Japanese Studies Courses

JS532 Japanese History The focus of this class is the history of Edo. The specific spaces of the city were appropriated, transformed, and assigned meaning throughout the centuries. We will examine the transformation of a fishing village to the shogun’s capital. The course will discuss everyday urban life, class, gender, and status, space and place, art and religion, and natural disasters. The material will include a wide variety of primary source, which will be discussed and analyzed. Gramlich-Oka
JS533 Modern Japanese History This course will explore issues of memory-making and memory-shaping in modern Japan. After a survey of theories of historical and social memory, we will analyze the main institutions of memory and commemoration in modern Japan, their functions and historical development, as well as important Japanese “realms of memory”, their representation in Japanese culture and controversies surrounding memorialization projects in Japanese society and politics. Apart from examining case studies of Japanese memory institutions, we will also take a comparative look at controversies about historical memory in other countries, above all in Germany, South Korea, Spain, France and Italy. Saaler
JS541 Japanese Ethnography This course gives you the unusual chance of applying your research skills, imagination and passion to contemporary Japanese society You will find informants, do background research on the movements, write interview questions, execute interviews, analyze and present your findings. Slater
JS542 Popular Culture This course doubles as an introduction to Japanese popular culture and critical approaches to culture. Students will read and apply selections of critical theory to case studies of Japanese popular culture, which will open Japanese popular culture to critical inquiry and ground critical theory with concrete examples to work through. The case studies focus on Japanese popular culture, which students can experience directly outside the classroom and bring into class discussions. Note that this is not a literature, media or art history course, but rather a course based in, though not limited to, anthropology. As part of graduate education, one of the primary goals of the course is to assist students in moving forward with graduation projects. To this end, students will choose a written component that best fits their project and stage, which they will work on throughout the semester and submit at the end for evaluation. Galbraith
JS543 Urban Space Studies The course aims to introduce what is arguably the most complex product of society and Japanese society in particular — the city, and to concentrate on the city of Tokyo. Our study will encompass a range of issues concerning the city, and the complex consequences of urban developments under modern and contemporary conditions. We will observe how the city has defined, and was in itself defined by, a particular reality at a particular time, beginning in Edo period and concluding in the present. Such approach emphasizes a need to examine the external relations of the city with context, and particularly relate to its social, cultural and political circumstances. Thus, we will look at the creation and recreation of the city’s physical texture, at architecture, urban landscape, infrastructure and technology, and at the same time observe the city as a social product determined by everyday life and habitual practices, organization of the immediate surrounding, personal rites and the micro-politics of life in the city. In the same manner, we will look at buildings and neighborhoods per-se, as a material construct guided by geometry and legal code, but at the same time recognize how the pragmatics of this built environment interrelate with cultural systems such as literature and film, and thus examine the mechanisms that relate the city to culture. Also, we will see how the city is not merely a reflection or expression of politics, but rather an intricate political apparatus in and of itself, influencing relationships and encouraging change. There are two consecutive class sessions every week. Usually, there will be a lecture at the first session, and the second lecture period will be used for class discussions, screening of films and videos, visiting lectures, or field trips. In taking the classroom outside the campus, we will use the benefit of the Tokyo locality to be in and see the subjects of our study. These activities are equally important to the class lectures, and should be used to further practice critical thinking and develop skills for analyzing the built city. The course has no prerequisites. Besides an interest in the course’s subjects, students are not required to have any prior knowledge of Tokyo, architecture, art and/or other discipline of urban studies. Golani-Solomon
JS545 Topics in Japanese Buddhism Globalization is affecting Tokyo and the major cities of Japan. The passage from internationalization to globalization generates a new set of questions. In this course, we will consider how Buddhist teachings and practices can shed some light on those questions. Topics to be addressed include the impacts of globalization on Japanese society in general and on Buddhist traditions in particular, the state of Buddhist scholarship in contemporary Japan, and the role of Buddhism in Japanese society. The course will use classical and contemporary Buddhist sources. Students will be expected to make regular seminar presentations and to prepare a final research paper. This year the course will focus on altered state of consciousness in the context of religious practice. Roboüam
JS546(Fall) Introduction to Japanese Studies (offered in Fall semester) The aim of this course is to introduce students to basic theoretical and methodological issues in Japanese Studies. The core readings will be drawn from a range of seminal texts representative of several interpretive frameworks that have been influential in the field. Thompson
JS546(Spring) Introduction to Japanese Studies (offered in spring semester) This is a compulsory course for all first semester degree M.A. students in Japanese Studies. The course introduces the craft of research and exposes the students to the academic works of our Japanese Studies faculty. Yiu
JS590 Japanese Language Course A (offered in Fall semester) この授業では、さまざまな話題でのアカデミックな口頭発表と議論を通じ、日本語で話す能力を獲得する機会を提供する。学生は、情報収集、プレゼンテーション資料作成、ディスカッションをおこなうことが求められる。授業は学生発表を中心に進め、教師は学生の学習プロセスをサポートするための支援や助言をおこなう。詳細は初回授業で説明する。(JLPTのN2以上、または、JPTのJPN321以上が必要) This course will give students the opportunity to develop Japanese speaking skills in academic presentations and discussions on various topics. Students are required to conduct some researches, presentations, discussions. Student initiative is vital in this course, and the instructor will offer consultations and assistance in order to support the students' learning processes. Further details will be provided on the first day of the class. (More than N2 of JLPT or more than JPN321 of JPT is required.) Tokumaru
JS591 Japanese Language Course B この授業では、日本語で書かれた資料の読解と議論を通じ、アカデミックな知識の獲得と日本語力の向上をめざす。授業は学生発表を中心に進め、教師は学生の学習プロセスをサポートするための支援や助言をおこなう。日本語を使って研究をおこなう学生のための授業である。詳細は初回授業で説明する。(JLPTのN2以上、または、JPTのJPN321以上が必要) The aim of this course is to help students develop Japanese language skills and academic knowledge through intensive reading and discussing issues. Student initiative is vital in this course, and the instructor will offer consultations and assistance in order to support the students' learning processes. This course will enable students to use academic Japanese for their study and research. Further details will be provided on the first day of the class. (More than N2 of JLPT or more than JPN321 of JPT is required.) Tokumaru