Japanese Popular Culture


This class is the popular culture branch of fourth-year Japanese language study; as such the focus of the class is language acquisition, with almost sole attention given to reading. Students will not only increase their ability to read Japanese, they will also learn about various contemporary social and cultural phenomena. The bulk of each class will be spent going through each reading assignment closely, analyzing not only the language of the piece but the logic of its argument. Once we have gone over the language, the remainder of the class will be spent discussing the content. Readings will all be in Japanese; class discussion will primarily be in English. A high level of Japanese language ability is necessary for this class; for that reason JAPAN 313 or its equivalent is a requirement.

The class will read one piece of criticism at a time; the number of classes completing the piece requires will be determined by the average language level of the class. Readings (and dates) below are only suggestions. Scheduling will remain flexible throughout the term. Students will be expected to have prepared the appropriate material in advance. The largest single factor in determining a student's grade is his or her participation in the class. In addition, there will be vocabulary quizzes throughout the term, a special project, and a final exam.

In order to understand the readings, it is strongly recommended that students watch the films assigned for optional weekend viewing. They are all on reserve at the Media Center.

Books Required: