JAPAN 322: Survey of Japanese Literary Modernity



Professor Ted Mack
MWF 9:00-10:20 SMI 304

Teaching Assistant Ms. Sarah Clayton
Sections are held on Thursdays

This course surveys short fiction by many of the most famous authors of modern Japan.

Readings are drawn from the following anthologies:

J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel, eds., Modern Japanese Literature, vol. 1
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2005)


J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel, eds., Modern Japanese Literature, vol. 2
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2007)

Both volumes will be available at the UW Bookstore and are on reserve in the East Asian Library.



January 3
5 Selection from Kyokutei Bakin, The Eight Dog Chronicles (1814-42); selection from San'yûtei Enchô, The Ghost Tale of the Peony Lantern (performed by Enchô until 1899; 1:25-30)
6 Section: Discussion of background information and Edo fiction
Selection from Futabatei Shimei, Drifting Clouds (1887; 1:10-25); Mori Ôgai, "The Dancing Girl" (1890; 1:56-66)
Izumi Kyôka, "The Holy Man of Mount Kôya" (1900; 1:66-105)
12 Kunikida Doppo, "Meat and Potatoes" (1901; 1:153-67); Tayama Katai, "The Girl Watcher" (1907; 1:254-64)
13 Section: Discussion
Nagai Kafû, "The Mediterranean in Twilight" (1909; 1:213-17); Akutagawa Ryûnosuke, "The Nose" (1916; 1:342-46); Mori Ôgai, “The Boat on the River Takase” (1916; 1:206-12).
NO CLASS: Martin Luther King Day
19 Arishima Takeo, "The Clock that Does Not Move" (1918; 1:356-64); Miyamoto Yuriko, "A Sunless Morning" (1923; 1:480-84); Kuroshima Denji, "A Flock of Circling Crows" (1927; 1:462-79).
20 Section: Discussion
Shimazaki Tôson, "The Life of a Certain Woman" (1922; pp. 226-53); Takeda Rintarô, "The Lot of Dire Misfortune" (1939; 1:514-27).
Kawabata Yasunari, "The Dancing Girl of Izu" (1926; pp. 433-450); Tokuda Shûsei, "The Town's Dance Hall" (1933; 1:265-74).
26 Edogawa Rampo, "The Human Chair" (1925; 1:365-75); Tanizaki Jun'ichirô, "The Two Acolytes" (1918; 1:539-54).
27 Section: Discussion
28 Kajii Motojirô, "The Lemon" (1925; 1:428-33); Yokomitsu Riichi, "Mount Hiei" (1935; 1:573-82).
Selection from Ishikawa Tatsuzô, Soldiers Alive (1938; 1:667-74); Kajiyama Toshiyuki, "The Clan Records" (1961; 1:675-702).
February 2 Dazai Osamu, "December 8th" (1942; 1:660-66)
3 Section: Discussion, Review
Midterm Exam: Monday, 7 February 2011, 9:00-10:20, SMI 304 (example questions)
9 Ôta Yôko, "Fireflies" (1953; 1:739-55); selection from Ôoka Shôhei, Taken Captive (1948; 1:708-38).
10 Section: Discussion
Ishikawa Jun, "The Jesus of the Ruins" (1946; 2:149-67); Noma Hiroshi, "A Red Moon in Her Face" (1947; 2:273-92).
Hirabayashi Taiko, "Demon Goddess" (1946; 2:100-07); Hayashi Fumiko, "Blindfold Phoenix" (1950; 2:90-101); Enchi Fumiko, "Skeletons of Men" (1956; 2:52-61).
16 Ibuse Masuji, "Old Ushitora" (1950; 2:112-27); Inoue Yasushi, "The Rhododendrons of Hira" (1950; 2:128-49).
17 Section: Discussion
Takeda Taijun, "The Misshapen Ones" (1950; 2:368-91); Yasuoka Shôtarô, "Prized Possessions" (1952; 2:391-99).
NO CLASS: Presidents' Day
23 Kojima Nobuo, "The Smile" (1954; 2:178-90); Shôno Junzô, "Evenings at the Pool" (1954; 2:354-68).
24 Section: Discussion
Mishima Yukio, "Patriotism" (1960; 2:255-73); Shiina Rinzô, "The Go-Between" (1962; 2:326-54).
Ôe Kenzaburô, "Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness" (1969; 2:632-58); Endô Shûsaku, "Mothers" (1969; 2:61-84).
March 2 Haniya Yutaka, "The Black Horse Out of the Darkness" (1970; 2:84-90); Yoshiyuki Junnosuke, "Personal Baggage" (1973; 2:399-404).
3 Section: Discussion
Nakagami Kenji, "The Wind and the Light" (1975; 2:622-32); Kaikô Takeshi, "The Crushed Pellet" (1978; 2:586-94).
Furui Yoshikichi, "Ravine" (1980; 2:528-42); Murakami Haruki, "Firefly" (1983; 2:607-22).
9 Tawada Yôko, "Where Europe Begins" (1988; pp. 2:698-712); Ikezawa Natsuki, "Revenant" (1990; 2:552-86).
10 Section: Discussion, Review




Final Exam: Wednesday, 16 March 2011, 8:30-10:20, SMI 304 (example questions)




Texts may be purchased, but they will be on reserve at the East Asian Library and are available by request through SUMMIT.

If terms come up in the course of discussion that you are unfamiliar with, the following is an excellent reference site:

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism (Off-campus link)
The online guide contains more than 240 alphabetically arranged entries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.


PARTICIPATION: Participation in classroom discussions is central to successful performance in the class. Students must have read the relevant reading(s) before class and be prepared to discuss the stories (and complete a number of short pop quizzes during the term.) Although students will sometimes be called on, active participation in discussion is ultimately the student's responsibility.

GRADING: Grades will be determined through a combination of the student's preparation for and participation in discussions (30%), surprise quizzes (20%), a midterm (25%), and a final examination (25%).

STUDY GROUPS: I encourage students to meet outside of class to discuss the stories and problems they have encountered in interpreting them.

CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM: The presentation of another's words and ideas as one's own is a serious offense; violations will be dealt with according to the University codes of conduct, which stipulate sanctions up to and including expulsion.

ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS: I will do everything I can to accommodate students with particular needs. To request such an accommodation, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you require such accommodation, we can discuss ways to meet those needs.

Page last updated on January 24, 2011