Japan Studies Program (Thursday 2)

WEEK 005: Rugby  

Here is the transcript:

You’re the elite, the top of the tree, but being a lion is not about being an individual. Nahh, you got to go low—tackle the hips. That’s how they come down. You go out there on your own, you will fail. But if we can combine our strengths and work together then we can achieve anything. Left a bit. Down! Great hit! Use your feet. Use your feet. Hey lads, it’s high altitude out here, so the ball flies a lot further. Isn’t that right, Gar? That’s right, Gar.   How about next time fix it and then step off your right. Alright lads, we got a big game tomorrow. So get your heads down, okay? Very funny, which one of you, did this in my boot?

From our discussion in the lesson yesterday about company mascots, metaphors in business and strategy, 1)  write (briefly) some of your thoughts. 2) Read each other’s entry and respond to something another classmate has written.


Application: Innovation; Flexibility in Outlook; Mashups; Metaphors in Business; Reusing what others discard. 

1) Prepare: watch again

Watch the one-minute commercial again. Take notes of all the different elements. This commercial has no speaking, so please write down in your notebook the text that you appear on the screen at the end.

2) Characters

Write a one or two-word description for each of these characters: The husband, the wife, neighbor boy 1, neighbor boy 2.

3) Storyline There is no speaking in this story, only action. What do the above characters do in the story? Write a brief summary of what happens by describing the sequence of events. Limit your story to 78 words. Here are a few words or phrases that you may want to use in your story: tracks, mixing, skidding to a stop, snoring, throw away (out), annoyed, folds her arms, record player, records, LP’s.

4) Definitions

adapt: to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification

mashup or blend (also meshmash up and mash-up) is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another. (Wikipedia) (See also sampling and sequencing.)

modify: : to make basic or fundamental changes in often to give a new orientation to or to serve a new end .

synthesis: the combining of often diverse conceptions into a coherent whole; also: the complex so formed (source: merriam-webster.com/dictionary)

5) Culture Point (Examples of Mashups of the modern and the ancient): Mashups in music have been a form of technical collaboration for a long time. Basically, mashups are when you take one piece of music and mesh (or mash) it over another to make a new piece of music. Some of the most creative pieces are when an artist takes a classical piece of music that is several hundred years old and uses it as a melody base for a hip-hop dance track.

Some good examples are: J.S.Bach – Air & Gavotte – Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068 – Croatian Baroque Ensemble: ( Listen to the first few minutes; but you don’t need to watch all 7 minutes and 45 seconds.)


Now listen to what Sweetbox (1997) has done with it: Everything Going to be Alright.


ONE MORE EXAMPLE: Pachelbel Canon in D:


Pachelbel Canon in D w/ hip hop combines so many elements of East and West music and then puts the hip-hop dancers in to complete the mashup. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oex4S3vPKR4

EXTRA POINTS for students who bring their favorite mashups and introduce them to their classmates and/or the teacher. You can add the links to the response blog but make sure to cite the original source (providing two links).

6) Questions for discussion, reflection, and journal. 

A) In class on Wednesday morning we talked about the three “i”s. INVENTION, INNOVATION & IMITATION. Why are these concepts important to business?

B) How can adaptation or synthesis of “the old” be just as important as invention of a completely original concept?

C) Why is it important to understand the old, the classics, the fundamentals, in order to be a true innovator in music, business and life?

D) Can you give some examples of new ideas or inventions that are based on old concepts?

E) Have you ever found something discarded or unwanted (in the trash) and made something new and unique with it? Please relate your story.
7) Final Analysis

A) What does “different points of view” mean to you?
B) How can we celebrate and nurture diversity in different parts of our society?
C) What are the “different points of view” of each character in the story?
D) How do these different points of view conflict and how do they converge?



Application: Family Responsibility, Independence, Following Your Dream, Initiative

initiative (v) the ability to decide and act on your own without waiting for somebody to tell you what to do.
(n) a new plan for dealing with a particular problem or for achieving a particular purpose.
the initiative the power or opportunity to act and gain an advantage before other people do.

pawn: (v) to leave an object with a pawnbroker in exchange for money.

A) Prepare: watch again
Using the link above watch the one-minute-forty-five second commercial again. Take notes of all the different elements, watching it several times if necessary.

