Japanese (JPN)

Academic Catalog: 2013–2014

  • Toshiyuki Sakuragi
  • Lianying Shan

We strongly encourage students of Japanese language to study in Japan. Gustavus has a student exchange relationship with Kandai Gaidai University in Osaka. Students may also choose other host institutions in Japan in consultation with faculty members in the Japanese section. For a detailed description of the Japanese Studies major and minor, please see “Japanese Studies.”

101, 102 Beginning Japanese I, II (1 course, 1 course) Intensive study of basic skills in Japanese for beginners. Emphasis will be on oral-aural practice of the language. Reading and writing will be practiced also using Japanese syllabaries and selected Chinese characters. JPN-101 or the instructor’s permission is a prerequisite for JPN-102. NWEST, Offered annually.

201, 202 Intermediate Japanese I, II (1 course, 1 course) A continuation of both oral-aural and reading-writing skills development with expanded use of grammatical forms and Chinese characters. Prerequisite: JPN-102 and JPN-201 respectively. NWEST, Offered annually.

251, 252 Conversation and Composition I, II (1 course, 1 course) These courses are designed to give students the opportunity to further develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Prerequisite: JPN-202/JPN-251. Offered occasionally.

170 Introduction to East Asian Literature in English Translation (1 course) This course provides a broad survey of representative literary works from East Asia from the classical to the contemporary period. Students will explore a variety of literary texts, such as poetry, novel, short stories and essays from China, Japan and Korea through English translation. This course helps students develop a deep understanding of both the commonalities and differences between East Asian countries in history, cultural values and literary tradition. Students are expected to improve their critical thinking skills through analyzing, interpreting and evaluating literary texts. They will also increase their culture competence through reading and appreciating literature within its cultural context. LARS, NWEST. Fall semester.

270 Modern Japanese Literature and Culture In English Translation (1 course) The first half of the course offers a survey of representative works of modern Japanese literature (1868-the present) with a focus on short stories. We will explore important themes, such as modernity and Westernization, self, desire, women and gender, and war and memory. The second half introduces several major topics on Japanese culture/samurai culture, the image of geisha, transnational popularity of anime, the kawaii (cuteness) culture through popular images and icons, such as Hello Kitty. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with Japan’s modern history and culture and to help students develop critical thinking and writing skills through reading, discussing, and writing about literary texts and films. LARS, NWEST, offered annually.

271 Japanese Film (1 course) In English. This course introduces students to Japanese film by surveying the works of major directors ranging from such early masters as Ozu, Mizoguchi, and Kurosawa, to such contemporary filmmakers as Kitano and Kore-eda. These films will be examined within their historical and social context. By studying film as an art form, students will appreciate the aesthetic, technical, and commercial development of the Japanese cinematic tradition. Also using cinema as a window into society, the course explores such issues as the changing nature of family structure, values, gender roles, and cultural diversity in Japan. LARS, NWEST, Spring semester, odd years.

272 Women in East Asian Literature and Culture (1 course) With its distinct and long cultural and literary traditions, one-fourth of the world population and the second and third largest economy of the world, East Asia has become an important subject for college students to learn about the diverse nature of humanity. Exploring women’s images in East Asian literature and culture allows students to familiarize themselves with East Asian societies from a gendered perspective as well as to understand East Asian women’s political, economic and social status, their tremendous artistic achievements as well as their struggles to achieve autonomy in their respective historical and cultural contexts. This course focuses on how women have been portrayed in East Asian literature by both men and women and in cultural products, such as films. Through reading works from a variety of genres, we will deal with important themes, such as family, marriage, motherhood, love and women’s education, and will discuss concepts, such as representation and narrative point-of-view that are central for critically engaging and evaluating literature and culture. LARS, NWEST, Spring semester.