BA Film Studies and East Asian Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Introduction to Japanese Studies

Unit code JAPA10030
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Japanese Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This course lays the foundations of the Japanese Studies major. It will introduce students to the core events and influences in the making of modern Japan taught within a matrix of lectures, workshops, and practical orientations in Japan-specific study skills. The local Japanese experience of religion, language, and nation - from Samurai to ethnic culture, and the basic lineation of post-war and contemporary society, will be taught to ensure that students have a clear grasp of the major compositional and historical facts and issues in readiness for further studies of Japanese history, society, and culture.  The course will be divided into 3 sections: Geography, Language, History; The Making of Modern Japan’s Economy and Society – Family, Education, Class and Gender; and Understandings of Person, Society and Cosmos in Japan.

Pre/co-requisites

Available on Single and joint honours programmes including Japanese or East Asian Studies

Aims

  • To provide students with an introduction to the core topics of the Humanities in a Japanese context – revolt, restoration, empire, identity, nation, gender, culture.
  • To introduce students to a range of study skills from compiling a bibliography, to skills in reading and assessing academic texts in preparation for essay writing, to accessing and utilizing online and on-shelf library resources in English and Japanese, and accessing and using language materials and media sources provided in the ULC.
  • To provide students with a basic understanding of key facts, dates and themes in considering Japanese society, thought, and culture.
  • To provide an initial platform and elementary critical tools which will later enable UK-based students to analyse cultural problems and dynamics in and around contemporary Japan in an informed and self-aware manner

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course the student will be able to: 

Syllabus

This course lays the foundations of the Japanese Studies major. It will introduce students to the core events and influences in the making of modern Japan taught within a matrix of workshops and practical orientations in Japan-specific study skills.

The local Japanese experience of religion, language, and nation - from Samurai to ethnic culture; and the basic lineation of post-war and contemporary society, will be taught to ensure that students have a clear grasp of the major compositional and historical facts and issues in readiness for further studies of Japanese history, society, and culture. The course will be divided into 3 sections: Geography, Language, History; The Making of Modern Japan’s Economy and Society – Family, Education, Class and Gender; and Understandings of Person, Society and Cosmos in Japan.

 

Semester 1

Theme 1 : Geography, Language, History

Study Skills 1: Using the Library, workshop on Japanese language and transliteration systems, compiling a bibliography

Theme 2: The Making of Modern Japan’s Economy and Society (Part 1)

Study Skills 2: Engaging with material critically, discussion of visual sources, introduction to the University Language Centre, reading and note-taking

 

Semester 2

Theme 2 contd: The Making of Modern Japan’s Economy and Society (Part 2)

Study Skills 3: Engaging with material critically,  planning and composing an essay, incorporating Japanese names and transliterated sources

Theme 3: Understandings of Person, Society and Cosmos in Japan

Study Skills 4: writing and revising an essay, incorporating Japanese names and transliterated sources

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and pre-reading will set out the key topics and issues and provide the fundamental information required for students. Discussion sessions on required readings and questions will follow lectures, especially in Semester 2. Study Skills sessions taking the form of practical workshops and some presentations will guide students through the basic study skills required to use library and online facilities and study Japanese society and materials. Students will be expected to come to seminars prepared to discuss readings and screenings on themes and ready to explore these through skills-based activities.

 

Language of Teaching: English. Key words are generally translated into Japanese script, romaji and English in lecture powerpoints.

Knowledge and understanding

• demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of core dates and major events of modern and contemporary Japan

 

• demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of major influences and topics such as: language systems, modernity and the Meiji restoration, Orientalism, tradition and mythology, and samurai and social class

Intellectual skills

• engage in informed analysis of core readings on the making of modern Japan

• research, prepare, and carry out readings for essay writing

• write informed exam-length essays 

Practical skills

  • construct ideas and arguments from own research and apply knowledge to finding solutions to authentic real world problems.
  • have the skills to discover good sources independently

Transferable skills and personal qualities

•demonstrate skills in searching for, compiling, and assessing materials for academic reports in English with appropriate organization of Japanese text inclusion

• demonstrate a practical and critical understanding of how to find, use, and approach media materials critically

Employability skills

Other
¿ Project management: Students taking this unit will be learning to work towards deadlines, work independently and to manage their time effectively. ¿ Written communication: Students on this unit will develop their ability to communicate a coherent and critical argument of depth and complexity in written form and to write in a way that is lucid, precise and compelling.

Assessment methods

 

Assessment task

Formative or Summative

Length

Weighting within unit (if summative)

Citation and bibliography exercise

Formative

500 words

N/A

Short essay

Summative

900-1100 words

30%

Long essay

Summative

1800-2200 words

70%

 

RE-SIT ASSESSMENT

Assessment task

Length

essay

2000 words

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

-          Written feedback on bibliography exercise

Formative

-          Written feedback on two essays

Summative (and formative in the case of the short essay)

-          Oral feedback on class participation and available to all students during office hours and by arrangement

Formative

 

Recommended reading

Articles and Selected Chapters from:

 

Sugimoto, Yoshio. An Introduction to Japanese Society. CUP.

 

Stanlaw, James 2004, Japanese English: Language and Culture Contact.

 

Ikegami, Eiko. 1996. ‘Shame and the Samurai: Institutions, Trustworthiness, and Autonomy in Elite Honor Culture’, in Social Research, Winter 2003, pages 1352-1377

 

Swanson, Paul L. and Chilson, Clark (eds) 2006 Nanzan guide to Japanese religions.

 

Vogel, Ezra. (1961) Japan’s New Middle Class: The Salary Man and His Family in a Tokyo Suburb.

 

Ogasawara, Yuko. 1998. Office ladies and Salaried Men. University of California Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 178

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Peter Cave Unit coordinator
Sharon Kinsella Unit coordinator

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