JAPN (JAPN)

JAPN 101. Elementary Japanese I. 4 Units.

Introduction to understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Japanese. Students learn to read and write hiragana and katakana syllabaries and 50 kanji characters. Students are expected to achieve control of the sound system and basic structure of the language. Emphasizes aural comprehension and speaking.

JAPN 102. Elementary Japanese II. 4 Units.

Continuation of JAPN 101. Emphasizes aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Students learn approximately 100 new kanji characters. Recommended preparation: JAPN 101.

JAPN 201. Intermediate Japanese I. 4 Units.

Further study of fundamental structures of Japanese. Students improve aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing abilities and learn approximately 100 new characters. Recommended preparation: JAPN 102 or equivalent. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 202. Intermediate Japanese II. 4 Units.

Continuation of JAPN 201. Students learn an additional 100 kanji characters. With the completion of JAPN 201 - 202, students should have control of the fundamentals of modern Japanese and a firm foundation in the writing system. Recommended preparation: JAPN 201 or equivalent. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 215. The World of Manga. 3 Units.

Manga (comic books and graphic novels) is one of the most important aspects of contemporary visual culture in Japan. It is consumed by millions of Japanese every day, and has attracted intense attention around the world. As it constitutes one third of the annual publications in Japan today, its breadth and scope are limitless. What does manga reveal about contemporary cultural production and consumption in Japan? What kind of special features are used in manga to attract people so much? What kind of genres do they have and what kind of readers do they have? These are some of the questions we will explore by surveying a large number of works produced in the last fifty years. Introducing graphic novels by major artists and writers, the course will expand your understanding of key components, social movements and discourses associated with manga. You will examine the history of manga, its aesthetics, and social impact through assigned readings, including scholarly papers and manga books, as well as works selected by each student (in original Japanese or in English translation).

JAPN 225. Japanese Popular Culture. 3 Units.

This course highlights salient aspects of modern Japanese popular culture as expressed in animation, comics and literature. The works examined include films by Hayao Miyazaki, writings by Kenji Miyazawa, Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto, among others. The course introduces students to essential aspects of modern Japanese popular culture and sensibility. Offered as JAPN 225 and WLIT 225. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 235. The Japan Experience: Kyoto - Language, Culture & Exchanges. 3 Units.

The Japan Experience: Kyoto is designed to provide students an opportunity to use Japanese language skills they have acquired in real life situations and deepen their understanding of Japanese language and culture through experiential learning. The course has three major learning components: "Japanese Language Learning through Activities and Cultural Experiences," "Japan Exploration Project," and "Exchanges with Local College Students" and will consist of class meetings before the trip focused on preparation followed by 15 days in Kyoto. Japanese Language Learning through Activities and Cultural Experiences: In Kyoto students will explore the local neighborhood and report their findings in class. Several cultural activities will be organized: Zen meditation, tea activity, Japanese cooking class, etc. The tea activity will include a rare opportunity for students to meet a tea ceremony master and experience the way of Japanese traditional tea. Exchanges with Local College Students: Students from CWRU will be able to take advantage of Ritsumeikan University's "Buddies" program where Japanese student volunteers are paired with participants to improve conversational skills and become better acquainted with the campus and Kyoto. CWRU students will also visit classes at a local college in Osaka for exchanges with students there. These exchanges will allow participants to reinforce their language skills, develop better communication skills, and deepen cultural understanding in both classroom and real-life settings. Japan Exploration Project: Students will complete individual projects during the course. They will design their own projects using resources available in Kyoto before the trip and prepare for it. Project themes will be chosen by students based on their interests. At the end of course, students will give presentations in Japanese, demonstrating their language proficiency development. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement. Prereq: JAPN 201.

JAPN 245. Classical Japanese Literature in Translation. 3 Units.

Readings, in English translation, of classical Japanese poetry, essays, narratives, and drama to illustrate essential aspects of Japanese culture and sensibility before the Meiji Restoration (1868). Lectures explore the sociohistorical contexts and the character of major literary genres; discussions focus on interpreting the central images of human value within each period. Japanese sensibilities compared to and contrasted with those of Western and other cultures. Offered as JAPN 245 and WLIT 245. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 255. Modern Japanese Literature in Translation. 3 Units.

Focus on the major genres of modern Japanese literature, including poetry, short story, and novel (shosetsu). No knowledge of Japanese language or history is assumed. Lectures, readings, and discussions are in English. Films and slides complement course readings. Offered as JAPN 255 and WLIT 255. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 265. Constructing the Samurai: Images of Japanese Warriors from 1100's to the Present. 3 Units.

