Asian Languages and Cultures

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

Note: The Department Waitlist policy for all courses is 2 - Go to the department office to get on a waitlist, and then attend the first class meeting. Policies and procedures for handling the waitlist will be explained there.

Students wanting to begin language study, at a level other than first year, must take a placement exam to be held on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, from 1pm to 3pm. Students can call ALC (4-8286) at the end of August to find out where the tests will be given.

Courses in Japanese (Division 401)

Take me to the Fall Time Schedule

Culture Courses/Literature Courses

250/Asian Studies 252. Undergraduate Seminar in Japanese Culture. No knowledge of Japanese language is required. (3). (HU). May be repeated with department permission.
Section 001 An Introduction to Japanese Theater.
The aim of this seminar is to identify and explore characteristic aspects of theater as it has been practiced in Japan. As a set of diverse performance traditions shaped by cultural history, Japanese theater will be approached in terms of a number of unifying problems, among which are performance contexts and staging, audiences and reception, thematic concerns, authorship and production, use of music and dance, innovation and renewal of tradition, and training procedures. Representative theater traditions such as noh drama, bunraku puppet theater, and kabuki will be considered in both historical and modern day forms. Forms of theater that emerged in response to engagement with Western culture and performing arts during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and select developments from the latter half of this century, such as butoh dance-theatre, will also be introduced. As there is no more effective gate to understanding of a performing art than first-hand experience, the seminar will include some practical study of the basic techniques of chant used in noh drama. A workshop in the music and dance of noh, to be led by a Japanese colleague, is also under negotiation. Class preparation will include readings and the viewing of assigned videos. Student assessment will be done on the basis of written reports, contributions to discussion, and the results of two exams. WL:2 (de Ferranti)

Section 002 Reading "Japan" Using textual and visual media like literature, film (Japanese and Hollywood), newspapers, Japnese animation, and Japanese toys, this course will interrogate the ways in which "Japan" is understood in a transnational context. Focusing first on Japanese animation and Japanese monster toys, these will be shown to function in inter-textual networks with high-culture texts such as the Old Testament, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Japanese classical literature. Next, the course will explore the ways in which films like Godzilla are understood and experienced differently in regard to gender, ethnicity, and national identifications. The last part of the course will treat canonical texts of Japanese literature to show how these too are participating in "crossings" of high and low culture, and "crossings" between and beyond nation-states. Students will be introduced to the critical theories of cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and Marxism, and will read Japanese (in translation) and English texts emphasizing queer theory and critical theories of race and ethnicity. WL:2 (Driscoll)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

401/Asian Studies 401. Japanese Literature in Translation: Classical Periods to 1600. A knowledge of Japanese is not required. (3). (HU).
Reading in Japanese literature in English translation from the eighth century through the eighteenth. The aim is to examine great works of the classical literary tradition as manifestations of Japanese culture and thought prior to the opening to the West in the nineteenth century. Historical and thematic emphases will vary from year to year, but will include selections from the Man'yôshû, the eighth-century anthology of native poetry; The Tale of Genji, the eleventh-century novel of course life and manners by the woman writer Murasaki Shikibu; Buddhist-inspired essays and epic war tales from the medieval period; and Kabuki plays; and liked poetry and haiku through the period of Bashô. This course, together with its modern sequel (Japanese 402), is recommended to all students with a general interest in literature or in Japanese culture. Classes are in a lecture and discussion format. Requirements are a midterm and final examination, a final 8-10 page paper, and discussion participation. WL:2 (Ramirez-Christensen)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

475. Japanese Cinema. A knowledge of Japanese is not required. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($50) required.
This course will survey the history of Japanese cinema with the aim of understanding a vital aspect of twentieth-century Japanese culture. While structured chronologically, students will develop sophisticated approaches to understand what a national cinema is, how it relates to national identity, and how it fits into the global film scene. All aspects and genres of Japanese film come under consideration, including both the art film and more popular forms. We will start with the early cinema, and proceed through the silent era sword films, the classics of the 1950s, documentary, the avant-garde, ending with the recent explosion in animation art. Course requirements include outside screenings, papers, and a final. WL:2 (Nornes)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

