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Course NameJapanese Literature in English B
InstructorKawamura, Satofumi
MajorMajor Subjects
Course goalsThis course will elucidate that Japanese culture and Japanese literature is political. Students are expected to understand how Japanese culture and Japanese literature has contributed to reinforcing Japanese national identity.
Course outlineWe are likely to assume that Japanese culture was an ahistorical and essential substance, but the concept of Japanese culture was historically constructed in order to facilitate modern nation building of Japan. As Benedict Anderson argues, the nation is the imagined community, and Japanese culture was invented in order to sustain this imagination. This imagination can work to ensure a collective sense of unity, and this sense becomes a core of a national identity. In this sense, the concept of Japanese culture is political, and Japanese literature has also played a political role by contributing to the reinforcement of the concept. In this course, analysing the relationship between philosophy or idea underpinning Japanese modern nation state and discourses on Japanese culture, I will examine how Japanese literature or literary works has been discussed as the exemplar of Japanese culture. In order to pursue this aim, this course will focus on various literary works, including manga and right novels, or animes or movies based on them.
Evaluation Scale and PoliciesGrades will be based on class attendance, participation, homework, and a final exam.
PrerequisitesClass attendance and active participation are required.
Texts, materials, and supplies
Course Schedule/PlanWeek 1: Introduction
Week 2: Japanese Nation as Imagined Community
Week 3: Mito School and Kokutai (国体)
Week 4: National Learning (国学)
Week 5: Meiji and the Unification of Written and Spoken Language (言文一致)
Week 6: Taisho Democracy and Japanese Literature
Week 7: Symposium of Overcoming Modernity(近代の超克)
Week 8: Marxism
Week 9: Japan Romantic Group(日本浪漫派)
Week 10: Kyoto School(京都学派)
Week 11: Postwar and Japanese Literature
Week 12: Techno Orientalism
Week 13: Emergence of Otaku
Week 14: Manga, Light Novel (ライトノベル) and Anime
Week 15: Review and final discussion