Courses

Courses

JPN 101. Beginning Japanese I.

An introduction to the basics of spoken and written Japanese as a foundation for advanced study and proficiency in the language. Fundamental patterns of grammar and syntax are introduced together with a practical, functional vocabulary. Mastery of the katakana and hiragana syllabaries, as well as approximately seventy written characters, introduces students to the beauty of written Japanese. Normally offered every year. J. Sturiano.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

JPN 102. Beginning Japanese II.

A continuation of JPN 101, this course is normally taken immediately following JPN 101 in order to provide a yearlong introduction to the language. Through dynamic exercises carried out inside and outside the classroom, students extend their proficiency speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Japanese. An additional seventy written characters are introduced. Prerequisite(s): JPN 101. Normally offered every year. J. Sturiano.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AS/JA 125. Japanese Literature and Society.

This course examines major trends in Japanese literature and society from its beginnings to the modern period. Students consider well-known stories, plays, and novels from the classical, medieval, early modern, and modern periods, placing each text within its unique sociohistorical context. All readings are in English. [W2] Normally offered every year. H. Weetman.
Concentrations

AS/JA 130. Japanese Film.

This course introduces students to Japanese cinema and criticism. Students consider the aesthetic style and narrative themes of films from the silent era to the present day, focusing on directors such as Ozu Yasujiro, Kurosawa Akira, and Kitano Takeshi. Is there a distinctive Japanese film style? How do cinematic techniques such as camera movement, editing, lighting, and composition provoke emotional responses and craft narrative meaning? In addition to viewing films, students read Japanese film history and criticism. No prior familiarity with Japan is required. Conducted in English. Staff.
Concentrations

AS/JA 144. The Literature of Protest in Modern Japan.

This course traces the literary products of social and political protest movements in modern Japan. Students will become familiar with a narrative of modern Japanese literature attentive to the cultural production of authors from ethnic minority groups, women writers, and others considered "outsiders" to the Japanese literary establishment. Students will analyze how literature has served as both a means of protest and a site for recording protest in modern Japan. Readings include literary prose, poetry, and expository writing from the Meiji Period (1868-1912) through the present. Readings are in English. No prior familiarity with Japan is required. One-time offering. J. Sturiano.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

JPN 201. Intermediate Japanese I.

A continuation of JPN 102, the course stresses the acquisition of new and more complex spoken patterns, vocabulary building, and increasing knowledge of cultural context through use of calligraphy, role play, video, and varied reading materials. Approximately seventy-five new written characters are introduced. A range of oral as well as written projects and exercises provides a realistic context for language use. Prerequisite(s): JPN 102. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. K. Konoeda.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

JPN 202. Intermediate Japanese II.

A continuation of JPN 201, this course is normally taken immediately following JPN 201. It stresses further acquisition of complex spoken patterns, vocabulary and cultural knowledge through exercises in culturally realistic contexts. Students extend proficiency in the written language through writing projects and the introduction of approximately seventy-five new characters. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. K. Konoeda.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AS/JA 232. Japanese Popular Culture in the Age of Globalization.

A survey of Japanese popular culture since the 1980s, from within and outside the geographic borders of Japan. Students examine this culture through food, popular music, and anime. How have sushi chefs defined "Japanese sushi" to satisfy consumers and sell it in foreign markets? How could we define the "cuteness" of Japanese anime characters in the gender matrices that may be specific to different cultures? What elements—either material or ideological—are transferred, transformed, or discarded when introducing popular Japanese culture to different consumer markets? This course aims to produce a critical language to envision how the ongoing process of economic globalization deconstructs conventional cultural boundaries. Not open to students who have received credit for AS/JA s23. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

INDC 255. Modern Japanese Women Writers.

How have modern Japanese women writers portrayed the complexities of their lives and the worlds in which they lived? How do they negotiate the gendered institutions of the society in which they live? How has their work shaped what is known as "Japanese literature" within and outside of Japan? Students consider issues such as family, friendship, power, gender roles, selfhood, the female body, and aging in reading a range of novels, short stories, and poems. Supplemental readings provide background in Japanese literary history and gender theory. Selected authors include Higuchi Ichiyō, Hayashi Fumiko, Enchi Fumiko, Ohba Minako, Kurahashi Yumiko, Tawara Machi, and Kawakami Mieko. Readings and discussion are in English. No prior experience studying Japanese culture necessary. Cross-listed in Asian studies, Japanese, and women and gender studies. Open to first-year students. [W2] J. Sturiano.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AS/JA 261. Cultural History of Japan: From Jōmon Pottery to Manga.

This course starts with two questions: What is cultural history? Has there been just one culture in the history of the Japanese isles? The course considers cultural features of the prehistoric Japanese isles and then explores the development of aristocratic, warrior, and mercantile cultures in premodern and early modern Japan, focusing on literature, the arts, and religion. The course then considers culture in modern Japan. How have the premodern arts informed the cultral devleopment of modern Japan? How does popular culture reflect earlier cultural concerns while reformulating them in novel ways? The aim of the course is to promote critical engagement with Japanese cultures. Readings are in English, and no previous familiarity with Japanese culture is required. New course beginning Fall 2017. Enrollment limited to 35. Normally offered every year. Staff.

JPN 301. Intermediate Japanese III.

