCloud reduces these three cultures to two, the West (US-Europe) and the East-Japan, using formal aesthetic differences to oppose the two. Similarly, in Manga in America, Transnational Book Publishing, while analyzing the manga industry in the US market, Casey Brienza, found differences between both from a managerial and organizational perspective. In this course, while trying to avoid the orientalist binary system opposing West and East in an essentialist way, we will explore both the aesthetic and commercial differences but also similarities between these two comic/manga worlds. We will use both critical texts and ‘comics/manga’ to debate these issues. Students will bring their own readings, academic sources and knowledge to contribute to the debate.

Course schedule

June 18-29, 2018

DATES (June)  18 19 20 21 22 23 24
AM Lecture hours 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5    
PM Field work/Research 1 1 1 4.5 1    
DATES (June) 25 26 27 28 29 30 1
AM Lecture hours 3 3 3 3 3    
PM Field work/Research 1 4 1 1 1    



Ritsumeikan University offers students its dormitory check in June 17 and check out June 30. (Bunk bed x 2)

Program Cost

Tuition: $927.81 (Canadian) / $2,435.25 (International) *
Field Trips: $50
Service fees (both PTJC and RU): $410**
Accommodation: $30X13 nights = $390**
Airfare (Edmonton-Osaka-Edmonton): $1,000**
Other Expenses: $1,000
(Travel Insurance/Local Transportation/Food/Entertainment, etc...)

* Participants will pay for regular intersession tuition to the University of Alberta.
**The monetary amounts based on the exchange rate of October 2017 and are subject to change.



This course will be run as INT D225 (3-credit course) on the University of Alberta Calendar.

Please note that at least 15 students from the University of Alberta are necessary to run this course.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the prerequisites for the summer program?
    There is no prerequisites (No Japanese required.)
  2. Do we need to submit a transcript?
    No you don’t need to submit a transcript.
  3. Will the students travel together or separately?
    Students are free to book their own flights according to their desired personal schedules. The Prince Takamado Japan Centre can offer help in booking a flight if required.
  4. Can I travel in Japan and/or to other countries after the program?
    You are free to travel within Japan during your free time while you are participating in the program. However, students who require a visa to be in Japan will not be allowed to enter Japan prior to the start of the program, and must also leave immediately after the end of the program. All students are free to travel to other countries before or after the program.
  5. Do I need to be immunized before going to Japan?
    No special vaccinations are required for travel to Japan.
  6. Do I need a Visa to go Japan? What are the procedures?
    If you are a Canadian citizen, a Visa is not required. If you are in Canada on a Student Visa, a Visa MAY be required. Please check the following site. Any student that requires a Visa to enter Japan MUST make arrangements to get one before they depart from Canada. Arrangement procedures and all fees required for getting a Visa are the student's responsibility.
  7. If I withdraw from the program will I receive a refund?
    No guarantees are made, but if you withdraw before the start of the program we will try to arrange a refund of the accommodation fees. However, we will keep the service fees to cover the financial cost of taking care of the cancellation. Tuition refunds will be assessed as accordingly to the University of Alberta Academic Calendar.