Tsvetomira Hristova Ivanova
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". Chief Assistant Professor

Japan up close: prefecture by prefecture – newly designed course at the Japanese studies department, Sofia university “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria

The newly designed course "Japan up Close: Prefecture by Prefecture" at the Japanese Studies Department, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria acquaints students in depth with the main administrative-territorial unit of Japan - a historical overview of its formation, as well as its contemporary socio-economic image. The relationship between local and central government in Japan as well as the specifics of each prefecture are a good starting point for studying the development of social relations in Japan, much needed to complement, enhance and contextualize the language skills of students and lay the foundation of their future a Japanologists.

Moreover, as a result, students will be able to apply their knowledge when choosing a university / prefecture to study in Japan, as well as to make comparative analyses with the respective socio-political systems of other countries.

The course is aimed at first year Japanese studies BA students (second semester) who possess Japanese language proficiency at N3 (CEFR B1 level) level.

In line with the interest in the course, the author, who is a Japanologist sociologist, is working on a course textbook which will include short interviews with residents of each Japanese prefecture as well as applied sociology simple tasks for students to work on.

Keywords: course, Japan, prefecture, sociology, Japanese studies, Sofia University, textbook