'Everything I would want to see and do and learn': Two weeks to explore culture and animation in Tokyo

出版日期:2023年10月5日 Author: Grace Miller and Carmen Szukaitis

的 flight time alone—13 hours—tells you it’s a big trip, and maybe it’s even a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Factor in the jam-packed schedule of tea ceremonies, 歌舞伎表演, 佛教寺庙, 动漫博物馆和动画工作室, and you start to understand just how impactful a study abroad program can be. Add one more thing: it’s capped off 与一个 visit to Tokyo Disneyland. 现在你明白了 日本:东京的动画与文化 is a life-changing experience, and not just for animation majors.

Designed, researched and led by program directors 贝丝诺瓦克, interim dean of the 荣誉导师学院, and 凯特·兰尼, assistant professor and undergraduate coordinator for the School of Media Arts and Studies, 首届 日本:东京的动画与文化 study abroad program provided a variety of students immersive experiences 在日本ese culture and animation. 

“我们有一个有趣的(学生)组合。,诺瓦克谈到参与者时说, 谁自夸岁月沧桑, 动画知识的专业和水平. “But I think the majority of the students actually just had a love for Japanese culture and wanted to experience it. So we actually had quite a few first-time animators in the class.” 


这次旅行中最年轻的学生之一, 考特尼,而, only just completed her first year of college before seizing the opportunity to go on this study away experience. 的 媒体艺术与研究-动画 major heard about the program while touring OHIO; she said she was excited about it because she’d always wanted to travel to Japan. 

“Once I became a freshman, I saw posters for it all around,” Rather said. “所以我就去申请了. 等一下, I didn't think I was going to get in because I'm a freshman, I don't have a lot of animation experience [and] I've only really taken like these core classes.” Much to her surprise, Rather was accepted.

与此同时, Toleman Tevy, 研究综合媒体的大四学生, pursued this trip as a means to get outside of her comfort zone. 她在网上找到了这个节目 全球机遇办公室 网站.

“(这次旅行)完美得令人疯狂. It's everything I would want to see and do and learn,” Toleman said. “I was like, ‘I have to do this before I graduate.’’’

George Boyadijan的动画项目 

George Boyadijan是一名大四学生 游戏和动画 与一个 辅修日语, trip provided the opportunity to practice the language with native speakers and to see locations featured in the shows and games he has watched and played. 

“动漫 is almost a culture; it’s got its own following, 它自己的风格选择, 它自己的角色和比喻,博亚迪扬说. 兰尼补充说,虽然美国的动漫市场正在萎缩.S. can sometimes be seen as specifically targeting a certain age group, 在日本, 它可以适用于任何动画节目.

动漫 is the Japanese word used to describe any cartoon or animation, regardless of its place of origin. 然而,在日本以外, 动漫 describes all animation originating and produced 在日本, according to the 纳什维尔电影学院.  

Raney noticed how often 动漫 characters appeared during the trip. 的 characters were in advertisements, directions at shrines and at train stations. 甚至还有一个 任天堂东京 商店和一个 Kirby咖啡馆, which featured the Nintendo character on its food and plates. 

Such cultural exposure to character design was key for junior Mo Jeffries, who’s majoring in 媒体艺术与研究辅修; 艺术历史 赚一笔钱 Professional Deaf 资源 Liaison Certificate.

“It’s very important to have a sense of different cultures and different people so that you can have a broad spectrum of characters [in your work],杰弗里斯说. “Having a more in-depth exploration of other cultures helps broaden your own creative output.”


当他们沉浸在日本的文化中时, Novak and Raney asked students to complete discussion posts every few days, covering themes like neighborhood culture and traditional art. 旅行之后, each student submitted a final animation project based on their individual experience.

Jeffries’ project focused on creating a character. 我很喜欢浣熊, she decided to develop her own version of the Japanese racoon dog, 也被称为狸猫. 使用逐帧动画, Jeffries combined her visual diary of three-second videos filmed during the trip with the tanuki animations.

“你可以看到他们穿着和服鞠躬, or you see them in kind of a samurai outfit in front of the palace gate, 你可以在博物馆里看到它们,她说。. “的y go through a couple different spots, just kind of existing in the scene.”

的 trip was filled 与一个 variety of experiences, including visits to the 吉卜力博物馆, 江户东京露天建筑博物馆 沉浸式艺术博物馆 teamLab行星. 兰尼说 杉水动画博物馆 brought her immense joy, even though it was small. 

“的 thing that was so sweet to me about [the 杉水动画博物馆] is,re was a room where [our students] could do animation, 比如手绘动画,”她说。. “他们向你展示了整个过程, and you have the materials … just seeing our students sitting in the room and drawing, 就像, ‘Oh, 我喜欢这个!’ It was so sweet, and so there were just a ton of great experiences.” 

Many of the students spoke about how much gratitude they held for this experience abroad, each citing different favorite memories from the trip.

“If you're thinking about traveling, just go ahead and apply for it,” Rather said. “I almost didn’t, and I would have missed going to Japan.”

Novak and Raney plan to host the 日本:东京的动画与文化 trip biannually, with the next experience scheduled for summer 2025.