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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2013/2014 -
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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Thinking Through Japan (ASST08040)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaAsian Studies Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe word 'Japan' immediately conjures images of refined aesthetic beauty or high-tech metropolitan sprawl. Furthermore, western representations tend to play to these stereotypes to produce a Japanese nation as 'other', radically different and seemingly unknowable. This course has been designed to scratch away at the surface of these essentialising representations by enabling students to think through Japan via the situated perspectives of Japanese artists, filmmakers and writers.

Therefore, this course will use authentic Japanese materials in translation ┐ narrative films, documentary, anime, short stories, performance, biography, art, photography ┐ as a catalyst for debate and discussion about a number of key analytical concepts. Although the primary referent and object of analysis is the particular case of Japan, the course will also foster in students critical awareness of the uses and abuses of concepts such as culture, history, nation and gender that can be transferred to a number of different subject areas. As such this course will appeal to intending Japanese honours students and as well as outside students.

Taking an approach inspired by cultural studies, the course will be dynamic and student led, with the aim of producing a space for students to challenge stereotypical representations and commonsense uses of terms by bringing together academic research and authentic material. This approach is reflected in delivery of the course and assessment, which places emphasis on class participation and student run projects.

All students will be given a formative feedback exercise that will be helpful for the assessment for this course and students' general academic development.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  28
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students who have completed this course successfully will have:

1. Thought through Japan from a wide variety of perspectives
2. Read/watched a range of authentic Japanese text/films and analysed them for recurrent themes, questions and issues.
3. Acquired critical knowledge of Japanese history, culture and society
4. Produced a well researched and theoretically informed piece of written work in the form of a 2,500 word essay
5. Collaborated on a group project

Students who have completed this course successfully should be able to:

1. Make critically informed use of a range of analytical categories and terms
2. Engage in informed debate about key issues in Japanese history, culture and society
3. Appraise western representations of Japan
4. Work in groups to complete short articles on a regular basis
5. Apply knowledge gained on the course elsewhere
Assessment Information
Course Participation grade (10%)
Group Project (40%)
1 x 2500 word essay (50%)
Special Arrangements
Student numbers for this course are capped at 25. Priority will go to students intending honours in Japanese Studies.
Additional Information
Academic description The word 'Japan' immediately conjures images of refined aesthetic beauty or high-tech metropolitan sprawl. Furthermore, western representations tend to play to these stereotypes to produce a Japanese nation as 'other', radically different and seemingly unknowable. This course has been designed to scratch away at the surface of these essentialising representations by enabling students to think through Japan via the situated perspectives of Japanese artists, filmmakers and writers.

Therefore, this course will use authentic Japanese materials in translation ┐ narrative films, documentary, anime, short stories, performance, biography, art, photography ┐ as a catalyst for debate and discussion about a number of key analytical concepts. Although the primary referent and object of analysis is the particular case of Japan, the course will also foster in students critical awareness of the uses and abuses of concepts such as culture, history, nation and gender that can be transferred to a number of different subject areas. As such this course will appeal to intending Japanese honours students and as well as outside students.

Taking an approach inspired by cultural studies, the course will be dynamic and student led, with the aim of producing a space for students to challenge stereotypical representations and commonsense uses of terms by bringing together academic research and authentic material. This approach is reflected in delivery of the course and assessment, which places emphasis on class participation and student run projects.
Syllabus Week 1: Introduction

Section 1 Transition, continuity and change

Week 2: Identity
Week 3: Nation

Section 2 War and Redemption

Week 4: Experiences of War
Week 5: Responses to Peace

Section 3 Family and Gender

Week 7: Family
Week 8: Gender
Week 9: Youth

Section 4 Contemporary Confusion?

Week 10: Back to Identity?
Week 11: Japanese Futures

Conclusion

Week 12: Appraising western representations of Japan
Transferable skills Debate, group work, essay writing, information technology, critical thinking.
Reading list Filmography:

Coppola, S. 2004. Lost in Translation. DVD. Hollywood: Momentum Pictures.

Imamura, S. The Insect Woman. DVD. New York: Criterion.

Kon, I. 1983. The Makioka Sisters. DVD. New York: Criterion.

Kon, I. 1959. Fires on the Plain. DVD. New York: Criterion.

Koreeda, H. 1998. After Life. DVD. Tokyo: Soda Pictures.

Kurosawa, A. 1955. I Live in Fear. DVD. Tokyo: T┐h┐.

Mizoguchi, K. 1953. Ugetsu. DVD. Tokyo: Masters of Cinema.

Mizoguchi, K. 1952. DVD. The Life of Oharu. Tokyo: Shin T┐h┐.

Nakashima, T. Kamikaze Girls. DVD. Tokyo: Third Window.

Otomo. A. 1988. Akira. DVD. London: Manga Entertainment.

Ozu, Y. 1953. Tokyo Story. DVD. London: BFI Video.

Takita, Y. 2003. When the Last Sword is Drawn. DVD. Tokyo: Shochiku.


Literature / Photograph Collections:

Aoki, S. 2001. Fruits. London: Phaidon.

Fukuzawa, Y. 2007. The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa. New York: Columbia University Press.

Hara, T. 1990. 'From the Ruins.' In, Richard H. Minear (ed), Hiroshima: Three Witnesses. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Kerr, A. 1996. Lost Japan. London: Lonely Planet.

Mishima, Y. 1977. Confessions of a Mask. St. Albans: Panther.

Murakami, H. 2001. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. London: Vintage UK.

Murakami, T. 2005. Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Ooka, S. 1996. Taken Captive: a Japanese POW's Story. New York: J. Wiley and Sons.

Tanizaki, J. 1962. 'Tattoo'. In Ivan Morris (ed), Modern Japanese Stories: an Anthology. Rutland, V.T.: Tuttle.

Tomatsu, S. 1981. What Now?! Japan Through the Eyes of Shomei Tomatsu. Tokyo: Toeisha.

Yoshimoto, B. 1993. Kitchen. New York: Grove Press.

Academic Sources:

Dower, J. 1986. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. London: Faber.

Hijiya-Kirschnereit, I. 1996. Rituals of Self-Revelation: Shish┐setsu as Literary Genre and Socio-Cultural Phenomenon. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Kawamura. Y. 2006. 'Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion', Current Sociology, Vol. 54 (5), pp. 784 - 801.

Kelly, W. 1993. 'Finding a Place in Metropolitan Japan: Ideologies, Institutions and Everyday Life', in Andrew Gordon (ed), Postwar Japan as History. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Mackie, V. 2003. Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment, and Sexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Matthews, G. 1996. What Makes Life Worth Living? How Japanese and Americans Makes Sense of Their Worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Morris-Suzuki, T. 1998. Re-inventing Japan: Time, Space, Nation. New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Napier, S. 1993. 'Panic Sites: The Japanese Imagination of Disaster from Godzilla to Akira', The Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 19(2), pp. 327 - 351.

Ronald, R. and Allison, A. (eds). 2011. Home and Family in Japan: Continuity and Transformation. London: Routledge.

Sherif, A. 2009. Japan's Cold War: Media, Literature, and the Law. New York: Columbia University Press.

Study Abroad N/A
Study Pattern 1 x 2 hour seminar

1 x 1 hour tutorial
KeywordsAS Think Japan, Japan, film, art, literature, politics, society
Contacts
Course organiserDr Christopher Perkins
Tel: (0131 6)50 4174
Email: Chris.Perkins@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMr David Horn
Tel: (0131 6)50 4227
Email: david.horn@ed.ac.uk
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