Japanese Courses

JAPN 101(F) CON Elementary Japanese

An introduction to modern spoken and written Japanese, the course aims to instill proficiency in Japanese by developing four necessary skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing to successfully interact with native speakers. The relationship between language and culture and the sociolinguistically appropriate use of language will be stressed throughout. Audio, video and computer--assisted learning materials will be used extensively. Classes consist of a combination of "act" classes, conducted exclusively in Japanese, where students use the language in various types of drills and communicative activities, and "fact" classes, conducted in Japanese and English, where students learn about the language and culture. JAPN 101 and 102 constitute an integral, indivisible year-long course. Students who register for a year-long course are required to complete both semesters of that course within the same academic year. Students who fail to take and pass the second half of a year-long course will incur a course deficiency. [ more ]

JAPN 102(S) CON Elementary Japanese

An introduction to modern spoken and written Japanese, the course aims to instill proficiency in Japanese by developing four necessary skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing to successfully interact with native speakers. The relationship between language and culture and the sociolinguistically appropriate use of language will be stressed throughout. Audio, video and computer--assisted learning materials will be used to facilitate learning. Classes consist of a combination of "act" classes, conducted exclusively in Japanese, where students use the language in various types of drills and communicative activities, and "fact" classes, conducted in Japanese and English, where students learn about the language and culture. JAPN 101 and 102 constitute an integral, indivisible year-long course. Students who register for a year-long course are required to complete both semesters of that course within the same academic year. Students who fail to take and pass the second half of a year-long course will incur a course deficiency. [ more ]

JAPN 11 Introduction to Sake: The Art and Science of Japanese Rice Wine

Last offered NA

The popularity of sake, a traditional Japanese alcohol made from rice, has been rapidly growing worldwide, accompanied by recent advancements in its quality. For instance, an increasing number of restaurants in major cities -- not only Japanese establishments but also those serving other cuisines such as Chinese, French, and Italian -- now offer sake. This trend is partly due to sake's versatility in complementing a wide array of foods, including Western food like cheese, with the same efficacy as wine. However, sake's versatility in flavor also underscores a challenge associated with sake: many people are unfamiliar with the various flavor profiles of different types of sake or which dishes pair well with it. This course addresses these inquiries by providing insights from a sake sommelier (i.e., the course instructor) while covering topics such as the fundamentals of alcohol, sake production methods, the history of sake, flavor profiles of sake, and techniques for enjoying sake (e.g., storage methods, serving temperatures, appropriate vessels for different types of sake, and food pairings). Additionally, students will have the opportunity to make amazake, a non-alcoholic beverage derived from sake production byproducts, as well as Japanese dishes incorporating sake (with the alcohol evaporated during cooking). [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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JAPN 131(F) SEM Introduction to Japanese Formal Linguistics

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the theoretical study of the Japanese language. We will delve into various aspects of linguistic theory, exploring speech sounds (phonetics and phonology), word formation (morphology), sentence structures (syntax), and meaning (semantics). Throughout, we will primarily juxtapose Japanese with English to deepen our understanding. By the end, we will not only grasp the fundamentals but also gain practical skills to delve into applied linguistics with confidence. This includes areas such as language acquisition, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, language change, and cross-linguistic variation. While there is no prerequisite, having some proficiency in Japanese would enhance your experience. [ more ]

JAPN 201(F) CON Intermediate Japanese

This course is a continuation of First-Year Japanese 101-102, further developing the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The same general methodology will be used. Upon completing the course, students will have been introduced to most of the major structural patterns of contemporary Japanese and will be able to read simple expository prose. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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JAPN 202(S) CON Intermediate Japanese

This course is a continuation of Japanese 201, further developing the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The same general methodology will be used. Upon completing the course, students will have been introduced to most of the major structural patterns of contemporary Japanese and will be able to read simple expository prose. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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JAPN 223 SEM Japanese Food Culture in a Global Context

Last offered Spring 2023

The bourgeoning popularity of Japanese food on a global scale has resulted in a surge of new research, literature, and films. Conversely, the effects of globalization have transformed the dining experience within Japan to be ever more multiethnic. This interdisciplinary course explores the complex relationship between food and culture in Japan, and the emergence of Japanese cuisine as a global phenomenon, referring to a variety of materials and practices. Topics to be addressed include modernization, nation-building, militarization, globalization, the environment, and popular culture. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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JAPN 260 LEC Japanese Theatre and its Contemporary Context

Last offered Fall 2018

Japan's rich and varied performance traditions, old and new, born of different historical settings, coexist to this day and compete for the attention of audiences, domestically and abroad. The forms to be considered (nohgaku, kabuki, bunraku, shingeki, butoh, and Takarazuka all female revue among others) are all dynamic. Each has transformed itself in response to evolving social conditions. This course examines these performance traditions, considers how each reflects the social, cultural, and political context of its birth, and poses the question, "of what relevance is each to a contemporary audience?" Some of the other questions we will explore are: How have these performing traditions transformed themselves throughout history, including after 3.11? What do we mean by traditional? contemporary? How are traditional and contemporary performance genres interacting with each other? How have the central themes of these works evolved? All readings and discussion will be in English. [ more ]