B) Characters
Isam: Lets call the young artist Isam (a name that means self-made success).
Art Gallery Director
Real Estate Agent

C) Transcript dictation
Write down all the words you hear in this commercial. Hint: there are four sentences and only thirty-five words.

D) Discussion Questions
Where is Isam from: country; city?
What do you think is Isam’s first job?
Who’s the owner of the company?
Why does he leave the company?
What happens next in the story?
How does he live as an artist?
How does he get money to survive?
Why does he refuse his fathers financial help?
Can you identify with his spirit?
Do you know any young artists with such an independent spirit?
Why is it important for an artist to feel that his/her work is original?
Why is this commercial titled Family Business?

E) Culture Point: Gestures and body language

From this all male cast of characters, 1) list all of the gestures and types of body language used in these scenes. 2) Can you classify them into types?
Example: Isam and his father hug in the first scene. This is a gesture of intimacy and farewell because Isam is leaving his father’s company. What types of gestures are you accustom to if you were in this situation?

F) Storyline
1) Write a short story line using the verbs listed below with your own words.
2) In each sentence write one adjective that describes how Isam is feeling (the emotion Isam is experiencing in that moment, in that scene). To keep it simple, the subject of each sentence should be one of the following people a) Isam, b) the art director, (manager of the art gallery), or c) the real estate agent or d) the father.

quits; leases; rents; cleans; sweeps; starts; talks (with); sells; shakes; signs; sets (up); paints; builds; meets (with); looks (at); leaves; tries to give; meets greets; smiles; waves;

Isam quits his job at his fathers trading company.
Isam is feeling excited but maybe also a little worried.

G) Final Application
Directions: Write a short essay (200 words) answering and discussing the following questions.

1) When does Isam take the initiative in this story (specifically at least twice)?
2) The word initiative starts with the letter “i”. How many more “i”s are in the word initiative? Do you think this is significant?
3) What does it mean “But having the courage to follow your dreams is just the beginning.”?
4) Would you agree that initiative takes courage, independence, confidence, and motivation? Please comment on the importance of these four ingredients of initiative.
5) Do you think that initiative can be taught in a class?
6) How can you develop initiative for your future success? Be specific.


Week 2: April 18. Soft Skills for Business Communication

SOFT SKILLS  Part of today’s lesson comes from this link. Please go here to review the materials we covered and finish your homework. Be sure to read all of the blog posts and comment on the main material as well other students’ comments. 

A) Transcript dictation: Write down all the words you hear in this commercial. There are four sentences and only thirty-four words.

 B) Writing/summarizing: Now write a short story (only 85 words) describing the life and career of Mr. Omar. Use the facts you see in the commercial but don’t be afraid to add your own details. Here is how you might start . . .Mr. Omar was a taxi driver in the poor slums of Cairo. One day he . . . 

C) Cultural Point: names and personality: Omar is a very popular name—usually a given name to males, but it can also be a surname, though less common. The spelling can vary Omar, Omer, and Umar. This name comes from the Arabic language meaning populous, flourishing, long-lived, eloquent or gifted speaker (source: Wikipedia).

Questions: 1) Do you think Mr. Omar’s name is appropriate? 2) What other words might you use to describe the personality of Mr. Omar? 3) Please list 7 words—examples: gregarious, hard-working, chance-taker.

D) Questions for discussion, reflection, and journal. 1) When did Mr. Omar view a career opportunity? 2) Why did he take such a challenge? 3) What soft skills make Mr. Omar successful? 4) What does the line from the commercial mean “having the courage to follow your dreams”? 5) Do you think it takes courage to follow your dreams? 6) What other characteristics does it take? 7) What were the steps he needed to take to move from taxi driver to tour guide? 8) There was recently a revolution in Egypt. What do you know about this country and its economy? 9) At the beginning of the commercial there is no speaking. What do the background noises indicate to you? 10) What kind of music is used? 11) How does this add to the commercial and sense of narrative?
6) Written Message . . . Slogan and Logo:

A) Analyze the colors and font in this logo? B) What do you think the slogan means?

One thought on “Japan Studies Program (Thursday 2)

  1. Think different,

    The CM was very attractive because of the following 3 reasons.

    First of all, there were many famous people. People are easily attracted to those who are familiar.

    Second, instead of loud music effects, there were only an inspiring speech.

    Third, the CM was not for a certain product, but for branding of Apple Corporation itself.

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