[The PRINT OUT VERSION runs ten pages and includes the SYLLABUS, information about ASSUMPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS, a list of COURSE OBJECTIVES, REQUIREMENTS and EVALUATION CRITERIA in addition to a full COURSE SCHEDULE (including ASSIGNMENT DUE DATES and REQUIRED READINGS). PLEASE NOTE: This version of the course syllabus and class schedule has not been updated since being uploaded to the course web site on August 29, 2005. Please check the web site version for more up-to-date information.]
HIS 373 / 573, CONTEMPORARY JAPAN IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
FALL SEMESTER 2005
DR. LEE A. MAKELA
OFFICE: RT 1908 (216.687.3927)
OFFICE HOURS: MWF 12:15 - 1:15 PM
AND BY APPOINTMENT
INTRODUCTION: HIS 373 / 573, CONTEMPORARY JAPAN IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE introduces contemporary Japanese culture and civilization to students encountering the formal study of Japan for the first time. An analytical examination of life in Japan today will be conducted against an historical backdrop and (implicitly) in comparison with contemporary American culture and society; both visual and written resources will serve as source material for our exploration. Students should expect to emerge from the course with an historical understanding of contemporary Japan, an appreciation of the complexity of modem Japanese life and culture and the tools of inquiry useful in the historical exploration of an unfamiliar cultural tradition.
The course web site is located at the following URL [note the second "a" in "makelaa"]:
ASSUMPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS: The following paragraphs are intended to clarify what is assumed and expected of students enrolled in this course. Often individual student expectations vary substantially from those of fellow students and from those of the course instructor. These guidelines are meant to provide a common ground upon which to build and to avoid misunderstandings that might otherwise arise. Please read through the guidelines carefully and then indicate at your earliest convenience (via an email to the instructor) your understanding and acceptance of these standards.
This course has been designed with the following set of assumptions and expectations in mind:
· This is not the only course in which you are enrolled. In fact it is assumed each student is typically taking a twelve semester hour course load, is employed twenty hours per week, and has significant social and family obligations beyond the university and academic community.
· Regular and consistent course attendance and participation is a basic core requirement. Students whose usual personal schedules preclude on-time arrivals and for whom regular departures must occur prior to the scheduled conclusion of class time are encouraged to find a more appropriately scheduled course.
· As a four credit course, each classroom hour is expected to be combined with three hours of preparatory reading, writing and reflection, requiring a commitment of twelve hours weekly (as part of an assumed total of thirty-six hours of weekly academic involvement for a fulltime student taking twelve credits per semester).
If you fit the above profile and are willing to make the commitment, you should find the course challenging but manageable. If not (you may be working more hours per week, have a set of demanding family obligations beyond the ordinary, be enrolled for more than twelve hours this semester or regularly arrive in class after the start of lecture), you should carefully calculate the cost of trying to work this course into your existing schedule -- ask yourself, for example, if you are willing to accept a lower (or failing) grade for not having the time available to be in class or to devote to course expectations and requirements.
· Unlike other courses you might have taken in the past, this course of study is not oriented towards the passive acquisition and mastery of a set body of information as outlined by a specific text or lecture series. Instead the course opens a subject matter area -- the history, civilization and culture of Japan -- within the context of a "learning community". In this setting students are expected to work actively to define personal interests and to explore them independently using the ways and means established by the course structure -- assigned reading, independent research, written quizzes and essays, written and oral discussion, formal lectures, video and film presentations, role-playing exercises. Students will not be expected nor required to march as part of a single group in lock step towards a predefined set of instructor-defined goals. Instead each will be asked to define personal learning objectives, to chart an independent course towards their achievement and to demonstrate mastery of the general subject matter of the course in a variety of ways to the satisfaction of the instructor. If you are unwilling -- or unable -- to undertake this self-motivated, independently-directed, individually-monitored, active approach to learning, you might be better off in an alternative course offering utilizing a more compatible and comfortable educational setting.
· As an upper division History Department offering, this course assumes students have taken advantage of their earlier fourteen years of schooling to acquire the essential academic skills needed to assure success. Specifically these skills include an ability to read a variety of materials with comprehension and understanding, to write clear and accurate prose, to structure written and oral communication in an appropriately organized and documented fashion and to participate willingly and profitably in oral and written discussion. The course provides an opportunity to hone these skills but not to acquire them. If any of these essential skills are particularly weak, you must be prepared to devote extra time and effort to their remediation in order to accomplish fully what the course requires of you.
· Access to email and the world wide web -- as well as a basic level of computer literacy -- also is assumed. Most students already possess word processing skills (or know someone who does). Furthermore every enrolled student at CSU has an assigned email address (usually [given name initial].[family name]@popmail.csuohio.edu); the course web site also features an internal email system making possible direct contact with the instructor and fellow students enrolled in this course. On-campus labs, the university library and many other Cleveland area libraries have public access computers available with Internet connections. If you own (or have access to) a personal computer with a modem, you can gain free access to CSU computers by contacting the Office for Computer Facilities on the eleventh floor of Rhodes Tower. If, however, these facilities are inconvenient or inadequate to meet your own personal needs and/or schedule, please consider the impact these circumstances might have on your ability to meet course expectations and requirements and take steps accordingly.
