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									JAPAN 350

Among other things, they [the classics] remind us of how much we've lost—lost ways of
seeing, speaking, doing, being. Through the undoubted constants of
human experience, they show us the depth of change and time.
                                                                      Royall Tyler
It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
                                                                       Lewis Carroll
We gain by being different from what we seek to understand.
                                                                       Tzvetan Todorov

Time/Place: MWF 1:00-1:50 PM, 2011 JKB
Instructor: Jack Stoneman, jackstoneman@byu.edu, 3079 JFSB, 422-6403
Office Hours: MW 3:00-3:50 PM, or by appointment
Course Materials:      Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600, Ed.
                               Haruo Shirane
                       The Tale of Genji, Trans. Royall Tyler
                       Handouts, books on course reserve (HBLL), articles on Blackboard
▪ The overall objective of this course is to introduce students to the rich literary tradition of Japan
through a careful study of some of the major works of poetry, prose, and drama of the pre-
modern era (710-1600). All readings will be in English, but those with the ability to read the
original are encouraged to consult Japanese texts. Class discussions will focus on the historical
background, authors, literary interpretation, methodology, and theory behind the production of
the works we will read. We will also address religion and poetics.
▪ The objective of the student should be to obtain a broad understanding of the historical flow of
Japanese literature from the 8th to 16th centuries, paying close attention to literary genres and the
reflection of historical concerns, religious aspirations, and complex interpersonal relationships in
literature. The most important objective of this course is to understand how the human
experience is expressed in Japanese literature of the pre-modern era and how that articulation of
the human experience, which is unique by virtue of its cultural and historical distance, is
nevertheless related to our own experiences today.

▪ This course aims to contribute to several of the desired learning outcomes of the Japanese
program (for a complete list of learning outcomes, see http://asiane.byu.edu/japan.php),
including the following:
        ∙ enact the principles expressed in the Aims of a BYU education through the acquisition
        of language and cultural fluency, thereby enabling the presentation and interpretation of
        Japanese language and culture to others in a manner that will promote mutual
        understanding and respect for peoples of the world.
       ∙ analyze and discuss salient aspects of Japanese cultural traditions and their effect on
       language, behavioral patterns, and interpersonal relationships.
       ∙ analyze and discuss Japanese literature, including genres, works, and authors in their
       social, historical, and religious contexts.
       ∙ apply critical thinking skills and write well in English and in Japanese (in various
       genres) at least at the Intermediate High level on the ACTFL scale.
       ∙ demonstrate self-managed learning skills that will facilitate life-long learning.

1. Class attendance, punctuality, preparation, and participation. Class attendance and
participation are crucial to the learning experience—otherwise we would all just read alone at
home. Discussion of literary texts brings more insight than solitary reading. Attendance and
participation is also an outward sign of each student’s commitment to their own education as
well as a crucial part of our growth as responsible human beings. Students are expected to attend
every class having read and “prepared” the assigned texts. Preparing a text means more than
reading. It involves taking notes, preparing probing and frequently brilliant questions, pondering
the meaning of what you have read, and searching for connections between the reading and your
own life experience. Students are expected to participate in discussions, sharing what they have
learned about each text and introducing queries about the texts. No question is ever considered
dumb. You will have the opportunity at mid-term and at the end of the semester to evaluate your
own attendance, punctuality, preparation, and participation. Attendance, punctuality, preparation,
and participation will constitute 25% of the course grade.

2. Creative Project: Renga Sudoku. Students will be provided with a group of verses from a
renga (linked verse) sequence. Only a few of the verses will be in their correct order. The
remaining verses must be ordered by the student according to renga composition principles.
After ordering the verses, students will annotate the individual verses, justifying their placement
and explaining their meanings. A first draft is due to the digital drop box by 5:00 PM
Monday, November 16. I will indicate how many verses (if any) are out of order and you can
re-order them before final submission, which will be Wednesday, December 9 at the beginning
of class. More detailed instructions, including the grading rubric, will be available on Blackboard.
The Renga Sudoku project will constitute 10% of the course grade.

3. Genji Reading Project. We will read (nearly) all of the greatest masterpiece of Japanese
literature, The Tale of Genji, this semester. It is long, but worth it. You will record your progress
as well as impressions, questions, and ideas in a weekly Genji journal. The template for the
journal as well as the suggested reading schedule is on Blackboard. The journal for each week
must be submitted to the digital drop box by 5 PM each Monday. These journals, like the

zuihitsu, are writing to learn assignments and will be graded for effort and completion. At the
end of the semester, we will hold a mini Genji Seminar in which student groups will lead
discussions on chosen topics from their Genji readings and secondary readings available on
Blackboard. The Genji reading project will constitute 25% (journal 15%, seminar 10%) of the
course grade.

4. Midterm: The midterm exam will be in class on Friday, October 16. The exam will be a
short answer/essay question exam. More details will follow. The midterm exam will constitute
20% of the course grade.

