JAPAN 431 A: Readings in Modern Japanese Literature

Autumn 2022
MW 11:30am - 1:20pm / SAV 157
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Japan 431: Advanced Reading in Japanese

Professor Ted Mack
Gowen 248

This term we will read stories by multiple contemporary authors. All of the stories appear in Bungaku 2022 (Tokyo: Kodansha, 2022), a collection of some of the best stories of 2021 (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 Fujino Kaori, “Shōmetsu,” Tanaka Shin’ya, “Tokei to fune,” and Miyauchi Yūsuke,  "Ikanakatta tabi no kiroku.”

Please note that the texts (and our discussions of those 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 MW 11:30-1:20 in SAV 157. Your grade will be made up of your preparation and participation in class (40%), your quiz grades (40%), and your final exam (20%).

Office hours will be held Wednesdays from 2-3 in GWN 248. 

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 Met:
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated:
March 2, 2024 - 1:30 am