Asian Languages and Cultures



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 January 6.

Courses in Japanese (Division 401)

Culture Courses/Literature Courses

250. Undergraduate Seminar in Japanese Culture. No knowledge of Japanese language is required. (3). (HU). May be repeated with department permission.
Section 001 Japan's Encounter with the West.
This course will focus on the various phases of Japan's encounter with the West from the mid-19th century to the present. We will examine the shifting representations of the West in the Japanese imagination, for example as object of aspiration and identification, as "barbarian" enemy and rival, as the space of erotic fantasy, and so on. In sum, what roles has "the West" played in the ongoing project of Japanese self-definition, and why? Readings will include contemporary fiction and cultural studies. Materials are all in English, so Japanese language is not necessary. Requirements: discussions, four 2-page essays, and a final paper. WL:2 (Ramirez-Christensen)
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402. Japanese Literature in Translation: Edo and Modern Periods. A knowledge of Japanese is not required. (3). (HU).
The course will examine the various forms of Japanese literature in the Edo period (1600-1868) - haiku, prose fiction, puppet plays, and Kabuki drama. It will also introduce the student to the development of the modern novel beginning in the Meiji period (1868-1912) and will focus on major works of modern Japanese fiction from the Meiji era to the present, including the novels of Natsume Soseki, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, and the Nobel Laureate Kawabata Yasunari. WL:2 (Ito)
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490. Introduction to Japanese Linguistics. Japanese 202. (3). (HU).
This course is designed for both undergraduate (prerequisite is required) and graduate students who are interested in acquiring the specifics of Japanese grammar. It is also recommended for anyone considering a career as a teacher of Japanese. The goals of the course are to gain knowledge of the basic characteristics of sentence structure and meaning in Japanese; to become familiar with selected theoretical analyses (or competing analyses) which linguists have proposed for various structural patterns in Japanese; and to develop a repertoire of linguistic vocabulary with which to talk about sentence structure and meaning in Japanese. WL:2 (Johnson)
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Language Courses

102. Beginning Japanese. Japanese 101. (5). (LR). Laboratory fee ($9) required.
This course is designed for students who have less than the equivalent of one year's study of Japanese at the University of Michigan. 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 with a linguist. Students are required to do assignments with audio tapes a minimum of two hours for each class hour (10 hours per week). 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. WL:2 (Johnson)
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202. Second-Year Japanese. Japanese 201. (5). (LR). Laboratory fee ($9) required.
Further training is given in all the language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) for students who have acquired a basic language proficiency. 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, the emphasis is on reading elementary texts, developing an expository style, and writing short answers/essays in response to questions about these texts. Approximately 400 of the essential characters are covered. Discussions on the social and cultural use of language are provided. Students are required to attend five hours of class per week: two hours of lecture and three hours of recitation. Students are also required to practice a minimum of two hours for each class hour (12 hours per week). Recitation sessions are conducted entirely in Japanese. Recitation sessions emphasize speaking/reading in Japanese contexts at normal speed with near-native pronunciation, accent, intonation, rhythm, and appropriate body language. Analyses, explanations, and discussions involving the use of English are specifically reserved for lectures. Texts: Situational Functional Japanese, Vol. 2-3. WL:2 (Kozuka)
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406. Third-Year Japanese. Japanese 405. (5). (Excl).
Advanced training is given in all the 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. Students are required to practice with audio/visual tapes a minimum of two hours for each class hour (10 hours per week). Recitation sessions emphasize speaking/reading in Japanese contexts at normal speed with near-native pronunciation, accent, intonation, rhythm, and appropriate body language. Analyses, explanations, and discussions involving the use of English are specifically reserved for lectures. Text: An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese. WL:2 (Abbas)
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408. Advanced Readings in Modern Japanese Literature. Japanese 407. (3). (Excl).
This course introduces the student to modern Japanese fiction (largely short stories) and other materials written by outstanding writers for a mature Japanese audience. The emphasis is upon a literary approach, using close reading and translation, in class, of Japanese texts. Occasional papers and written translations are required. The pace of reading is intended to help the student build up reading speed and comprehension. The course will also teach the student how to use dictionaries and other basic research aids effectively. WL:2 (Ito)
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414. Accelerated Readings in Japanese. Japanese 102 or 361. (5). (Excl).
Accelerated Readings in Japanese
is designed for students who have proficiency in another Asian language and wish to achieve reading competence in scholarly Japanese in the shortest practical time. Within the two terms, all basic grammar is reviewed or introduced and extensive reading practice is emphasized to build vocabulary and skills with dictionaries and related reading aids. WL:2 (Abbas)
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417. Communicative Competence for Japan-Oriented Careers II. Japanese 406, 411. (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. Winter Term topics include: Banking, Import and Export, The Japanese Market, 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 (Omoto)
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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 which arise in understanding these readings. Homework includes a minimum of two hours of preparation per class hour. Students are expected to review for the readings and for frequent quizzes so that they can participate actively in discussion in Japanese in class. WL:2 (Emori)
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