Sophia University

Academics Graduate School of Global Studies (Program in English is available)

Japanese Studies Courses

Foundational Course

JS546 Introduction to Japanese Studies

Professor: DROTT Edward
This is a compulsory two-credit course for all first-semester degree M.A. students in Japanese Studies. The course provides a basic overview of how to research, from the process of selecting a topic and gathering sources to the process of writing results. The course also trains students for critically reading secondary sources. Continuing degree students who have not previously taken this course may enroll, with permission from the Instructor.

Japanese Language Courses

JS590 Japanese Language Course A

Professor: TOKUMARU Satoko
この授業では、さまざまな話題でのアカデミックな口頭発表と議論を通じ、日本語で話す能力を獲得する機会を提供する。学生は、情報収集、プレゼンテーション資料作成、ディスカッションをおこなうことが求められる。授業は学生発表を中心に進め、教師は学生の学習プロセスをサポートするための支援や助言をおこなう。詳細は初回授業で説明する。(JLPTのN2以上、または、JPTのJPN321以上が必要)
This course will give students the opportunity to develop Japanese speaking skills in academic presentations and discussions on various topics. Students are required to conduct some researches, presentations, discussions. Student initiative is vital in this course, and the instructor will offer consultations and assistance in order to support the students' learning processes. Further details will be provided on the first day of the class. (More than N2 of JLPT or more than JPN321 of JPT is required.)

JS591 Japanese Language Course B

Professor: TOKUMARU Satoko
この授業では、日本語で書かれた資料の読解と議論を通じ、アカデミックな知識の獲得と日本語力の向上をめざす。授業は学生発表を中心に進め、教師は学生の学習プロセスをサポートするための支援や助言をおこなう。日本語を使って研究をおこなう学生のための授業である。詳細は初回授業で説明する。(JLPTのN2以上、または、JPTのJPN321以上が必要)
The aim of this course is to help students develop Japanese language skills and academic knowledge through intensive reading and discussing issues. Student initiative is vital in this course, and the instructor will offer consultations and assistance in order to support the students' learning processes. This course will enable students to use academic Japanese for their study and research. Further details will be provided on the first day of the class. (More than N2 of JLPT or more than JPN321 of JPT is required.)

Arts and Culture

JS501 Modern Japanese Visual Culture

Professor: HAYASHI Michio
This seminar is going to focus on how the issue of gender plays out in various contemporary art practices in postwar Japanese and global contexts. The details will be announced at the beginning of the semester. Special attention will be paid to the works by female artists including Atsuko Tanaka, Yoko Ono, Yayoi Kusama.

JS504 Japanese Art History

Staff
Syllabus will be uploaded later

JS505 Modern Japanese Art History

Professor: MURAI Noriko
This course will study the manifold interactions that have taken place in the visual arts between Japan and the US since the second half of the 19th century to the present. We will approach art from a transcultural perspective, and will study various media including painting, prints, industrial design, architecture, as well as exhibitions and other modes of display. We will also investigate the role of visual arts in diplomatically and politically charged circumstances from Japan's resumption of trade with Western powers in the mid-19th-century, to the Pacific War, the Cold War, and to the age of globalization. **Due to unpredictable enrollment, the instructor reserves the right to modify the schedule of the course, depending upon enrollment, once the semester begins.

JS508 Interpretations of Modernity 1

Professor: YIU Angela
***Interpretations of Modernity 1 and 2 must be taken together*** This course focuses on the moral vision in modern Japanese literature with regards to environmental issues and war responsibilities. We will read salient full-length novels, documentary, and short stories that deal with nuclear issues, environmental pollution, human experiments, and war responsibilities to address questions of moral vision in Japanese literature. What are our moral responsibilities as stewards of the environment we inhabit? What do we learn from past mistakes and efforts? What can literature do to help us understand the world we inhabit in relation to our lives?

JS509 Interpretations of Modernity 2

Professor: YIU Angela
******Interpretations of Modernity 1 and 2 must be taken together******* This course focuses on the moral vision in modern Japanese literature with regards to environmental issues and war responsibilities. We will read salient full-length novels, documentary, and short stories that deal with nuclear issues, environmental pollution, human experiments, and war responsibilities to address questions of moral vision in Japanese literature. What are our moral responsibilities as stewards of the environment we inhabit? What do we learn from past mistakes and efforts? What can literature do to help us understand the world we inhabit in relation to our lives?

