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Modern Languages and Literatures

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Japanese

Department Representative

Linda Ehrlich, Associate Professor of Japanese, World Literature, and Cinema
Guilford 305
216-368-2232; lce2@case.edu

Takao Hagiwara, Associate Professor of Japanese and World Literature
Guilford 203
216-368-6188; txh13@case.edu

The Faculty

Linda Ehrlich, Ph. D. (University of Hawaii/East-West Center)
Associate Professor of Japanese, World Literature, and Cinema
Guilford 305
216-368-2232; lce2@case.edu

Takao Hagiwara, Ph. D. (University of British Columbia)
Associate Professor of Japanese and World Literature
Guilford 203
216-368-6188; txh13@case.edu

Margaret M. Fitzgerald, M. A. (Ohio State University)
Lecturer of Japanese
Guilford 202
216-368-5081; margaret.fitzgerald@case.edu

Yoshiko Kishi, M. A. (New York University)
Lecturer in Japanese
Guilford B01
216-368-0597; yxk42@case.edu

Japanese Studies Major

 

The major (for the BA) in Japanese Studies requires a minimum of 35 credit hours in the following areas:

For students who begin the major at the 200 level: JAPN 201 &202, JAPN 301 & 302, JAPN 350 & 351, Senior Thesis I and II, and 4 Asian Studies, WLIT or other related courses as defined below.

For students who begin the major at the 300 level: JAPN 301 & 302, JAPN 350 & 351, 1 directed reading, Senior Thesis I and II, and 4 Asian Studies, WLIT or other related courses as defined below.

“Other related courses” could include courses in Japanese Literature, Film, Theatre, Art History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Religion, Sociology, Political Science, and History. Courses in other disciplines than Japanese form an important component of the Program. They provide an international, as well as interdisciplinary, perspective on Japanese culture. A faculty advisor supervises the individual program of study.

Senior Thesis I and II (required course, 6 credits)

 

This course involves the writing of a substantial research paper in Japanese or English. Students will be expected to identify their faculty directors and topics by the end of their junior year. Exceptional papers may be considered for honors.

Study Abroad

 

A year of study abroad in Japan is highly recommended, as is additional study in another language. All efforts will be made to grant appropriate credit for courses taken at a Japanese university during a year abroad.

Please Note:

 

Normally, no more than two courses taken for Japanese Studies credit may simultaneously count toward a minor or toward another major. The courses from other disciplines may contribute to the completion of the Western Reserve Core.

Minor

 

For students beginning Japanese at the introductory level: 101, 102, 201, 202, and one 300-level course.

For students beginning Japanese at the 200-level: five courses at the 200- and 300-level approved by the chair of the department.

Honors

 

To qualify for the BA with honors in Japanese, the student must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses taken for the Japanese major and write an exceptional senior thesis paper.

Japanese Course Descriptions

JAPN 101. Elementary Japanese I. 4 Units.
Introduction to understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Japanese. Students learn to read and write hiragana and katakana syllabaries and 50 kanji characters. Students are expected to achieve control of the sound system and basic structure of the language. Emphasizes aural comprehension and speaking. 

JAPN 102. Elementary Japanese II. 4 Units.
Continuation of JAPN 101. Emphasizes aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Students learn approximately 100 new kanji characters. Recommended preparation: JAPN 101.

JAPN 201. Intermediate Japanese I. 4 Units.
Further study of fundamental structures of Japanese. Students improve aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing abilities and learn approximately 100 new characters. Recommended preparation: JAPN 102 or equivalent.

JAPN 202. Intermediate Japanese II. 4 Units.
Continuation of JAPN 201. Students learn an additional 100 kanji characters. With the completion of JAPN 201 – 202, students should have control of the fundamentals of modern Japanese and a firm foundation in the writing system. Recommended preparation: JAPN 201 or equivalent.

JAPN 225. Japanese Popular Culture. 3 Units.
This course highlights salient aspects of modern Japanese popular culture as expressed in animation, comics and literature. The works examined include films by Hayao Miyazaki, writings by Kenji Miyazawa, Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto, among others. The course introduces students to essential aspects of modern Japanese popular culture and sensibility. Offered as JAPN 225 and WLIT 225.

JAPN 245. Classical Japanese Literature in Translation. 3 Units.
Readings, in English translation, of classical Japanese poetry, essays, narratives, and drama to illustrate essential aspects of Japanese culture and sensibility before the Meiji Restoration (1868). Lectures explore the sociohistorical contexts and the character of major literary genres; discussions focus on interpreting the central images of human value within each period. Japanese sensibilities compared to and contrasted with those of Western and other cultures. Offered as JAPN 245 and WLIT 245.

