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JAPAN 431 A: Readings in Modern Japanese Literature

Meeting Time: 
MW 3:30pm - 5:20pm
LOW 220
Ted Mack photo
Ted Mack

Syllabus Description:

Japan 431: Advanced Reading in Japanese

This term we will read stories by multiple contemporary authors. All of the stories appear in Bungaku 2021 (Tokyo: Kodansha, 2021), a collection of some of the best stories of 2020 (despite the title.) Purchasing the book is optional; it may be ordered through the Seattle Kinokuniya bookstore. It is also available through Amazon Japan. A PDF of the readings is available here.

We will be reading stories by Kimura Yūsuke, Asabuki Mariko, Matsuda Aoko, and Takahashi Gen'ichirō.

Please note that the texts may contain adult themes.

About the Course:

This course focuses solely on developing advanced Japanese reading skills through practice. Students read through contemporary Japanese fiction on their own and then meet to go over that reading, focusing on grammar and vocabulary but also discussing literary devices and effects. Unlike most other language offerings, this course is made up of readings that have not been tailored or selected for ease of comprehension. Students read celebrated stories of recent years, regardless of difficulty, in their complete form. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the real complexity and beauty of written Japanese, while providing them with the tools necessary to read even the most challenging texts.

A grade of 2.5 or higher in JAPAN 313 or its equivalent is a requirement. A high level of Japanese reading ability is required; expect the stories to be significantly more challenging than those in third-year Japanese.

MyPlan users: please be aware that JAPAN 431-432-433 are not a sequence. 431 is offered in the Autumn, 432 in the Winter, and 433 in the Spring. Students may take any or all of these courses, and may repeat the same course number. Both content and instructor will vary.

Class meetings: the course will be held primarily online. The link to the scheduled meetings, MW 3:30-5:20 is here. I will request that you remain muted until you are called on or have a question. Students are encouraged to use the Chat function to ask questions or give fellow students encouragement. Private texts are fine, but be careful that texts go to their intended recipients! Four class meetings will be in person: October 20, November 8, November 24, and December 8; on each of these days we will have a quiz at the beginning of class that covers the readings since the previous quiz. Your grade will be made up of your preparation and participation in class (60%) and your quiz grades (40%).

Office hours will be held online as well. Appointments can be scheduled with me via email. They will be held via  Zoom as this link.

Please see the announcements for other important information.

Catalog Description: 
Reading and discussion of selected modern literary texts in the original language, concentrating on the short story. Close attention to grammar and syntax. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.5 in either JAPAN 303, JAPAN 313 or JAPAN 334.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
September 24, 2021 - 8:51pm