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CCOG for ART 209 Spring 2024

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Course Number:
ART 209
Course Title:
History of Asian Art: Art and Architecture of Japan
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores and analyzes the visual arts in relation to the culture of Japan from the Neolithic through the modern period. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Explain how art of Japan from the Neolithic to the modern period is representative of the historical moment in which it was produced, acknowledging the interactions between social, cultural, technological, and/or economic factors and art.
  • Utilize a critical vocabulary as a framework for discussing, creating and/or writing about art from Japan.
  • Analyze the relationship between form, context and meaning in visual communication. 
  • Articulate the relationships between art of Japan, the history of visual culture and world  history to enhance civic and global engagement.
  • Apply insights gained from course content to visual culture encountered outside of the classroom.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Through the study of art history, students look closely at works of art and architecture, articulating the way elements of art are interrelated and considering how values and interpretations have changed over time. They critically analyze visual communication, work creatively with art historical data, use evidence to support arguments and assess the stakes of primary and secondary sources. They also analyze the relationships between art and its historical, cultural, social and political contexts. Art history enhances students’ engagement in contemporary global culture through a deeper understanding of history, which helps students recognize connections between the past and present and become more aware of their own vantage points.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tools may include:

  • informal and formal responses to discussion questions

  • analysis and evaluation of reading assignments

  • visual and contextual analysis of art in writing assignments and exams

  • journals assessing learning in and out of the classroom

  • research projects resulting in papers or presentations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Analyze and work creatively with art historical data, using it to better understand the history of art and visual culture.

  • Evaluate primary and secondary art historical sources, assessing their stakes and motives.

  • Assess the ways in which art is impacted by the viewer’s vantage point.

  • Articulate the relationship between art and its historical, social and political context.

  • Recognize and differentiate various styles of art and evaluate how values and interpretations change over time.

  • Recognize and identify parallels between the art historical past and the present.

  • Conduct a formal analysis of a work of art and articulate the way its elements are interrelated.

  • Research and write coherently about art history, using evidence to support arguments.

  • Use knowledge gained in the course to study fine art, art history, design, anthropology or history at a four-year institution.


  • Neolithic Art in Japan

  • Early Shinto Art

  • The Silk Road

  • Shōsōin Architecture

  • Horyuji Architecture

  • Early Buddhist Art

  • Heian Esoteric Buddhist Art

  • Heian Court Culture 

  • Representing the Pure Land

  • The Tale of Genji

  • Otoko-e Scrolls

  • Kamakura Sculpture and Painting

  • Japanese Garden Design

  • From Chan to Zen: Development of Ink Painting

  • Zen Garden Design

  • Japanese Tea Ceremony

  • The Age of Castles

  • Kanō School Painting

  • The Revival of Court Aesthetics: Rinpa Painting and Ceramics

  • The Impact of the West

  • Namban 

  • Rangaku 

  • Realism

  • Ukiyo-e: Art of the Floating World

  • Bunjinga (Literati Painting)

  • Buson and Haiga

  • Women Artists in Traditional Japan

  • The 1868 Meiji Reform

  • Nihonga

  • Gutai Group

  • Contemporary Japanese Art