Lit.231 Introduction to Japanese Literature Professor Angela Yiu

Lit.231 Introduction to Japanese Literature
Professor Angela Yiu (office hours: Monday 2-3) Office: 10-647
In this course we will study Japanese literature and the art of fiction and poetry. We will
introduce selected representative works of Japanese fiction and poetry, with an emphasis
on the modern period (Meiji and after), though a few pre-modern works are included to
examine literary links in the Japanese tradition. While we enjoy a text for its content
(i.e. the plot and its social and cultural context), we also want to study how the content
is presented (i.e. the form). Thus one important emphasis of this course is how to read
a literary text: we will learn about imagery, metaphors, narrative voice, characterization,
allusions, narrative persona, etc. as we study Japanese literature. This course should
enable you to acquire the rudimentary critical language to make evaluative judgment of
a literary text as well as introductory knowledge of Japanese fiction and poetry.
There will be two tests (30% each) and a final examination (40%). Attendance is highly
valued, and those who miss the final exam without legitimate reasons will not receive
credits for the course. All readings are available in translation, and you are welcome to
consult the Japanese texts, while all class assignments, discussions, and exams will be
in English only.
Registration and Blackboard
On top of the regular official registration for this class, you must register on Blackboard
and update your email address by midnight on the last day of registration. Failing to do
so will jeopardize your ability to access class materials and assignments for this class.
Course Materials
Full-length novels are on 24-hour library Reserve (1 or 2 copies each), and all other
reading materials and class assignments are available electronically on Blackboard.
(Course information⇨syllabus; Course documents⇨readings; Assignments ⇨class
guidelines and assignments).
Students are strongly encouraged to purchase the full-length novels available at Enderle
Book Co. Ltd.
Lit. 231 Introduction to Japanese Literature
Imagery, metaphors, narrative voice and perspectives
4/16 Natsume Sôseki 夏目漱石, Ten Nights of Dream 夢十夜: “The Third Night,”
4/19 Sôseki, “The Ninth Night;” Sôseki reads Jane Austen
4/23 Sôseki, “The Tenth Night”
4/26 Tanizaki Jun’ichirô, “T
Mori Ôgai 森鴎外, “Takasebune” 高瀬舟, 1915
Akutagawa Ryûnosuke 芥川竜之介, “In a Grove” 薮の中, 1922
Tanizaki Jun’ichirô 谷崎潤一郎, “The Tattooer” 刺青, 1910
Satô Haruo, “The House of a Spanish Dog” 西斑牙犬の家, 1916
5/8,11 Mishima Yukio 三島由紀夫, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea 午
後の曳航, 1963*
Test One
Ghosts: Allusions, literary tradition, women writers
The Tale of Genji 源氏物語(the Yugao 夕顔 and Rokujo 六条 passages), 11th
“Aoi no ue” 葵の上(Nô play), 15th C.
5/25,29,6/1 Enchi Fumiko 円地文子, Masks 女面, 1958*
Kôda Aya 幸田文, “The Black Hems” 黒い裾, 1955
Ôe Kenzaburo 大江健三郎, “Aghwee the Sky Monster”
空の怪物アグィー, 1964
Murakami Haruki, 村上春樹, “The Second Bakery Attack”パン屋再襲撃,
1985, “Sleep” 眠り, 1989
Murakami Haruki 村上春樹, The Elephant Vanishes 象が消滅する, 1987
Test Two
Other Worlds: poetry and fiction
Adventures in poetry: renga 連歌 (linked poetry), haikai 俳諧
Matsuo Bashô, The Narrow Road to the Deep North 奥の細道, 1694
Miyazawa Kenji 宮沢賢治
The Bears of Nametoko” なめとこ山の熊
(posthumous, 1934), “The First Deer Dance” 鹿踊りのはじまり (1921)
7/3,6,10 Kawabata Yasunari 川端康成, Snow Country 雪国, 1934-47*