ASIAN 300 - Love and Death in Japanese Culture
Section: 001
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
A knowledge of Japanese is not required.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Using the central existential questions of love, death, and beauty as thematic foci, this course examines the premodern history of the human being in Japan with the aim of exploring a different past and an other site for the study of the humanities than the one in which technology and profit maximization have now led to the virtual demise of the human as a viable measure of civil life. In the course of reading literature, both canonical and popular, which portray the thematics of love and death, we will analyze key concepts in Japanese cultural history that address issues of good and evil, truth, and "the beautiful." Attention will be paid to questions of interpretation that arise in reading the works of a culture different from the West in its philosophies and religions; in the non-logocentrism of its linguistic usages and artistic expressions; its emphasis on form and ritual as a crucial component of the moral human being. We will also note the existence of various separate cultures — courtly, merchant, craftsman, samurai and priest, actor and geisha, each with its own hierarchy and code of ethics and aesthetics. Class materials will include, apart from the literary works, secondary sources from criticism, history, philosophy and religion, sociology, as well as visual media like painting and film.

ASIAN 300 - Love and Death in Japanese Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MWF 11:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (DIS)
Th 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Note: Students who choose 002, 003, or 004 (DIS) will automatically be enrolled in 001 (LEC).
004 (DIS)
Th 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Note: Students who choose 002, 003, or 004 (DIS) will automatically be enrolled in 001 (LEC).
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 4770020287
The Narrow Road to Oku, Author: Matsuo Basho, Publisher: Kodansha International ILLUSTR 1996
ISBN: 086547186X
Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of, Author: Zen Master Dogen, Publisher: North Point Press 1985
ISBN: 0804718032
The tale of the Heike, Author: transl., with an introd., by Helen Craig McCullough., Publisher: Stanford Univ. Press 2005
ISBN: 0679761047
Snow country, Author: Yasunari Kawabata ; translated by Edward G. Seidensticker., Publisher: Vintage Books 1st Vintag 1996
ISBN: 0231035314
Chushingura: Treasury of Loyal Retainers, Author: Takeda Izumo et al; Trans. Donald Keene, Publisher: Columbia Univ Press 2ND PBK ED 1971
ISBN: 014243714X
The Tale of Genji, Author: Murasaki Shikibu, Publisher: Penguin Classics UNABRIDGED 2003
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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