A continuation of JPN 202, this course and its sequel, JPN 302, complete the introduction of essential Japanese syntactic forms and sentence patterns. Students continue development of oral skills through culturally realistic exercises involving a range of topics. Emphasis is placed on increased competence in the written language. Approximately one hundred new characters are introduced. Prerequisite(s): JPN 202. Normally offered every year. H. Weetman.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

JPN 302. Intermediate Japanese IV.

A continuation of JPN 301, this course is normally taken immediately following JPN 301, and completes the introduction of essential Japanese syntactic forms and sentence patterns. Students continue development of oral skills through culturally realistic exercises involving a range of topics. Emphasis is placed on increased competence in the written language. Approximately one hundred new characters are introduced. Prerequisite(s): JPN 301. Normally offered every year. H. Weetman.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AS/JA 315. Film, Literature, and the Cultures of Postwar Japan.

From monster movies to abstract poetry, this course explores the diverse cultural currents running through Japan's era of high-speed growth during its dramatic economic recovery following the widespread destruction of World War II. Students examine some of the major literary, cinematic, and artistic movements of the period, their interrelationships, and their global reach and reception. Analysis of individual works considers broad thematic trends and choices made by postwar artists, including engagement with — or break from — the cultural and historical past; varying degrees of social engagement; and use of realism, experimentalism, or abstraction. Conducted in English Enrollment limited to 25. One-time offering. H. Weetman.

JPN 360. Independent Study.

Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.

JPN 401. Advanced Japanese I.

Through the discussion and study of contemporary literary texts and other journalistic modes, the course seeks to utilize, develop, and integrate skills acquired in the earlier stages of language learning. Particular emphasis is placed on reading and writing, and translation. Through class presentations and discussion students further develop oral skills and expand their understanding of Japanese culture. JPN 401 may be taken before or after JPN 402. Prerequisite(s): JPN 302. Normally offered every year. K. Konoeda.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

JPN 402. Advanced Japanese II.

This course covers materials in Japanese such as newspaper articles, other media material, and short stories. Through presentations and discussions students utilize, develop, and integrate spoken skills acquired in the earlier stages of language learning. Written skills are also emphasized; normally students complete a final research project on a topic of their choice. Students taking this course in conjunction with the thesis should also register for JPN 458. JPN 402 may be taken before or after JPN 401. Prerequisite(s): JPN 302. Normally offered every year. K. Konoeda.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

JPN 457. Senior Thesis.

An extended research project on a topic in Japanese literature, culture, or language utilizing some source materials in Japanese. Qualified students may, with approval of the Committee on Asian Studies, choose to write the thesis in Japanese. Students register for 457 in the fall semester or for 458 in the winter semester unless the committee gives approval for a two-semester project. Majors invited to pursue honors register for 457 and 458, contingent on the approval of the committee. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.

JPN 458. Senior Thesis.

An extended research project on a topic in Japanese literature, culture, or language utilizing some source materials in Japanese. Qualified students may, with approval of the Committee on Asian Studies, choose to write the thesis in Japanese. Students register for 457 in the fall semester or for 458 in the winter semester unless the committee gives approval for a two-semester project. Majors invited to pursue honors register for 457 and 458, contingent on the approval of the committee. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Short Term Courses

AS/JA s21. Japan: A Culture of Four Seasons.

“Does your country have four seasons?" Many who travel to Japan are caught off-guard by this seemingly simple and oft-asked question. The impetus behind the inquiry, however, is not nearly as superficial or mundane as it might seem. In this course students explore Japanese expressions of kisetsukan—a "sensitivity to the seasons”—to understand how an ideological sensitivity to nature and temporality have shaped dominant cultural practices from poetry, literature, and visual media to food, fashion, and festivals. Readings, screenings, tastings, and hands-on creative projects are designed to cultivate an embodied experience for all participants. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff.

JPN s22. Tokyo Central: The Modern Metropolis in Literature, Film, and Culture.

In this course students explore Tokyo, Japan’s modern metropolis, through its representations in Japanese literature, film, and culture, as well as its cultural connections to Maine. Through readings, film screenings, video essays, and group collaborative projects, students engage with representations of Tokyo and its inhabitants, paying special attention to depictions of individuals, families, communities, and labor in a range of narratives. The course includes intercultural communication with contemporary Tokyo residents, and a trip to Portland, sister city of Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward. Discussions treat Tokyo’s relationship to the nation of Japan, other Japanese regions, East Asia, and the globalized world. Conducted in English. New course beginning Short Term 2017. Open to first-year students. One-time offering. J. Sturiano.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AS/JA s24. Transfiguring Desire in Japanese Culture: The Legend of Ono no Komachi from Noh Drama to Anime.

How did a ninth-century Japanese female poet end up with her name on a bag of rice? Only a handful of Ono no Komachi’s poems survive, yet her name is a cultural byword in Japan that conjures up an ideal of classical beauty as well as images both of a sensuous lover and an abandoned old hag. This course traces the evolving figure of Komachi in Japanese culture, considering matters of gender, taste, patronage, and politics. Coursework encourages creative engagement with theater, literature, art, and pop culture. Conducted in English; readings are in English and no prior familiarity with Japanese culture is required. New course beginning Short Term 2017. Enrollment limited to 30. One-time offering. H. Weetman.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

JPN s50. Independent Study.

Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)