Japanese Courses Fall 2023

Fall 2023 Courses

Lower Division

JPN 001 Elementary Japanese

JPN 004 Intermediate Japanese

JPN 010 Masterworks of Japanese Literature
Joseph Sorensen

This course serves as an introduction, in English, to selected masterworks of Japanese literature from 7th century into the 21st. We will read from a wide variety of genres: poetry (both ancient and modern), myths, tales, novels, plays, and short stories. The course is organized chronologically around a central theme: depictions of love in literature. We will consider the historical and cultural context of each work, as well as the conventions of the various genres we encounter in our readings. Among the questions to be considered throughout the course are: What kinds of love and what aspects of love are depicted in literature? How are they represented? What is not represented? What does it mean to be a “masterpiece” of literature? This course has no prerequisites, and there is no assumption of prior knowledge of Japanese language, history, or culture. Student grade based on quizzes, in-class discussion, term paper, midterm and final exams.

Upper Division

JPN 101 Japanese Literature in Translation: The Early Period 
David Gundry

This course focuses on poetry and prose written in Japanese from the 700’s through the 1000’s, a period during which Japanese writers both followed Chinese models and established their own distinctive literary tradition, culminating in one of the great landmarks of world literature, The Tale of Genji. This novel focusing on amorous intrigue in the Japanese imperial court is long and complex enough to be the sole focus of a college course, but since there is much else of importance produced during the period in question, we will only read part of Genji, albeit a sizeable enough portion that the second half of the quarter will be devoted to it. In addition to a midterm and a final exam, students will write two brief essays on the readings assigned.

JPN 111 Modern Japanese: Reading & Discussion
Section 01 - Yoko Kato
Section 03 - Miyo Uchida

JPN 121 Advanced Japanese 1
Nobuko Koyama

JPN 136 Readings in Newspapers
David Gundry

We will read articles freshly culled from the websites of Japan’s major newspapers and translate them aloud in class. Students will be expected to memorize a certain portion of the vocabulary and will be tested on it and on reading comprehension in daily quizzes, a midterm exam and a cumulative final exam. I will choose articles with a view toward holding students’ interest and exposing them to a variety of issues of cultural and political significance.

JPN 153 Love, Sexuality & the Family in Modern Japanese Literature
Michiko Suzuki

Love and sexuality in their various forms have been a central topic for exploration by writers of modern and contemporary Japanese literature from the late 19th century to the present. While such concepts reflect universal human experiences, they are also rooted in specific historical and cultural contexts. The family as a social, cultural and legal institution profoundly informs literary examinations of love and sexuality, including issues of normativity and deviance, love within and outside of family ties, different forms of marriage/divorce, gender roles, and the struggle between the family and the individual. By examining texts written over a one hundred-year period, we will gain a deeper understanding of literary narratives through their engagement with the evolving institution of family and with changing ideas of love and sexuality. We will focus mainly on novels and short stories, but also read several secondary articles on literary criticism, history, religion and sociology. GE: AH, WC, WE