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BA Film Studies and East Asian Studies / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
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Course unit details:
Introduction to Japanese Studies
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Full year|
|Offered by||Japanese Studies|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
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.
Available on Single and joint honours programmes including Japanese or East Asian Studies
- 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
On successful completion of the course the student will be able to:
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.
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
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
• 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
- 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
- ¿ 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.
Formative or Summative
Weighting within unit (if summative)
Citation and bibliography exercise
Formative or Summative
- Written feedback on bibliography exercise
- 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
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.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Peter Cave||Unit coordinator|
|Sharon Kinsella||Unit coordinator|