Japan: Ainu, Artisans and Seafarers in Sapporo - Emerging Global Cultures in the Heart of Hokkaido

dock with boats and people walking nearby


SUMMER 2020 ONLINE - June 16 - 30, 2020

Program Description 

A journey into the heart of Hokkaido culture, this new FLP encourages students to immerse themselves in the daily rhythms of life in this enchanting wonderland of mountains, lavender fields, and volcanic spas—filled with the vibrant cultures of artisan crafts makers, expert seafarers, organic farmers, master brewers and renowned chefs, all firmly planted in the unique volcanic terroir that can only be Hokkaido.  Students will experience firsthand the emergent and emerging cultures of food, sports, and the arts in this one of a kind cultural immersion in the ruggedly beautiful land of the Ainu people.

Through this two-week FLP, students will also be able to experience:

  • Sapporo Stadium, host site of 2020 Olympics soccer events, and meeting with organizers, volunteers and athletes.
  • Consadole Sapporo FC (Hugo Maradona’s former club) stadium tour and J-League professional soccer match attendance.
  • Nibutani Ainu Museum with guest lecture by Indigenous Ainu Anthropologist.
  • Furano organic fruit farm tasting visit in the heart of Hokkaido.
  • Once in a lifetime stay at a traditional Japanese Onsen Ryokan in the beautiful coastal town of Hakodate, with views of 3 Star Michelin Green Guide awarded Mount Hakodate.
  • Otaru traditional glass museum and factory tour.
  • The Renowned Mombetsu Crab at its source in the Mombetsu Fisheries and Market in East Hokkaido.
  • Beautifully fragrant lavender fields of Tomita Farms.
  • Sapporo Ramen Factory tour and tasting.



ANTH 115 The Emerging Global Culture (3 units) (Area V)

Introduction to systems concepts and approach as a way to investigate the global impacts of industrial technology on political, economic, social and moral/psychological structures of humankind.

Prerequisites: Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended. Note: All SJSU Studies courses require completion of the WST and upper division standing.


faculty sung jay ou

Program Leader: Sung Jay Ou, PhD

Being raised with family roots in Japan, Hawaii, Korea and Kenya instilled in Dr. Sung Jay Ou a lifelong interest in culture, politics—and food. Since his formative years, Jay has lived and worked in over 21 countries, in cities and villages large and small, on coast, mountain and savannah. Dr. Ou is very excited to share his academic and entrepreneurial experiences through this FLP program, and, more importantly, to allow students to immerse themselves fully into intensive, firsthand experiences provided by the diverse perspectives and offerings of local artisans and scholars, as well as practitioners of sports, music, and gastronomy. An itinerant educator, entrepreneur, and sportsman in equal measure, Dr. Sung Jay Ou looks forward to working together with participants to learn and develop newer, more interesting and fruitful ways of conversing with the world.


Email: sungjay.ou@sjsu.edu


It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

$750 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$1,845 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$2,795 Total Program Cost


* Airfare is not included. Students will need approximately $20-$30 per day for meals.




Check out these additional resources for your program.

  • Itinerary
  • Info sessions