Modern Japanese Fiction and Its Traditions: An Introduction

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Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book Starting with the history of apocalyptic tradition in the West and focusing on modern Japanese apocalyptic science fiction in manga, anime, and novels, Motoko Tanaka shows how science fiction reflected and coped with the devastation in Japanese national identity after Show all. Apocalypse in Japan Pages Tanaka, Motoko. Apocalyptic Imagination after Pages Tanaka, Motoko. The transformation of Japan from a traditional into a modern, industrial society with its costs, disruptions, and benefits will be emphasized.

The emergence of Japan as a major power in East Asia, its expansion into Korea and Manchuria, and the growing conflict with the West, leading to the Pacific War, will also be covered as will Japanese postwar political, social, and economic change. All students will write a ten-page term paper on a subject related to modern Japanese history. Classes will be in lecture format with questions and discussions encouraged. This lecture course will cover Japanese history from the beginning to around Emphasis will be on the changing nature of political authority, the changing roles of the aristocrats, samurai warriors, and commoners, the emergence of new cultural forms, and the transformation of traditional Japanese society.

Readings will include literature, diaries, political, social, and economic history, and material on Japanese women.

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Several films will be shown in conjunction with the course. Readings; See attached sheet. This chronological survey of Japanese literature covers antiquity to the 18th century. We will consider the emergence of, contexts for, and aesthetics behind a variety of literary mediums including myths, prose, poetry, travelogues, diaries, and warrior tales. No prior knowledge of Japanese or Japan is required or expected.

Japanese Courses

All texts will be read in English translation. An exploration of Japanese popular culture as portrayed by the cartoon culture of manga graphic novels and anime Japanese Animation. Material ranges from the origins of print and moving picture cartoon culture in the early twentieth century to the present. Issues addressed include national identity, global consumption, and genre cross fertilization, providing an opportunity to explore how Japanese culture informs these now widely popular forms of popular entertainment. Focused on but not limited to the first half of the 20th century, this course explores representations of Japan in a wide range of visual and material culture: ephemera generated by tourism and education; advertisements and souvenirs; and wartime propaganda traveling similar routes of exchange.


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Illustrations, guidebooks, photographs, and films reflect changing concepts of urban space, rural culture, industry, geography, and military and political authority. Recurrent iconography and coded images link tourism and educational objects and images with evolving concepts of nationalism and cultural identity.

Modern Japanese Fiction and Its Traditions: An Introduction

How is the meaning of modern in Japan useful to a study of the continuous transformation of culture in specific contexts, as in the transition from ukiyo-e culture to photography and animated films. This course has a digital component: students work hands on with the Re-Envisioning Japan Research Collection in curating their own digital exhibitions. Weekly film assignments. This course examines the spectacular urban culture of the Edo period against the background of new economic, political, and legal developments.

Of special interest is the world of theaters and entertainment quarters that both reflected and supported the art and literature created by new constellations of social groups.

In Western terms, Noh drama combines elements of classic Greek and medieval European drama with dance, music, and Christian rituals of confession, salvation, and redemption. Originally a variety of low entertainment, Noh drama was patronized after the midth century as an elite art form by Japan's samurai rulers as a way of reinforcing the association of warrior power with the cachet of aristocratic learning, the weight of antique and modern Chinese learning, new and stylish modes of knowledge and conoisseurship, and the institutionalized power of the Buddhist church.

As a dramatic form, Noh appropriates and integrates myth and legend, religious stories, historical chronicles, family histories, imperial lineages, and the institutionalized power of salvationary Buddhism. Students will write and stage a modern Noh drama. Class taught in English with additional instruction in Japanese as required for majors. This reading intensive course is centered on public and private discourses of the body in contemporary Japan.

Japanese fiction isn't a genre — it's a goldmine

Topics will include, but are not limited to: gender and sexuality, reproductive rights and motherhood, body image and beauty standards, youth and old age, masculinity and femininity, and health and disease. Through the conduit of journal articles, films, autobiographical essays, fiction, manga, and scholarly critiques, this course will expose students to a variety of rhetorical strategies and popular mediums concerning the body in Japan.

