HUM 335

Japan and the Dutch: A Cross-Cultural Visual Dialogue 1600-2000

Geographically, Japan and The Netherlands (often referred to as Holland) are relatively small countries, never far from the ocean, with large, highly urbanized and literate populations engaged in dynamic civic rivalries. Historically, the relationship between the two has been close. For a long period, the Dutch of "Holland," a major maritime and trading power in the 17th century, provided the Japanese with their window on the world. It was in fact a two-way window, a way, through Dutch merchants, Japan learned of Europe, but also Holland and the rest of Europe (and America) learned of Japan. From a cross-cultural perspective the course examines the richness of the 300/400 years Japan-Dutch artistic relations in a variety of media. The achievements in the visual arts in these countries are approached through illustrated lectures, museum visits, creative work sessions, writing assignments, group discussions, and class presentations of individual research projects.