Courses

JAPN 101(F)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. This is an EDI course. Throughout the course we will address issues of how cultural difference inform and are informed by different linguistic contexts and practices. [ more ]

JAPN 102(S)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.This is an EDI course. Throughout the course we will address issues of how cultural difference inform and are informed by different linguistic contexts and practices. [ more ]

JAPN 131Introduction to Japanese Linguistics

Not offered this year

This course is an introduction to the basic ideas and methodology of linguistics. We learn how to formally analyze the patterns of speech sounds (phonetics and phonology), word formation (morphology), sentence structures (syntax), and meanings (semantics and pragmatics). Other topics, such as first language acquisition and language variations, may be discussed as needed. Although we use Japanese as the primary target data throughout the course, we occasionally look at data from other languages for further application of linguistic methodology and for the better understanding of cross-linguistic variations and underlying universality across languages. Classes are conducted in English. [ more ]

JAPN 153Japanese Film

Not offered this year

From the swashbuckling samurai films of Kurosawa and delicate family dramas of Ozu to edgy cinematic experiments and a breathtaking range of animation, Japan has one of the most varied and exciting film traditions in the world. This course will introduce you to major periods, genres, and directors in that tradition. We will read film criticism that represents a range of approaches, but focus particularly on learning and practicing the kind of close visual analysis that will allow you to build your own original descriptions of how a given scene "works." Throughout the course we will consider the relationship between classic cinema and popular genres like sword flicks, melodramas, psychological thrillers, and anime, focusing particularly on directors whose work seems to borrow equally from genre film and the artistic avant-garde. All texts are translated or subtitled. All levels welcome. [ more ]

JAPN 201(F)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. This is an EDI course. Throughout the course we will address issues of how cultural difference inform and are informed by different linguistic contexts and practices. [ more ]

JAPN 202(S)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. This is an EDI course. Throughout the course we will address issues of how cultural difference inform and are informed by different linguistic contexts and practices. [ more ]

JAPN 218Modern Japan

Not offered this year

Stunning revolutions, the construction and collapse of an empire, the waging of wars, devastating defeat and occupation by a foreign power, and postwar economic ups and downs have marked Japan's modern experience. This course will explore how various Japanese from politicians and intellectuals to factory workers and farmers have understood, instigated, and lived the upheavals of the past century and a half. We will ask why a modernizing revolution emerged out of the ashes of the early modern order; how Japan's encounters with "the West" have shaped the country's political and cultural life; what democracy and its failures have wrought; how world war was experienced and what legacies it left in its wake; how national identity has been constructed and reconstructed; and how postwar Japan has struggled with the successes and costs of affluence. Materials will include anthropological studies, government documents, intellectual tracts, fiction, films, and oral histories. [ more ]

JAPN 223(S)Japanese Food Culture in a Global Context

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. This is an EDI course, as this course explores issues of diversity in socio-cultural, historical, and political contexts. [ more ]

JAPN 254Beauty, Danger, and the End of the World in Japanese Literature

Not offered this year

From the endemic warfare of the medieval era to the atomic bombing and the violent explosion of technology in the last century, the end of the world is an idea which has occupied a central place in almost every generation of Japanese literature. Paradoxically, the spectacle of destruction has given birth to some of the most beautiful, most moving, and most powerfully thrilling literature in the Japanese tradition. Texts may be drawn from medieval war narratives like The Tale of the Heike; World War II fiction and films by Ibuse Masuji, Imamura Shohei, and Ichikawa Kon; fantasy and science fiction novels by Abe Kobo, Murakami Haruki and Murakami Ryu; and apocalyptic comics and animation by Oshii Mamoru, Otomo Katsuhiro, and others. The class and the readings are in English; no familiarity with Japanese language or culture is required. [ more ]

JAPN 258(S)Language and Literacy Development

Language is uniquely a human function and fundamental to one's participation in society. Children learn to talk in the first three years of life at an impressive speed. However, in order to successfully participate in academic and social life, it is critical for one to develop literacy skills. Learning to read is a multifaceted process that involves various cognitive resources. This course is an introduction to language development and literacy acquisition in first language and in a cross-linguistic environment including Japanese, Chinese and English. Linguistic concepts such as phonology, syntax and morphology will be introduced as we discuss the acquisition processes. Questions to be addressed include: How does a child develop oral language from birth? How does a child learn the meaning of words? How is learning to talk and read similar or different across various languages? How is learning to read different from learning to speak? How "natural" is it to learn to read? [ more ]

JAPN 260Japanese Theatre and its Contemporary Context

Not offered this year

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 ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