This four week intensive and interdisciplinary course explores historical, cultural, economic, and geopolitical aspects of food in Japanese culture. We will read histories and ethnographies of representative Japanese foods; analyze gender and class dimensions of food; read food through a variety of theoretical lenses; and define and redefine Japan through its culinary pathways. An introduction to the Chinese and Japanese writing systems, including their historical development, artistic practices and practical applications. This entails the study of Kaisho print script of Kanji Chinese characters and the learning of the meanings of the Kanji.

One class meeting per week will be devoted to the study of Calligraphy. Ideal for those studying Chinese or Japanese, but experience in the languages, while helpful, is not required.

Please note that students must provide their own Asian Calligraphy equipment for practicing Kanji and complete weekly assignments. An elemental study of the Chinese and Japanese writing systems, including their historical development, artistic practices and practical applications. This entails the study of Kaisho print script , the Gyosho cursive style and Sosho simplified cursive style of Kanji Chinese characters , as well as learning the meanings of the Kanji.

One class meeting per week will be devoted to the study of calligraphy. Ideal for those who have studied some calligraphy previously, but this is not required. Likewise, previous study of Chinese or Japanese, while helpful, is not required. Please note that students must provide their own Asian calligraphy equipment for practicing Kanji and complete weekly assignments. From the medieval period on, with its importation from China, the culture of Zen served as the primary context for much of Japanese metaphysics, architecture, landscape and interior design, medicine, ink painting, noh drama, haiku poetry, as well as the entire cultural complex known as the tea ceremony.

Along with the Zen doctrinal and textual roots of these remarkable achievements, this course will examine the vibrant culture fostered in the medieval Zen monastic temple institution known as the Gozan and its dispersal into the culture at large.

Haiku poetry and its related art form, haiga ink-painting, were among the most important of the poetic and artistic genres of early-modern Japan. This course studies the works of the great haiku masters Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki. A good science fiction story," Frederik Pohl proposes, "should be able to predict not the automobile, but the traffic jam. Genres covered include the short story, short short story, novel, manga, anime, and film.

Japanese science fiction is considered in planetary perspective: Japanese works are considered alongside pertinent works from other national traditions of science fiction. This course is interested ultimately in explorations of a futuristic approach to the study of literature: it is interested in what our readings today might tell us about what tomorrow might bring.

About the Book

All readings are done in English translation; all viewing have English subtitling. This seminar course is based on research on and discussion of a variety of issues of contemporary concern in Japan, including national, ethnic and racial identity; changing gender and sex roles; the family and generational conflict; immigration and work; the emperor system, war, and memory; cultural authenticity; and Japan's changing roles in Asia and in the world. Readings on issues begin with articles in the online English-language editions of Japan's main news media, extend outward to reports in the US news media, and eventually to popular and scholarly English-language studies of the issues involved.

This course explores major works of Japanese literature written from to the present. Central to our exploration will be the rises and falls of authors, literary schools, regimes, tectonic plates, and, perhaps, literature itself of Japanese literature. The focus of this survey is Japan's rich body of prose narratives. This focus is supplemented by investigations of genres and media such as poetry, film, theater, photography, advertisements, historical nonfiction, anime, and manga.

This course is taught in English. The course emphasizes close readings of literary texts and analysis of the global contexts that prompt Japan's science fictional musings. Japanese science fiction is considered in global perspective: Japanese works are considered alongside pertinent works from other national traditions of science fiction.

Credit—2 hours. This course examines the various forces that shaped Kyoto from the point of view of history, urban studies, religion, and art. This course examines the various forces that shaped Tokyo from the point of view of history, urban studies, religion, and art. Subjects include entertainment and advertising, theater and eroticism, body and gender, landscape and nature, poetry and culture, satire and allegory, and alien peoples and ideas. Special attention is given to the social contexts in which the visual products of this culture were created and consumed.

A critical and historical introduction to Japanese women writers: the socio-historical, cultural, and ideological context for and emergence of a literary tradition. In doing so, this course addresses the historical background and contribution of women writers to the development and progression of modern Japanese literature. Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to the ways in which Japanese women writers have used fiction to challenged convention and expectation. Key issues include sex and sexuality, the nature and rhetoric of desire, and the politics of the female body.

In addition, the course also asks students to engage with critical scholarship in English that offers new ways of thinking and talking about Japanese women's writing. No previous knowledge of Japan or Japanese is required.