5. Final: The final will take place Tuesday, December 15, 3:00-6:00 PM in 2011 JKB. The
final exam will constitute 20% of the course grade. Do not be late, and do not schedule anything
else at this time. University policy requires that you take the final at the assigned time. I cannot
change this, so plan accordingly. Following is the university’s policy statement on final exams:
Final examinations will be given at the times shown in the schedule. Examinations are not given
early. The examination period is preceded by preparation days, which give time for
conscientious review, study, and synthesis of the semester's work. The preparation and the
examination periods are firmly scheduled parts of the semester; you must not make plans that
interfere with these important academic activities. If illness or other uncontrollable
circumstances prevent you from taking an examination at the scheduled time, you are responsible
to inform the class instructor as soon as possible. Your instructor may give the grade Incomplete,
depending on the circumstances. The incomplete cannot be given unless you and your instructor
together prepare a contractual agreement. See: http://saas.byu.edu/classSchedule/finals/fall.php.

       ① Class attendance/participation              25%
       ② Renga Sudoku                                10%
       ③ Genji reading project                       25%
       ④ Midterm                                     20%
       ⑤ Final                                       20%

▪ I expect everybody to abide by the honor code. See: http://saas.byu.edu/catalog/2007-

▪ I expect students to attend every class (except in case of legitimate emergency or H1N1
influenza—note: oinking uncontrollably is not a symptom of H1N1) and to arrive on time. Few
things in this world anger me more than tardiness and absenteeism.

▪ I expect every student to give respect to their fellow students and the instructor by abstaining
from cell phone use (including texting and tweeting), iPod use, and any disruptive behavior. I
consider taking calls and texting during class utter rudeness. We will treat each other with
respect by listening to questions and ideas, never interrupting another person when they are
speaking, and never disparaging anything another person has to say. For laptop/notebook users,
I expect that you do not surf the internet, work on homework, or otherwise doodle on your

computer during class, other than taking notes. I think this is rude and disrespectful to me and
your fellow students.

▪ I do not accept late work. Do not ask me to do it except in cases of legitimate emergency
(printers running out of ink, sleeping in, and weddings are not legitimate emergencies—they’re
just facts of life).

▪ In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in
all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you
present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this
principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the

▪ Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence
demonstrates respect for yourself and others and ensures an effective learning and working
environment. It is the university’s expectation that each student will abide by all Honor Code
standards. Please call the Honor Code Office at 422-2847 if you have questions about those

▪ If you have a disability that may affect your performance in this course, you should contact the
University Accessibility Center (2170 WSC, 422-2767). This office can evaluate your disability
and assist us in arranging for reasonable accommodations.

▪ Sexual discrimination or harassment (including student-to-student harassment) is prohibited
both by the law and by Brigham Young University policy. If you feel you are being subjected to
sexual discrimination or harassment, please express your concerns to the professor, the Equal
Employment Office (D-240C ASB, 422-5895) or the Honor Code Office (4440 WSC, 422-2847).

How to study for this course
▪ Plan extra time for your reading. Take notes while you read. You may have noticed that we
have a lot to read this semester. Make an effort to achieve quality as well as quantity. Reading
notes and zuihitsu will help you do this.
▪ Don’t get bogged down in details or unfamiliar cultural contexts. If a passage is baffling, make
a note to that effect, write about it in your zuihitsu, and ask about it in class. You do not have to
master the text at once.
▪ Read the entire section before class.
▪ Set aside a time when you will not feel particularly rushed and read for at least an hour.
▪ Take notes on the general flow of the story (or lack thereof) and jot down you reactions and
impressions to each work, or note particularly striking passages.
▪ Pay attention to things that may surprise you, or strike you as odd or exotic.
▪ If you are puzzled by certain works, or fascinated and want to find out more, find secondary
sources to help you.
▪ Start reading Genji NOW.

▪ Books on Reserve (HBLL)
Bowring, Richard. Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji—A Student Guide (also available as an
       e-book through the library catalog)
Morris, Ivan. The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan
Shirane, Haruo. The Bridge of Dreams: A Poetics of ‘The Tale of Genji’
Shirane, Haruo. Envisioning the Tale of Genji: Media, Gender, and Cultural Production
Traditional Japanese Literature, An Anthology: Beginnings to 1600, Ed. Haruo Shirane

▪ Genji Secondary materials on Blackboard
 “Love, Marriage, and the Romance: Young Lavender.” Haruo Shirane
“Polygamous Triangles.” Haruo Shirane
“Analogous Relationships: Fallen Princesses.” Haruo Shirane
“The Operation of the Lyrical Mode in the Genji Monogatari.” Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen
“The Uji Chapters and the Denial of the Romance.” Haruo Shirane
“Deception and Self-Deception.” Ivan Morris and Andrew Pekarik
“Rivals in Love.” Andrew Pekarik
“I Am I: Genji and Murasaki.” Royall Tyler
“The Hidden Tale of Genji.” Royall Tyler
“The Possession of Ukifune.” Royall and Susan Tyler
“The Aesthetics of Power: Politics in the Tale of Genji.” Haruo Shirane
Tyler, Royall. The Disaster of the Third Princess: Essays on The Tale of Genji