JS510 Contemporary Japanese Literature

Professor: STRECHER Matthew
Contemporary Japanese Literature, as the title suggests, is a course dealing with Japanese literary texts produced by writers who are living, or at least were living in the recent past. In historical terms, however, it might be considered a course in literature written in the post-postwar era, i.e., after 1970. In principle, our focus is on writing from the past four decades or so.

JS518 Comparative Literature 1

Professor: KONO Shion
Comparative Literature 1 and 2 introduce students to selected issues in comparative literature. Comparative Literature 1, offered in the spring, focuses upon methodological and theoretical issues about a specific theme. All readings (primary and secondary) are available in English. This year, we will consider various theoretical approaches to narrative. In the first half of the course, students will read important theoretical texts in narratology, focusing on fundamental issues such as narrative situation, narrative time, and history and narrative. In the second half of the course, we will explore selected topics (based on the interests of students and the instructor). Possible topics include approaches to modern Japanese literature, comparative poetics; film as narrative; and cognitive narratology. While many of the theoretical texts are grounded in literary studies, students from other disciplines are also welcome, as the issues explored in the course should be relevant in other related fields.

JS519 Comparative Literature 2

Professor: KONO Shion
********* Not offered in 2019 *******
Comparative Literature 1 and 2 introduce students to selected issues in comparative literature. Comparative Literature 2, offered in the autumn, focuses upon reading of selected primary and secondary texts related to reading Japanese literature in comparative perspective. All readings are available in English. This year, we will consider criticism (or hihyo) in modern Japan. We will examine the hihyo genre in modern Japan through reading of seminal critical texts and discussion on historical and literary contexts. We will also read some critical writing and social commentary by literary authors as well as fictional texts related to the problematics of hihyo. Topics of discussion include: the emergence and evolution of hihyō as a genre; literary writers and critics as “public intellectuals”; the writing style of hihyo; literary criticism and politics; and postmodernism in Japan.

JS520 Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 1

Professor: THOMPSON Mathew
This course is a graduate seminar in pre-modern Japanese literature. The content will be designed around the research needs of the students interested in taking the class. Past topics have included the following: general surveys of pre-modern Japanese literature; literary representations of gender and sexuality; warriors and warrior culture; imperial court poetry and prose. Please note that this is a 2-period class - roughly 3 hours every week. Students who register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 1 must also register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 2.

JS523 Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 2

Professor: THOMPSON Mathew
This course is a graduate seminar in pre-modern Japanese literature. The content will be designed around the research needs of the students interested in taking the class. Past topics have included the following: general surveys of pre-modern Japanese literature; literary representations of gender and sexuality; warriors and warrior culture; imperial court poetry and prose. Please note that this is a 2-period class - roughly 3 hours every week. Students who register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 1 must also register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 2.

JS750 Reading in Japanese Sourses

Professor:  NAKAI Maki

This language-intensive seminar will provide students with an opportunity to read and engage with a variety of primary and secondary sources in Japanese history and literature. Through reading texts written before the early 20th century, it will introduce students to the basic methodologies of reading Japanese texts in accordance with their historical contexts and linguistic milieus. The readings will be tailored to students' research interests and needs and the planned class schedule is subject to change. If there is no particular preference, we will read school textbooks and how-to handbooks of various periods. We will pay special attention to the differences in styles and the transformations of the language over time.

Thought and Society

JS524 Religion and Japanese Society 1

Professor: DROTT Edward
This course explores the religious traditions of Japan and their social and cultural impact. One of the most important developments in the field of religious studies in recent decades has been the so-called “somatic turn”—an increased attention to the role of the human body in religion and the role that religious ideas, practices, and institutions have had in shaping knowledge about and experiences of the body. Accordingly, this course will devote special attention to the question of how Japanese religion has affected perceptions of the body and the role of the body in Japanese religion. It will trace the effects of religiously-informed perceptions of the body on the development of folk medical knowledge, bioethical reasoning, attitudes toward death and dying, the construction of gender, the formation of outcast groups, and various other social practices.

JS525 Religion and Japanese Society 2

Professor: DROTT Edward
**********Not offered in 2019**********

JS532 Japanese History

Professor: GRAMLICH-OKA Bettina
The nineteenth century connects the world by empire, law, commerce, war, and the exchange of ideas. The course examines some of these ideas and ways of life in Japan. It considers the pivotal events from the vantage point of transnational history.

JS533 Modern Japanese History

Professor: SAALER Sven
In this course, we will explore issues of memory-making and memory-shaping in modern Japan. After a survey of theories of historical and social memory, we will analyze the main institutions of memory and commemoration in modern Japan, their functions and historical development, as well as important Japanese “realms of memory”, their representation in Japanese culture and controversies surrounding memorialization projects in Japanese society and politics.

