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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST1269 Japanese Culture and Society

20 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Jieun Kim
Email: J.E.Kim@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

EAST1266 Japan: A Cultural History from Buddhism to Murakami HarukiEAST1268 Premodern Japan through Modern Media

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module introduces the students to key terms and developments in Japanese cultural history (from ancient times to the present) and in contemporary Japanese society. Focusing on literature and the visual arts, the cultural history part emphasises larger aesthetic paradigms, but also keeps in sight the specific socio-political and religious contexts of particular historical periods. The aim is to critique the common stereotypical conceptions of a monolithic and unchanging ‘Japanese culture’ by exploring the rich dynamics of historical and cultural change. Through the seminars the module will also introduce students to the basics of close textual analysis of literary and filmic works. The second part of the module focuses on the social dynamics of contemporary Japan. Reading ethnographic accounts, the students will learn about some major social challenges experienced by Japanese today. Through seminars, students will have opportunities to apply anthropological concepts to develop a contextualised understanding of the changing social relations and practices and to link daily experiences to larger structural and historical forces.

Objectives

The module aims to introduce the students to key terms and developments in Japanese cultural history (from ancient times to the present) and in contemporary Japanese society. Its main goal is to critique the common stereotypical conceptions of a monolithic and unchanging “Japan” and “Japaneseness” by exploring the rich dynamics of historical, cultural and social change.

Learning outcomes
1. a solid grasp of key names, terms, texts, works of art and developments in Japanese cultural history.
2. a solid grasp of the major social challenges in contemporary Japan
3. ability to situate individual works and cultural practices in the historical constellations in which they emerged.
4. an ability to link daily experience to larger structural and historical forces.
5. basic skills for cultural and social analysis

Skills outcomes
Students will be expected to have:
- developed a foundation for critical analysis of the key debates in the field of Japan’s cultural history and society;
- enhanced their skills of expression and communication in both written and oral form;
- developed their abilities to plan, organize, gather, comprehend and analyze materials relevant to the study of Japanese cultural history and Japanese society.


Syllabus

The syllabus will include the following broad topics (precise content may be subject to change):
- The emergence of Japanese civilization: early aristocratic culture and the aesthetics of evanescence
- Ways of the Warriors: Medieval Japan
- The Edo period and the culture of play
- Ambivalent Moderns (1868–1945)
- Postwar Culture: Politics–Gender–Margins
- The rise and fall of Japan Inc.
- Intimacy and reproduction
- Social movements and resistance
- Global migration and ethnicity
- Ageing, disability and technology

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture201.0020.00
Seminar81.008.00
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

1. Background reading in preparation for lectures (4 hours per taught week, 80 hours)
2. Reading and preparation of appropriate presentation material for seminars (5 hours per seminar, 48 hours)
3. Revision for exams (44 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

• Apart from seminar discussions, the seminars will also include unassessed group presentations which will give tutors opportunity to observe the work and thinking of students and offer feedback on the content and delivery of presentations.
• Group presentations will also offer opportunities for peer learning and feedback.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation1,500 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S2)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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