▪ Other materials on Blackboard
“Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Nicholas Carr
Genji Reading Project Materials
Renga sudoku instructions and materials
Waka techniques handout
“The Welding Link of Culture.” Van C. Gessel
“Why Read the Classics?” thread from PMJS
“The Basics of Buddhism.” Robert A.F. Thurman
Bibliography for Research in Japanese Literature. Haruo Shirane
Japanese literature and Tale of Genji resources links
Genji media resources list

                                        JAPAN 350
                                    Fall 2010 Schedule
                                     (subject to revision)

 Date           Topics                       Reading                        Assignments
                                                                       Read syllabus closely; read
Aug                                                                      “Is Google Making Us
M                                                                        Stupid?” (Blackboard).
                                                                          Begin reading Genji.
Sep                                                                      Read “The Basics of
      1       Course Intro                 NO CLASS
W                                                                       Buddhism” (Blackboard)

                                  Shirane, Introduction, 1-14; Intro
F     3                            to Chapter 1, 15-21; “Literary
                                   Forms” handout (Blackboard)

M     6                                          NO CLASS
           Intro to Japanese           “Waka Techniques”
W     8         Poetics;                  (Blackboard)                   Genji journal 1 due
              Early Poetry         Shirane, Man’yōshū, 60-109

F     10                                 Man’yōshū cont.
           Intro to Heian Lit.;     Shirane, Intro to Chapter 2,
M     13     Heian Poetics;         110-117; Komachi, 127-31;            Genji journal 2 due
               Utamakura                Kokinshū, 146-168

W     15                                    poetry cont.

                                  Shirane, Tales of Ise, 184-203;
F     17                            Makura no sōshi, 247-285
           Courtly Ideals and
                                  Shirane, Kagerō nikki, 222-247;
M     20       Realities                                                 Genji journal 3 due
                                       Tosa Nikki, 203-213

W     22                                     nikki cont.

F     24                             Shirane, Genji, 293-385

M     27                             Shirane, Genji, 385-448             Genji journal 4 due
W     29                                    Genji cont.

      1                                     Genji cont.

M     4     Poetry Contests        Shirane, Uta-awase, 592-604           Genji journal 5 due

                                 Shirane, Intro to Chapter 3,
W     6    Medieval Poetics      566-573; Saigyō, 573-583;
                                      Shunzei; 583-592

F     8                                  Saigyō cont.

              Teika and         Shirane, Teika, 605-607; SKKS
M     11     Shinkokinshū                  607-623
                                                                    Genji journal 6 due

                                                                       Midterm exam
W     13   Recluse Literature     Shirane, Chōmei, 623-639
                                                                    distributed in class

F     15                                      NO CLASS

                                                                  Midterm exam due at the
M     18
                                                                     beginning of class
           Buddhism and the     Shirane, Nihon ryōiki, 117-126;
W     20   World of Setsuwa      Sanbōe, 214-217; Ōjōyōshū,         Genji journal 7 due
                                 217-222, Konjaku, 529-560

                                 Shirane, Uji 670-686; Kankyo
F     22                         no tomo, 692-695; Senjūshō,
                                695-700; Shasekishū, 700-704

M     25                           Shirane, Heike, 704-777          Genji journal 8 due

W     27     Warrior Tales
                                         Heike, cont.

F     29                                                  NO CLASS
M     1                                  Heike, cont.               Genji journal 9 due

                                 Shirane, Towazugatari, 788-
W     3
           Genji and Saigyō                 819
F     5                              Towazugatari cont.

                                Shirane, Tsurezuregusa, 820-
M     8    Medieval Blogging
                                                                    Genji journal 10 due

                                Shirane, Nijō Yoshimoto, 874-
W     10                                     885

F     12        Renga             Shirane, Sōgi, 1076-1097

                                                                  Renga Sudoku 1st draft
M     15                                 renga cont.

                                 Shirane, Intro to Chapter 5,
W     17                        901-905; Intro to Nō, 917-925;
           Intro to Muromachi        Zeami, 1036-1041
               Culture & Nō
                                  Aoi, Komachi, Matsukaze,
F     19                             Takasago, 925-980

M     22

T     23                                     NO CLASS

F     26

                                  Atsumori, Sumidagawa,
M     29          Nō                                              Genji journal 11 due
                                 Nonomiya, Ataka, 980-1036

W     1                                                          Complete Genji by this date

F     3
             Genji Seminar
M     6                                                           Genji journal 12 due

                                                                  Renga Sudoku due at
W     8
                                                                 the beginning of class

Th    16                     Final Exam, 7:00-10:00 AM, 2011 JKB

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