JAPN 271Transitional Japanese Literature into the Twentieth Century

Not offered this year

After more than two centuries of National Seclusion, Japan's modern era began suddenly in the middle of the nineteenth century, with the unexpected arrival of Commodore Perry, the destabilization of the 250-year old shogunal government, and the violent restoration of Imperial rule. Rapid and radical changes followed in every aspect of society, from fashion to philosophy. This course will explore how such changes have been expressed through literature, film and performance. We will trace how the authors of literary and other artistic works perceived, integrated and at times rejected experiences of the new and the foreign. All readings and discussions will be in English. [ more ]

JAPN 274 T(F)Confronting Japan

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. As this tutorial actively explores diversity of human thought, and the contexts that create such diversity, this is an EDI course. [ more ]

JAPN 276Premodern Japanese Literature and Performance

Not offered this year

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 ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

JAPN 301(F)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. This is an EDI course. In addition to involving immersion in a classroom Japanese environment, much of our focus will be on the ways that various cultural issues are perceived and addressed differently (and, in many instances, in similar ways) in Japan and the US. [ more ]

JAPN 302(S)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. 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. This is an EDI course. In addition to involving immersion in a classroom Japanese environment, much of our focus will be on the ways that various cultural issues are perceived and addressed differently (and, in many instances, in similar ways) in Japan and the US. [ more ]

JAPN 401(F)Advanced Japanese

A continuation of Japanese 301 and 302, 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. This is an EDI course. In addition to involving immersion in a Japanese environment, much of our focus will be on the ways that various cultural issues are perceived and addressed differently (and, in many instances, in similar ways) in Japan and the US. [ more ]

JAPN 402(S)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. This is an EDI course. In addition to involving immersion in a Japanese environment, much of our focus will be on the ways that various cultural issues are perceived and addressed differently (and, in many instances, in similar ways) in Japan and the US. [ more ]

JAPN 403Advanced Seminar in Japanese I

Not offered this year

This course provides advanced training in listening, speaking, reading and writing Japanese, focusing on current issues in Japan. This is an EDI course. In addition to involving immersion in a classroom Japanese environment, much of our focus will be on the ways that various cultural issues are perceived and addressed differently (and, in many instances, in similar ways) in Japan and the US. [ more ]

JAPN 404Advanced Seminar in Japanese II

Not offered this year

This course is designed for advanced Japanese language students. The goal is for students to be able to carry on extended discourse--such as a discussion, a speech, or an interview--in a culturally appropriate manner; to read authentic materials with ease; and to make presentations and write research papers on issues of interest. The course will focus on current social, cultural, educational, and political issues in Japan. This course, which is conducted entirely in Japanese, has the EDI designation since students are immersed in a Japanese language environment and the course materials will involve critical thinking and discussion of two diverse cultures, Japan and the U.S. [ more ]

JAPN 405Thematic Reading and Writing in Japanese I

Not offered this year

This course is designed for the advanced students of Japanese who want to develop their reading and writing skills intensively. Students will be exposed to various genres of readings on the themes of modern and pre-modern Japanese society in contrast to those of the U.S. Research and writing skills will be developed in conjunction with student projects. This course also aims to develop a high level of speaking proficiency through discussion and narrative discourse. This is an EDI course because students are immersed in a Japanese environment in class and will learn how to express their ideas and opinions using Japanese discourse patterns both in texts and dialogues. This requires reflective thinking over different cultural perspectives between Japan and the U.S. or whatever cultural heritage each student may have. [ more ]

JAPN 406Thematic Reading and Writing in Japanese II

Not offered this year

This course is designed for the advanced students of Japanese who want to develop their reading and writing skills intensively. Students will be exposed to various genres of readings on the themes of modern and pre-modern Japanese society in contrast to those of the U.S. Research and writing skills will be developed in conjunction with student projects. This course also aims to develop a high level of speaking proficiency through discussion and narrative discourse. This is an EDI course because students are immersed in a Japanese environment in class and will learn how to express their ideas and opinions using Japanese discourse patterns both in texts and dialogues. This requires reflective thinking over different cultural perspectives between Japan and the U.S. or whatever cultural heritage each student may have. [ more ]

JAPN 407 T(F)An Exploration of Japanese Language and Culture

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 486 TThe Pacific War in Japanese Historical Memory

Not offered this year

Almost seven decades after Japan's surrender, the enduring question of how to remember the Pacific War continues to provoke controversy both within Japan and between Japan, South Korea, and China. This tutorial will explore how this difficult past has been remembered in postwar Japan, and how and why these memories have changed from 1945 to the present. Our focus will be on certain sites of memory--museums, shrines, literature, textbooks, and films--and how they have expressed and shaped memories of various aspects of the war from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to military comfort women and the Nanking massacre. Key issues include how various Japanese have tried to make sense of death and personal sacrifice in the name of a lost war; the implications of Japan's unique position as both perpetrator of wartime atrocities and victim of atomic bombings; the relationship between memory and nationalism; and what it means to come to terms with pasts contested both within and between countries. [ more ]

JAPN 497(F)Independent Study: Japanese

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

JAPN 498(S)Independent Study: Japanese

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