ASIAN 252 - Undergraduate Seminar in Japanese Culture
Section: 201 Samurai Fiction: Remembering and Rewriting the Past Through Literature and Film
Term: SU 2008
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
FYSem, WorldLit
Advisory Prerequisites:
No knowledge of Japanese language is required.
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course looks at the representation of samurai in popular works of literature and film adaptations over the last century. Samurai have long held and continue to hold a central place in the social imaginary of Japan, and it is through the images, ideas, and stories of samurai that the history of Japan is often narrated. Altering the depiction of samurai in literature and film is, therefore, a powerful means for revising how the past is understood, remembered, and imagined. Rather than searching for the “real” samurai, we will look at how reinterpretations of the past are constructed to serve the needs of the present moment of composition. Through reading works of historical fiction and viewing films, we will explore how authors and directors are engaged in this enterprise of revising the past. Additionally, we will discuss a range of theoretical and practical issues including the problematic relationship between “history” and “fiction;” the practice of adapting literature to film as an additional moment of revising the past; and the politics of translating works of Japanese historical fiction into English.

ASIAN 252 - Undergraduate Seminar in Japanese Culture
Schedule Listing
201 (SEM)
MW 11:00AM - 12:30PM
Th 10:00AM - 1:00PM
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