JAPN 274 TUT Confronting Japan

Last offered Fall 2017

This tutorial looks into confrontations, within Japan and across its borders, how such confrontations are perceived, handled and narrated, and what they tell us about Japanese society. Through literature and other media, we will probe domestic issues, such as gender/economic disparities, aging, minorities, suicide, reclusion and post 3-11 recovery, and international issues, related to Japan's shifting roles within East Asia and beyond. Discussions will untangle the conflicting perspectives, and elaborate the thoughts and feelings of the various contestants. All readings and discussions will be in English. Some course materials will also be available in Japanese, for those interested. [ more ]

JAPN 276 LEC Premodern Japanese Literature and Performance

Last offered Spring 2017

Some of Japan's performance traditions, which developed in different historical settings, have survived to this day and continue to coexist and compete for the attention of audiences both domestically and abroad. This course examines the Japanese literature of three major periods in Japan's history, focusing on how literary and performance traditions have been interrelated in the unfolding of Japanese literary history. We will begin by looking into the Heian period (794-1185), when the work of female authors occupied center stage and some of the canonical texts of the Japanese literary and cultural tradition were born. Next we will consider the medieval period (1185-1600), which saw the rise of the samurai class and the consequent shift in the domain of artistic creation. Then we will look at the Edo period (1600-1867), when a new bourgeois culture flourished and audiences were greatly transformed. We will also explore the continuing force of premodern literary traditions in contemporary performing arts. All readings and discussions will be in English. [ more ]

JAPN 301(F) SEM Upper-Intermediate Japanese

This course is a continuation of Japanese 201 and 202. Students will further develop the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, while consolidating the foundations built in Elementary and Intermediate Japanese. The same general methodology will be used. In this course, students begin to emphasize vocabulary building through the study of situationally oriented materials stressing communicative competence. The reading of expository prose in both semi-authentic and authentic materials of intermediate difficulty will also receive some extensive attention. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

JAPN 302(S) SEM Upper-Intermediate Japanese

This course is a continuation of Japanese 301. Students will further develop the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, while consolidating the foundations built in Elementary and Intermediate Japanese. In this course, students work on the reading skills for comprehending primary source materials and expository prose of intermediate difficulty; the communication skills for conducting practical conversations and presentations; and the listening skills for interpreting various types of information. [ more ]

JAPN 401(F) SEM Advanced Japanese

This course is a continuation of Japanese 301 and 302. Students will develop the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the discussion of social issues in contemporary Japan. Topics may vary according to the level of the students. [ more ]

JAPN 402(S) SEM Advanced Japanese

A continuation of Japanese 401, developing speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in the discussion of social issues in contemporary Japan. Topics may vary according to the level of the students. [ more ]

JAPN 407 TUT An Exploration of Japanese Language and Culture

Last offered Fall 2018

Language is the primary means for human beings to lead social lives and it expresses, embodies and symbolizes cultural and social reality. This tutorial will examine the intertwining ways in which the Japanese language reflects the patterns of life and intrinsic beliefs of Japanese, while exploring how this linguistic code may influence and shape the ways Japanese think. We will look into the following topics: polite language and the variety of personal pronouns in order to examine how the hierarchical structure of Japanese society is reflected in them. Also, we will explore women's speech, youth and queer Japanese to discuss social and gender identities and the role of linguistic stereotypes in manga, anime and TV dramas as well as the "easy Japanese movement," which depicts the shift from a monolingual to multilingual Japanese society. And finally, our examination will investigate the semantic and cultural losses that occur in translations from Japanese prose to English prose. The course is conducted in either Japanese or English with materials drawn from linguistics and sociocultural studies both in Japanese and English. Students wishing to take the course in English should register under ASST 207T and students wishing to take the course in Japanese should register under JAPN 407T. Japanese language learners will not only develop analytical and critical thinking, but will gain more advanced Japanese skills such as reading to understand the logic of arguments, exponent narrative, and academic presentations and writing. [ more ]

JAPN 493(F) HON Senior Thesis: Japanese

Japanese senior thesis; this is part of a full-year thesis (493-494). [ more ]

JAPN 494(S) HON Senior Thesis: Japanese

Japanese senior thesis; this is part of a full-year thesis (493-494). [ more ]

JAPN 497(F) IND Independent Study: Japanese

Japanese independent study. For students who have completed Japanese 402 or the equivalent. [ more ]

JAPN 498(S) IND Independent Study: Japanese

Japanese independent study. For students who have completed Japanese 402 or the equivalent. [ more ]