ASIAN 205: Literature and Culture of Modern Japan
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
Modern Japan in Fiction and Film
Much like Asian 204's introduction to China, Asian 205 offers an introduction to the fiction and film of 20th-century Japan, and an introduction to 20th-century Japan through fiction and film. Through the study of selected literary and cinematic works in their historical context, students will gain knowledge of key issues and events in modern Japanese history and society, and of approaches to understanding and appreciating fiction and film.
The fictional selections appear in the new abridged Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, edited by J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel. Note that there is a less expensive Kindle version available, which would make carrying it around easier. The film and anime selections will be drawn from the period after the War up until the present day. Although we will read the stories more or less in a chronological order, the films will be interspersed throughout the term.
The course is designed for students with no previous study of Japan. No Japanese language ability is required, though students are expected to learn the basics of spelling and pronouncing Japanese names. All lectures and readings are in English. Films are in Japanese with English subtitles.
This class can be used to fulfill the literature requirement for the Japanese major; please contact the instructor for more information.
Please note that the assigned readings may change slightly; students will be given advanced warning if a substitution is made.
|6/24 (Tuesday)||Viewing: Kurosawa Akira, "Rashomon" (1950)|
|6/25 (Wednesday)||Mori Ôgai, "The Dancing Girl" (1890), 8-23.|
|Kunikida Doppo, "Meat and Potatoes" (1901), 70-84.|
|6/26 (Thursday)||Viewing: Ozu Yasujirô, "Tokyo Story" (1953)|
|Viewing: Ozu Yasujirô, "Tokyo Story" (1953)|
|6/27 (Friday)||Discussion: "Tokyo Story"|
|Izumi Kyôka, "The Holy Man of Mount Koya" (1900), 31-69.|
|6/30 (Monday)||Nagai Kafû, "The Mediterranean in Twilight" (1909), 123-27, and Shiga Naoya, "The Paper Door" (1911), 298-303.|
|Akutagawa Ryûnosuke, "The Nose" (1916), 176-80, and Tanizaki Jun'ichirô, "The Two Acolytes" (1918), 304-18.|
|7/1 (Tuesday)||Viewing: Ôtomo Katsuhiro, "Akira" (1987)|
|Viewing: Ôtomo Katsuhiro, "Akira" (1987)|
|7/2 (Wednesday)||Discussion: "Akira"|
|Edogawa Rampo, "The Human Chair" (1925), 190-99, and Kawabata Yasunari, "The Dancing Girl of Izu" (1926), 244-60.|
|7/3 (Thursday)||Viewing: Nakahira Kô, "Crazed Fruit" (1956)|
|Discussion: "Crazed Fruit"|
|7/4 (Friday)||NO CLASS: Independence Day|
|7/7 (Monday)||Kuroshima Denji, "A Flock of Circling Crows" (1927), 273-90.|
|Ishikawa Tatsuzô, Soldiers Alive (1938), 380-87, and Dazai Osamu, "December 8th" (1942), 373-79.|
|7/8 (Tuesday)||Ôoka Shôhei, Taken Captive, 388-418.|
|7/10 (Thursday)||Viewing: Isao Takahata, "Grave of the Fireflies" (1988)|
|Discussion: "Grave of the Fireflies"|
|7/11 (Friday)||Hirabayashi Taiko, "Demon Goddess" (1946), 514-20; Hayashi Fumiko, "Blindfold Phoenix" (1950), 504-13.|
|Ibuse Masuji, "Old Ushitora" (1950), 527-41.|
|7/14 (Monday)||Enchi Fumiko, "Skeletons of Men" (1956), 471-79.|
|Ariyoshi Sawako, "The Village of Eguchi" (1958), 451-70.|
|7/15 (Tuesday)||Viewing: Naruse Mikio, "When a Woman Ascends the Stairs" (1963)|
|Discussion: "When a Woman Ascends the Stairs"|
|7/16 (Wednesday)||Mishima Yukio, "Patriotism" (1960), 597-614.|
|Nakagami Kenji, "The Wind and the Light" (1975), 790-798; Kaikô Takeshi, "The Crushed Pellet" (1978), 767-73.|
|7/17 (Thursday)||Viewing: Miyazaki Hayao, "Spirited Away" (2001)|
|Viewing: Miyazaki Hayao, "Spirited Away" (2001)|
|7/18 (Friday)||Discussion: "Spirited Away"|
|Tsushima Yûko, "That One Glimmering Point of Light" (1988), 855-66; Hirano Keiichirô, "Clear Water" (2003), 756-63; Ogawa Yôko, "The Cafeteria in the Evening and a Pool in the Rain" (2004), 799-812.|
|7/21 (Monday)||Viewing: Teshigahara Hiroshi, "Woman in the Dunes" (1964)|
|Viewing: Teshigahara Hiroshi, "Woman in the Dunes" (1964)|
|7/22 (Tuesday)||Discussion: "Woman in the Dunes"|
Please purchase the following anthology:
J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel, eds., Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, Abridged
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2011)
EXPECTATIONS and GRADING
By enrolling in the course, a student makes a commitment to attend class meetings, complete readings and assignments in a timely manner, and participate actively and responsibly in discussions and other class activities.
Students will be evaluated for thoughtful engagement with the material of the course, and for mastery of the information presented in lectures, readings, and viewings. The instructor will evaluate (grade) students on the basis of demonstrated preparation, class participation, assignments, and exams.
Effective class participation (40% of total grade) requires attendance, timely preparation of assignments, and thoughtful contribution to class discussions.
The midterm (30%) and final exam (30%) will test knowledge of the readings, of information presented in lectures, and of approaches to literature and film practiced in class.
There will be NO MAKE-UPS for exams or missed in-class work. Timeliness will be one of the grading criteria for writing assignments.
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. Please see the University's statement on the topic.
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.
Participation andpreparation (40%):
All class members will be expected to complete assigned readings before class meets and participate in the classroom discussion.
Midterm Exam (30%; Wednesday, 9 July 2014, 1:10-3:20):
The midterm exam will be made up of short identification questions and essay questions covering the first half of the course. Essay questions will be quotes from the works; you will be expected to give the name and date of the work the passage comes from, briefly (one sentence) identify the subject matter of the work as a whole, explain what is going on in the quote (the characters, the situation, and where it fits in the larger story), and discuss how the characters and situation represented in the quote engage at least two themes we’ve addressed in this course. You will be expected to explain and support your view of what the passage says about these themes.
Please bring at least one blue book to the exam.
Final Exam (30%; Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 1:10-3:20):
The final exam will be made up of short identification questions and essay questions covering the second half of the course. Essay questions will be quotes from the works; you will be expected to give the name and date of the work the passage comes from, briefly (one sentence) identify the subject matter of the work as a whole, explain what is going on in the quote (the characters, the situation, and where it fits in the larger story), and discuss how the characters and situation represented in the quote engage at least two themes we’ve addressed in this course. You will be expected to explain and support your view of what the passage says about these themes.
Please bring at least one blue book to the exam.
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Page last updated on June 2, 2014