JS541 Japanese Ethnography

Professor: SLATER David
********* Not offered in 2019 *******
This is a fieldwork-based class with readings on the creation, use, control and transgression of urban space and culture, using Tokyo as our “fieldsite.” Students will use the theoretical and ethnographic readings as jumping off points to generate their own research questions and finally their own field project and digital final project.

JS542 Popular Culture

Professor: NOZAWA Shunsuke
This course explores theoretical concepts and methodological issues prompted by the study of “Japanese popular culture.” The course is intended as a workshop-like environment where participants share their ongoing research agenda and perform collaborative reading and discussion. Participants are each expected to develop a semester-long project on a topic of their choosing, incorporating course readings and class discussion into their argument. The theoretical focus of this semester is the multifaceted meanings of popular. ‘Popular’ is a surprisingly elusive concept, harboring heterogeneous and competing meanings: youth, urbanity, majority, minority, subculture, amateurism, culture industry, trendiness, inexpensiveness, folksiness, rural culture, tradition, vulgarity, something that exceeds or escapes official or elite discourses, something that legitimates them. It is connected to diverse types of events, practices, and beings (popular idols, popular protest, popular memory, popular vote, etc), and while it is sometimes taken to be a ‘common’ denominator across cultural and historical boundaries, it just as often defies easy translation and recontextualization. Our readings draw broadly from cultural studies, media studies, sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines, and include materials not directly related to Japan for cross-cultural consideration. Some segments of our reading list concern the question of ‘common people’: how many people, what kind of people -- what extent and kind of ‘commonness’ -- are demanded in the popularness of Japanese popular culture? We also discuss how the value of popularness is (de)stabilized in concrete social and institutional practices and how signs of the popular are manufactured and recontextualized for political and economic ends.

JS543 Urban Space Studies

Professor: GOLANI-SOLOMON Frez
The course aims to introduce what is arguably the most complex product of society and Japanese society in particular — the city, and to concentrate on the city of Tokyo. Our study will encompass a range of issues concerning the city, and the complex consequences of urban developments under modern and contemporary conditions. We will observe how the city has defined, and was in itself defined by, a particular reality at a particular time, beginning in Edo period and concluding in the present. Such approach emphasizes a need to examine the external relations of the city with context, and particularly relate to its social, cultural and political circumstances. Thus, we will look at the creation and recreation of the city’s physical texture, at architecture, urban landscape, infrastructure and technology, and at the same time observe the city as a social product determined by everyday life and habitual practices, organization of the immediate surrounding, personal rites and the micro-politics of life in the city. In the same manner, we will look at buildings and neighborhoods per-se, as a material construct guided by geometry and legal code, but at the same time recognize how the pragmatics of this built environment interrelate with cultural systems such as literature and film, and thus examine the mechanisms that relate the city to culture. Also, we will see how the city is not merely a reflection or expression of politics, but rather an intricate political apparatus in and of itself, influencing relationships and encouraging change. There are two consecutive class sessions every week. Usually, there will be a lecture at the first session, and the second lecture period will be used for class discussions, screening of films and videos, visiting lectures, or field trips. In taking the classroom outside the campus, we will use the benefit of the Tokyo locality to be in and see the subjects of our study. These activities are equally important to the class lectures, and should be used to further practice critical thinking and develop skills for analyzing the built city. The course has no prerequisites. Besides an interest in the course’s subjects, students are not required to have any prior knowledge of Tokyo, architecture, art and/or other discipline of urban studies.

JS547 Social Issues in Contemporary Japan

Professor: HORIGUCHI Sachiko
In this course, we will critically examine diversity in contemporary Japan from anthropological perspective. We will approach a variety of topics related to ethnicity, gender/sexuality, and disability and will historically contextualize the present state surrounding issues of diversity in Japan, through exploring ways in which diversity has been represented/articulated, masked, and/or problematized in textual and visual forms in modern Japan.

JS548 Religion and Modernity in Japan

Professor: OKITA Kiyokazu

This course explores the process of transformation that Buddhist and Shintō traditions in Japan went through during the nineteenth century, as a result of their encounter with Protestant Christianity, European Enlightenment and modern science. We examine changes in their self-understanding and self-representation, especially in relation to the concept of 'shūkyō', which was created as a translation for the term ‘religion’. The course deals with those issues in the framework of transcultural theory, emphasizing the agency exercised by Japanese intellectuals, policy makers, and religious practitioners who appropriated the concept of religion.