JAPN 255. Modern Japanese Literature in Translation. 3 Units.
Focus on the major genres of modern Japanese literature, including poetry, short story, and novel (shosetsu). No knowledge of Japanese language or history is assumed. Lectures, readings, and discussions are in English. Films and slides complement course readings. Offered as JAPN 255 and WLIT 255.

JAPN 301. Advanced Japanese I. 4 Units.
Emphasizes conversational proficiency and reading. Students must use the course material offered by the Online Language Learning Center in addition to class meetings. Recommended preparation: JAPN 202 or equivalent.

JAPN 302. Advanced Japanese II. 4 Units.
Continuation of JAPN 301; emphasizes conversational proficiency and reading. Japanese life and culture introduced through supplemental materials and activities. Students must use the course material offered by the Online Language Learning Center in addition to class meetings. Recommended preparation: JAPN 301 or equivalent.

JAPN 345. Japanese Women Writers. 3 Units.
Contributions of women writers to the literature of pre-modern and modern Japan; investigations of how their works exemplify and diverge from “mainstream” literary practices. Emphasis on the social and cultural contexts of the texts. Offered as JAPN 345 and WLIT 345.

JAPN 350. Contemporary Japanese Texts I. 3 Units.
The primary aim of this course is to develop communication skills in Japanese based on those that the students have acquired in JAPN 302 or equivalent. The students will read and discuss various texts such as daily conversations, essays, and news scripts with the assistance of vocabulary and kanji (Chinese character) lists and formal grammar explanations. Attention also will be given to enhancing the students’ writing and aural/oral proficiencies through regularly assigned homework, presentations, tape listening, video viewing, and classroom discussion. Recommended preparation: JAPN 302 or equivalent.

JAPN 351. Contemporary Japanese Texts II. 3 Units.
This course is a continuation of JAPN 350 and its primary aim overlaps with that of JAPN 350: to develop more sophisticated communication skills in Japanese. Students will read and discuss various texts such as daily conversations, essays, and news scripts largely with the assistance of vocabulary and kanji (Chinese character) lists. Attention will be given to enhancing the students’ writing and aural/oral proficiencies through regularly assigned homework, presentations, tape listening, video viewing, and classrooms discussion. Prereq: JAPN 350 or consent of instructor.

JAPN 355. Modern Japanese Novels and the West. 3 Units.
This course will compare modern Japanese and Western novellas, drama, and novels. Comparisons will focus on the themes of family, gender and alienation, which subsume a number of interrelated sub-themes such as marriage, home, human sexuality, amae (dependence), innocence, experience, death, God/gods, and nature (the ecosystem). Offered as JAPN 355, WLIT 355.

JAPN 396. Senior Capstone – Japanese. 3 Units.
The Senior Capstone in Japanese is an independent study project chosen in consultation with a capstone advisor. The capstone project should reflect both the student’s interest within Japanese and the courses he or she has taken to fulfill the major. The project requires independent research using an approved bibliography and plan of action. In addition to written research, the student will also present the capstone project in a public forum that is agreed upon by the project advisor and the student. Prereq: Senior status required. Major in Japanese required.

JAPN 397. Senior Thesis I. 3 Units.
Intensive study of a literary, linguistic, or cultural topic with a faculty member, leading to the writing of a research paper in English or Japanese. Limited to senior majors. Permit required.

JAPN 398. Senior Thesis II. 3 Units.
Continuation of JAPN 397. Limited to senior majors. Prereq: JAPN 397.

JAPN 399. Independent Study. 1 – 3 Unit.
Directed study for students who have progressed beyond available course offerings.

JAPN 450. Japanese in Cultural Context I. 3 Units.
The primary aim of this graduate course is to develop sophisticated communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in Japanese. The students will read and discuss various texts in the original, such as essays, news scripts, and literary works. Classroom instruction and discussion will be conducted in Japanese. The students also will be required to write a research paper of 4000-6000 letters/characters (10-15 genkoyoshi pages) in Japanese on a topic related to Japan and the student’s specialty. Recommended preparation: JAPN 351 or equivalent.

JAPN 451. Japanese in Cultural Context II. 3 Units.
This course is a continuation of JAPN 450 and it aims at a further development of sophisticated communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in Japanese. The students will read and discuss various texts in the original, such as essays, news scripts, and literary works both classical and modern. Classroom instruction and discussion will be conducted in Japanese. The students also will be required to write a research paper of 6000-8000 letters/characters (15-20 genkoyoshi pages) in Japanese on a topic related to Japan and the student’s specialty. Recommended preparation: JAPN 450 or equivalent.

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