From concepts of premodern warriors calling out their names before doing hand-to-hand combat to modern salary men crushing the world with their economic prowess, samurai have come to be an iconic image of the Japanese people. Throughout the semester we will pay particular attention to the central themes in the historiography of warrior society, roughly, the years between ca. 1110 and 1850 C.E. We will investigate how these documents were translated by modern societies, both east and west, in samurai film. Students will explore the category of "samurai" through reading selections from The Tale of the Heike, as well as selected Noh plays, legal documents, travel diaries, autobiographies, short stories, and historical texts. In addition, we will investigate other genres contributing to the construction of the idea of "samurai," such as film. This seminar will closely examine the concept of "samurai," particularly its connection to the Japanese identity using an interdisciplinary context of the arts, history, religion, and literature. We will also explore the ways in which daimyo (feudal lords), authors, Buddhist officials, and filmmakers throughout the world created, shaped, and altered the ideal image of the samurai. Key to understanding the concept of samurai will be wrestling with questions of authorship, spirit pacification, nationality, and patronage, with specific focus on the Japanese relationship with Western nations and cultures. We will focus on language and its role in legitimizing the global concepts of "samurai" and "bushido." This class will provide additional insight geared toward the cultural study of linguistic identities beyond those informed by the English language and will include terms expressed in Japanese. Many of the resources used in this course will be translated from the Japanese, allowing us to consider Naoki Sakai's theories of enunciation/ translation/ subjectivity, Haruo Shirane's theory of reception, and Michael Emmerich's theory of replacement. Especially important will be to focus on terms in Japanese with no, or poor, English equivalent (such as samurai, shogun, daimyo, bushido, etc.) but with clear images in the English-speaking imagination(s). The instructor will provide background information on political, cultural, and religious history. Class sessions will be conducted in English and combine lectures, discussion, audio-visual materials, and creative as well as analytical writing exercises. All readings and films will be in English or with English subtitle. Offered as JAPN 265 and WLIT 265. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 301. Advanced Japanese I. 4 Units.

Emphasizes conversational proficiency and reading. Recommended preparation: JAPN 202 or equivalent. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 302. Advanced Japanese II. 4 Units.

Continuation of JAPN 301; emphasizes conversational proficiency and reading. Recommended preparation: JAPN 301 or equivalent. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 315. Origins of Anime: Classical Texts, Modern Manga, Anime, and Tales. 3 Units.

Modern anime and manga authors and artists captivate audiences with rich stories and stylized art. This course investigates the origins of these stories by engaging premodern Japanese texts (in English language translation) and modern literary theory. Throughout the semester we will pay particular attention to commonalties among these literatures and narrative genres, as well as the extent they differ due to temporal/socio/religio/political concerns. Western and Asian literary theories, especially those concerning topics of translation, replacement, negotiation with classics, and gender and sexuality will also be extensively explored. We will interpret the historic human endeavor of story telling within the contexts of time and space and through a critical self-awareness of our own positions in the modern world. Students will prepare individual research projects and be responsible for finding and presenting primary sources and secondary research. The instructor will provide background information on political, cultural, and religious history as well as present on details of literary theory. The aim is to encourage students to critically analyze the modern perception of past events. Every topic will be addressed in three phases. First, the students will discover historical events, literature, and people through reading primary sources in English translation. In a second phase, we will see how these stories are depicted in movies, animation, or manga. Finally, students will perform research to explore the differences between the premodern sources and their modern adaptation and determine how we can use such a comparison to critically analyze the way modern storytellers recreate the past. Class sessions will combine lectures, discussion, and audio- visual materials. Offered as JAPN 315 and WLIT 315. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 335. Japanese Linguistics. 3 Units.

The purpose of this course is to survey the principal research in Japanese linguistics for students who have basic knowledge of Japanese and are interested in more in-depth treatment of linguistic phenomena (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, etc.). Lectures and discussions will cover many different aspects of the Japanese language. There is a great deal of analytic studies of the Japanese language done both inside and outside Japan, which will be surveyed in this course. Students will become familiar with the major issues through lectures and class discussions, as well as through their reading of both primary and secondary sources. Both formal and functional approaches to the analysis of Japanese will be examined, and the acquisition of these structures will also be discussed. The course will also be useful for the improvement of students' Japanese language proficiency. Recommended preparation: JAPN 101 and JAPN 102, or equivalent competence in Japanese. Offered as COGS 335, COGS 435, JAPN 435, LING 335 and LING 435. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 337. Love and Loss: Reading The Tale of Genji. 3 Units.

Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji (c. 1000 CE), the great Japanese classic often referred to as "the world's first novel," has been praised by countless readers and scholars since it was first circulated within the imperial court. In this course we will read the entire text in English translation. We will focus on themes of love and loss, paying special attention to the substitution that results from the hero, the shining prince Genji, losing his mother at a tender age and attempting to fill the void she left. Since Genji is popularly thought of as a "playboy," we will investigate the thematic, historic, political, social, and religious descriptions within Genji's (many) love affairs, with a special emphasis on issues of gender. We will also consider the poetry, imagery, costume, music, religion, theater, and material culture of the mid-Heian era, which is encapsulated in the tale. Students will prepare individual research projects and be responsible for finding and presenting primary sources and secondary research. The instructor will provide background information on political, cultural, and religious history as well as present on details of literary theory. The aim is to encourage students to critically analyze the modern perception of the past. Class sessions will combine lectures, discussion, and audio- visual materials. All material is in English translation. There are no prerequisites. The course is conducted in English. Offered as JAPN 337 and WLIT 337.

