British Culture

General Resources: Film and TV, The Making of Harry Potter, Wizarding World of Harry Potter (USJ)

Topics for 11 July (Mythology and Harry Potter in Japan)

Dragons have an important role in the Harry Potter series. There is a basis in reality: the dragon is a symbol of Wales. and mythical beasts. This includes Kappas (extract from Prisoner of Azkaban).

Legend of King Arthur. The Sword of Gryffindor and Excalibur (on Pottermore).  Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail also hints at Raiders of the Lost Ark … which has a similar plot line to the Philosopher’s Stone.

Witchcraft and witches in Britain. The War on Witches (BBC History Magazine).

Why do you think Harry Potter is so popular in Japan? Of course, Wizarding World of Harry Potter (USJ)! But there are other links, too. The Japanese Wizarding School is Mahoutokoro. The famous Quidditch team is the Toyohashi Tengu (reading material). But also see these cute Harry Potter designs! However, Japan barely features in the original books. Just this one mention … (photocopy).

Harry Potter and Contents Tourism. I have done a little writing about Harry Potter and tourism. There is so much activity online, including Wrock Music. This song about Professor Snape has over 6 million views! And the latest is the game Wizards Unite.

Topics for 13 June (Multiculturalism)

What are the four countries of the United Kingdom? What are the regions? What is your image of them? How are the countries/regions of the UK represented in Harry Potter? Who speaks in which accent?

What are the ethnic groups in the UK? How large are they? What ethnic groups are represented in Harry Potter? What does their representation tell us about multicultural Britain? In particular, there are “pure bloods”, “half-bloods” and “muggles”. How does this relate to racism and nationalism?

What social classes are there in Britain? How is social class represented in Harry Potter? We have discussed how Hogwarts is a mixture of a boarding school and Oxbridge college. What does this say about wizards? Are there any social class images attached to the four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin?

Actual population, ethnicity, language and other information about the UK are given in the CIA World Fact Book. Information about non-British residents is here: BBC Reality Check

Video Materials: 00:39:20 (McGonagall), 00:53:20 (Seamus, Dean, Owl Post, bankers …)

Reading materials: pp. 58-59 (Hagrid), 132-133 (Nearly Headless Nick & Seamus).

Pottermore profiles: 1) Harry Potter, 2) Hermione, 3) Ron Weasley, 4) Hagrid, 5) Professor McGonagall, 6) Professor Snape, 7) Malfoy, 8) Seamus Finnigan, 9) Filtch, 10) Dean Thomas

Plus, there are other characters from later books/films … 1) Cho Chang, 2) Parvati Patil.

And of course, Lord Voldemort … and the various dragons

Topics for 23 May (Education System)

Terms of address: When/Who would say the following in conversation? “Harry”, “Potter”, “Mr Potter”, “Harry Potter”, “Potter, Harry”.

“Albus”, “Dumbledore”, “Albus Dumbledore”, “Professor Dumbledore”, “Sir”

What does this all say about the relationship between Harry and Hagrid?

The Education System: When is the school year in the UK? What is a “public school”? What is a “state school”? What kind of school is Hogwarts? How do you know? In what ways is Hogwarts more like university than school?

Viewing materials: 00:48:00-00:53:30

Link: The Education Systemeducation-system-united-kingdom, Eton College,  London AcademyHarry Potter Locations in Oxford, Christ Church College Oxford

Houses and Uniforms: What are the houses at Hogwarts? How is this like a British school? Do British children wear school uniforms?

Reading materials: p. 122

Exams: Japanese schools follow the “graduation + entrance exam” model. British schools follow the “qualifications” model. What is the difference? What exams to British children take?

Viewing materials: (As above)

Reading materials: Order of the Phoenix p. 288

Link: UCAS and application to university, OWLs at Hogwarts, NEWTs at Hogwarts

Sport: Why are the How does sport fit into the curriculum? How is Quidditch very “British”?

Viewing Materials: Chapter 20.

Topics for 9 May (Buildings and Architecture):

Houses: What kind of houses do British people live in? What are the characteristics of the Dursleys’ house? Where is the post delivered?

Reading Materials: Magical Places, p. 14-15. Viewing Materials: 0:04:10, and then beginning of the next track.

Stations/Platform 9 3/4: What do you know about the British railway system? Where is King’s Cross?

Link: Platform 9 3/4 Shop, National Rail Map

Viewing Materials: 00:31:00

Shopping Streets/Diagon Alley: What do you know about shopping streets or shopping malls in the UK?

Reading Materials: Magical Places, p. 24-25. Viewing Materials: 00:20:30

Hogwarts: What type of artitecture is Hogwarts modeled on? Which castles, cathedrals and colleges in the UK do you know? What is the Great Hall modeled on?

Reading Materials: Philosopher’s Stone pp. 124-125. Viewing Materials: 00:38:30, and then beginning of the next track.

Topics for 25 April (Food):

Birthdays and Birthday Cake: How do you celebrate birthdays in your family or with your friends? What cake do you have?

Link: Cakes

Reading Materials: pp. 51-52. Viewing Materials: Track 4 (14:00).

Confectionary: What kind of confectionary do you like? When you were young, what kind of confectionary did you eat? Do you know any British confectionary?

Link: British Confectionary

Reading Materials: pp. 107-109. Viewing Materials: Track 10 (34:50).

Food: Do you know any traditional British food? What is your image of the quality of British food? Have you ever eaten at a British restaurant?

Links: Food and DrinkBritish Food

Reading Materials: pp. 131-133. Viewing Materials: Track 13 (46:20).

Pubs: Have you been to a British pub in Britain? Have you been to a “pub” in Japan? What are the characteristics of British pubs?

Links: A video about pubs

Reading Materials: pp. 73. Viewing Materials: Track 5 (18:20).