Language Courses

101. Beginning Japanese. Native or near-native speakers of Japanese are not eligible for this course. (5). (LR).
The goal of the course is the simultaneous progression of four skills (speaking, listening, writing, and reading) as well as becoming familiar with aspects of Japanese culture which are necessary for language competency. Recitation sessions are conducted in Japanese emphasizing speaking/reading in Japanese contexts at normal speeds. Analyses, explanations, and discussions involving the use of English are specifically reserved for lectures. It is expected that, by the end of the year, students will have basic speaking and listening comprehension skills, a solid grasp of basic grammar, reading and writing skills in Hiragana and Katakana, and will be able to recognize and produce approximately 140 Kanji in context. Texts: Situational Functional Japanese Vol. 1-2. Tokyo: Tsukuba Language Group, 1991. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

201. Second-Year Japanese. Japanese 102. Native or near-native speakers of Japanese are not eligible for this course. (5). (LR).
Further training is given in all four language skills (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) for students who have acquired a basic language proficiency. The introduction to basic Japanese grammar items will be completed around the fourth week of the second term of second-year Japanese. The aim of the oral component is to provide the student with the speaking and comprehension skills necessary to function effectively in more advanced practical situations in a Japanese-speaking environment. In the reading and writing component, emphasis is on reading elementary texts, developing an expository style, and writing short answers/essays in response to questions about these texts. Approximately 500 of the essential characters are covered. Discussions on the social and cultural use of language are provided through various video tapes. Students are required to attend five hours of class per week: two hours of lecture and three hours of recitation. Recitation sessions emphasize speaking/reading in Japanese at normal speed with near-native pronunciation, accent, and appropriate body language and are conducted entirely in Japanese. Analyses, explanations, and discussions involving the use of English are reserved for lectures. Texts: Situational Functional Japanese Vol. 2-3. Tokyo: Tsukuba Language Group, 1991. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

225(250). Calligraphy. Japanese 101. (1). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of three credits.
The goals of the course are to help you learn how to practice Japanese calligraphy and cultivate your mind through the practice. Six subjects, including Kanji and Hiragana will be introduced with the focus on basic skills such as the manner of using brushes, balancing characters, etc. Throughout the course, students will work on clarity of thought through the writing of characters in a tranquil setting, concentrating on maintaining correct posture and behavior throughout the writing process. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

405. Third-Year Japanese. Japanese 202. Native or near-native speakers of Japanese are not eligible for this course. (5). (Excl).
Advanced training is given in all four language skills. Practice in the use of spoken Japanese is contextualized within simulated Japanese social settings. A variety of selected modern texts (essays, fiction, and newspapers) are read, with emphasis on expository style. The goal is to produce self-sufficient readers who can read and discuss most texts with the aid of a dictionary. Recitation sessions are conducted all in Japanese with an emphasis on speaking and reading Japanese at normal speed with near-native pronunciation, accent, intonation, and appropriate body language. Lectures will also be conducted in Japanese, with occasional English explanation if necessary, and will focus on Japanese grammar and culture. Texts: Selected reading materials. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

416. Communicative Competence for Japan-Oriented Careers. Japanese 406, 411; and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
This course stresses the effective use of the Japanese spoken language in contexts likely to be encountered by a career-oriented professional in Japan. Topics include: Organization, Business Travel, Meetings, Bureaucracy, Distribution, Expansion, Annual Reports, Business Ritual, and Socializing. In addition, the course will include practice in rapid reading and transcription/dictation of moderately difficult texts, newspaper articles, and news broadcasts. Students are expected to practice with audio tapes for a minimum of two hours for each class hour. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

461. Social Science Readings in Japanese. Japanese 406. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor.
This course helps students to develop reading skills necessary to conduct research in Japanese social science topics. Readings are assigned from newspapers, books, and journals in a variety of fields. The emphasis is on the acquisition of kango vocabulary that arises in understanding these readings. Class attendance is mandatory. Homework includes a minimum of two hours of preparation per class hour. Students are expected to prepare for the readings and for frequent quizzes so that they can participate actively in discussion in Japanese in class. Japanese essays will be assigned. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

541. Classical Japanese. Japanese 406 and 408. (4). (Excl).
An introduction to the classical language aimed at mastery of the basic vocabulary, grammar, and syntax necessary to read all Japanese writing, literary or otherwise, before the twentieth century. A reading knowledge of modern Japanese (equivalent to three years of study) is a prerequisite. Class meetings are devoted to close syntactic analysis and translation of samples from various classical texts, with particular emphasis on poetry and narrative from the Heian and medieval periods. This course is required of all graduate concentrators in Japanese and is a prerequisite (with Japanese 542) to advanced work in pre- and early modern Japanese texts. It is also highly recommended to graduate students of premodern Japanese history, art history, Buddhism, etc. It may also be taken by undergraduate students with sufficient preparation in the modern language. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

Copyright © 1998 The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.