JAPN 345. Japanese Women Writers. 3 Units.

Contributions of women writers to the literature of pre-modern and modern Japan; investigations of how their works exemplify and diverge from "mainstream" literary practices. Emphasis on the social and cultural contexts of the texts. Offered as JAPN 345 and WLIT 345. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 350. Contemporary Japanese Texts I. 3 Units.

The primary aim of this course is to develop communication skills in Japanese based on those that the students have acquired in JAPN 302 or equivalent. The students will read and discuss various texts such as daily conversations, essays, and news scripts with the assistance of vocabulary and kanji (Chinese character) lists and formal grammar explanations. Attention also will be given to enhancing the students' writing and aural/oral proficiencies through regularly assigned homework, presentations, tape listening, video viewing, and classroom discussion. Recommended preparation: JAPN 302 or equivalent. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 351. Contemporary Japanese Texts II. 3 Units.

This course is a continuation of JAPN 350 and its primary aim overlaps with that of JAPN 350: to develop more sophisticated communication skills in Japanese. Students will read and discuss various texts such as daily conversations, essays, and news scripts largely with the assistance of vocabulary and kanji (Chinese character) lists. Attention will be given to enhancing the students' writing and aural/oral proficiencies through regularly assigned homework, presentations, tape listening, video viewing, and classrooms discussion. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement. Prereq: JAPN 350 or consent of instructor.

JAPN 355. Modern Japanese Novels and the West. 3 Units.

This course will compare modern Japanese and Western novellas, drama, and novels. Comparisons will focus on the themes of family, gender and alienation, which subsume a number of interrelated sub-themes such as marriage, home, human sexuality, amae (dependence), innocence, experience, death, God/gods, and nature (the ecosystem). Offered as JAPN 355 and WLIT 355. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 396. Senior Capstone - Japanese. 3 Units.

The Senior Capstone in Japanese is an independent study project chosen in consultation with a capstone advisor. The capstone project should reflect both the student's interest within Japanese and the courses he or she has taken to fulfill the major. The project requires independent research using an approved bibliography and plan of action. In addition to written research, the student will also present the capstone project in a public forum that is agreed upon by the project advisor and the student. Counts as SAGES Senior Capstone. Prereq: Senior status required. Major in Japanese required.

JAPN 397. Senior Thesis I. 3 Units.

Intensive study of a literary, linguistic, or cultural topic with a faculty member, leading to the writing of a research paper in English or Japanese. Limited to senior majors. Permit required.

JAPN 398. Senior Thesis II. 3 Units.

Continuation of JAPN 397. Limited to senior majors. Prereq: JAPN 397.

JAPN 399. Independent Study. 1 - 3 Units.

Directed study for students who have progressed beyond available course offerings.

JAPN 435. Japanese Linguistics. 3 Units.

The purpose of this course is to survey the principal research in Japanese linguistics for students who have basic knowledge of Japanese and are interested in more in-depth treatment of linguistic phenomena (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, etc.). Lectures and discussions will cover many different aspects of the Japanese language. There is a great deal of analytic studies of the Japanese language done both inside and outside Japan, which will be surveyed in this course. Students will become familiar with the major issues through lectures and class discussions, as well as through their reading of both primary and secondary sources. Both formal and functional approaches to the analysis of Japanese will be examined, and the acquisition of these structures will also be discussed. The course will also be useful for the improvement of students' Japanese language proficiency. Recommended preparation: JAPN 101 and JAPN 102, or equivalent competence in Japanese. Offered as COGS 335, COGS 435, JAPN 435, LING 335 and LING 435. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

JAPN 450. Japanese in Cultural Context I. 3 Units.

The primary aim of this graduate course is to develop sophisticated communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in Japanese. The students will read and discuss various texts in the original, such as essays, news scripts, and literary works. Classroom instruction and discussion will be conducted in Japanese. The students also will be required to write a research paper of 4000-6000 letters/characters (10-15 genkoyoshi pages) in Japanese on a topic related to Japan and the student's specialty. Recommended preparation: JAPN 351 or equivalent.

JAPN 451. Japanese in Cultural Context II. 3 Units.

This course is a continuation of JAPN 450 and it aims at a further development of sophisticated communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in Japanese. The students will read and discuss various texts in the original, such as essays, news scripts, and literary works both classical and modern. Classroom instruction and discussion will be conducted in Japanese. The students also will be required to write a research paper of 6000-8000 letters/characters (15-20 genkoyoshi pages) in Japanese on a topic related to Japan and the student's specialty. Recommended preparation: JAPN 450 or equivalent.