This resource is designed to increase international awareness of Japanese history, cultural heritage and archaeology by making available materials for teaching students aged between 14 and 18 through an online gateway.

ORJACH will be published in the English language and has been designed for use in upper secondary or senior high school teaching in English language speaking countries. ORJACH has a Japanese-language glossary so the resource will also be of use to Japanese-language teachers. ORJACH is free and publically accessible, and can be used by anyone with an interest in finding out more about Japan’s fascinating heritage.

ORJACH comprises a website with 9 modules containing text and image content about various aspects of Japanese archaeology and cultural heritage, along with introductory sections on Japan’s geography and history. These modules are organised into three thematic strands (Food, Landscape and Religion) and four chronological periods (Prehistory, Protohistory, History, Modern).

Each module has clear objectives and learning outcomes, and is divided into a number of topics (between 2 and 5 per module).

The actual materials for each module comprise:

  • 1 short introductory text (about 300 words) with one main image.
  • 3-5 short segments of text (each up to about 200 words), each with associated images.
  • Each of these text segments introduce an important site or topic related to an aspect of Japanese archaeology/cultural heritage. These sites and topics are selected as they are central to answering particular questions about Japanese archaeology.
  • Several of these images will have ‘pop-up’ panels to encourage students to interact with the images and to explore for themselves.
  • A set of teachers notes (each up to about 500 words, including ‘Module Objectives’ and ‘Student Activities’), which will be downloadable in an easily printable Black-and-white format.
  • A set of Background Information notes designed (1) to help the teacher construct a lesson plan around the materials provided, and (2) to be easily downloadable and printout-able as handouts for further self-study (comprising a double-sided sheet of A4).
  • An online glossary of terms, including Japanese names and terms (including Japanese kanji characters, transliterations and where appropriate, translations, and an audio component giving their pronunciation, which will help students wishing to ensure they have the correct pronunciation of terms and names in Japanese as well as in English.
  • Links through to Google Earth maps, identifying the location of all places mentioned in the texts.
  • Links to an interactive chronological bar showing dates and links to other important events and periods around the world.
  • Links to other appropriate online resources about Japanese archaeology.
  • Links to appropriate video snippets (e.g on Youtube).

 

Capacity for interactivity: the website will have an integrated, moderated ‘chat-room’, where students may direct questions. On a regular basis, the Moderator will arrange for selected questions to be answered. The resource will also have the capacity for Twitter and Facebook connectivity.

The resource will be fully searchable with a key-word index.

ORJACH has been developed by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures with sponsorship from Hitachi Europe Ltd and Hitachi Solutions Ltd.

 

Additional details about of the project

The project is designed to increase international awareness of Japanese cultural heritage, archaeology and history by making available resources for teaching students aged between 14 and 18 through an online gateway. The resources will be published in the English language and will, therefore, be aimed at upper secondary or senior high school teaching in English language speaking countries.

The modules have been developed with the following aims in mind

  • to make the most of the archaeological evidence;
  • to highlight the use of archaeological skills;
  • to provide the necessary background for understanding the archaeology;
  • to highlight topics of relevance to key qualifications in which the archaeology can be placed.

Modules are arranged into the following themes:

  • food (processing, storage, and consumption/recipes);
  • landscape and environment (settlement such as group, village, town and cemeteries);
  • religion (rituals, practices, sites and architecture).

The modules also cover four broad chronological periods:

  • Meiji to Heisei (1868 – present)
  • Ancient to Early Modern (300 –  1867 CE)
  • Yayoi and Kofun (500 BC – 300 CE)
  • Palaeolithic and Jomon (50,000 – 500 BC)