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BA East Asian Studies / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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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.
- 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
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
- write informed exam-length essays
- engage in informed analysis of core readings on the making of modern Japan
- research, prepare, and carry out readings for essay writing
- 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.
Citation and bibliography exercise 0%
Short Essay 30%
Long Essay 70%
Formative or Summative
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Summative (and formative in the case of the short essay)
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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|