· All upper division courses in the Department of History are mandated to assign a minimum of 1200 pages of reading material and to require significant work in the form of research essays, journals, examination responses and/or other forms of written communication.
· This specific course furthermore assumes an ability to undertake independent research on a subject of personal interest related to the specific content of the course. As a result you should be prepared (with the support and aid of the instructor as needed and required) to identify an appropriate subject matter, demonstrate the existence of sufficient specifically-applicable materials (books, articles, internet web sites) to justify your investigation, assemble a significantly varied supporting bibliography of consulted sources, and prepare an appropriately annotated analytical essay discussing the application of the descriptive results of your research effort to themes developed in the course itself.
As this set of assumptions and standards indicates, while this course of study does not demand or expect any prior knowledge of Japanese history, civilization or culture, it has been built on the premise that the student undertaking it is equipped adequately with the skills necessary both to acquire this knowledge base and to put it to the test of analysis and evaluation. If you meet this profile and are willing to commit yourself actively to the achievement of the stated course objectives, welcome aboard! If not, you might more profitably look elsewhere for the educational challenge you seek.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: At the end of fifteen weeks of instruction, students enrolled in HIS 373 / 573, CONTEMPORARY JAPAN IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE should be able to --
· identify and explain the significance of basic terms, concepts and personalities associated with the study of contemporary Japanese civilization and culture.
· discuss with insight the major characteristics of modern Japanese social, political, economic and religious systems, institutions and beliefs.
· discuss with insight aspects of contemporary Japanese popular culture, the traditional Japanese fine arts and literature as maintained in Japan today and the impact of the postmodern on both popular and traditional cultural constructs.
· characterize the impact of both past traditions and the modern West on contemporary Japanese life and culture
· discuss with insight contemporary affairs, issues and problems (both internal and external) involving Japan
· demonstrate control of the tools of inquiry useful in undertaking the study of any unfamiliar cultural tradition in historical perspective.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: REGULAR CLASS ATTENDANCE, PARTICIPATION IN DISCUSSION AND ON-TIME SUBMISSION OF ASSIGNMENTS ARE BASIC COURSE REQUIREMENTS as is the completion of the reading assigned in the accompanying class schedule. Assigned reading for the course includes Donald Richie's The Image factory; Stephen Addiss' How to Look at Japanese Art; Nelly Delay's The Art and Culture of Japan; and a collection of articles and excerpts on file in the Cleveland State University library (accessible through Electronic Reserve) or linked to the course web site.
In addition the class will be asked to complete a writing skills assessment survey and two research assignments: the first, an interpretive essay discussing - in two parts (descriptive and analytical) -- an aspect of contemporary Japanese life in historical perspective; the second (including a written personality profile and a series of public opinion survey questions) requiring each student to assume a contemporary Japanese personality appropriate to a role-playing exercise concluding the course of study. An on-going series of journal assignments must also be completed and shared with the instructor at intervals prescribed in the syllabus. Students will also be given the opportunity to participate in a series of Internet Discussions on various topics covered in the syllabus. There will be periodic TAKE-HOME quizzes on the assigned reading but no other examinations required in the course.
SYNOPSIS OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS (AND EVALUATION CRITERIA):
LATE SUBMISSIONS OF THE ABOVE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT PRIOR ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE INSTRUCTOR. In addition points will be awarded for completion of the following ungraded course requirements. [A total of 148 points is currently available; this total may change as the course proceeds.]
The average of completed graded assignments will be multiplied by the points earned over the course of the semester (as a percentage) to obtain the final course grade.
course meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings between 6:00 p.m. and 7:50 p.m.
in Main Classroom (MC) 437 from Monday, August 29, 2005 through Wednesday,
December 7, 2005 following the schedule listed below. All assignments are
noted under the dates on which they are due; assigned readings and quizzes
listed in the schedule under a particular date should be completed BEFORE
coming to class on that day.
WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT JAPAN
MONDAY, AUGUST 29,
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE
Distribution of Course
An Introduction to the Course and the Course Web Site
Attitude Survey and Journal Assignments
VIDEO: Densha Otoko, episode one
READING (distributed in class):
An Introduction to Densha Otoko (2005), a Japanese Television Comedy Drama
INTERNET DISCUSSIONS ONE (IMAGES AND IMPRESSIONS) AND TWO (NEWS AND RESOURCES) OPEN
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31,
IMAGES, ATTITUDES AND PORTRAITS OF JAPAN
VIDEO: Portraits of Japan (excerpts)
ATTITUDE SURVEY DUE
ASSUMPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS EMAIL DUE
READING (all reading assignments to be completed BEFORE class meets):
"Introduction" and "The Image Industry" in Donald Richie, The Image Factory: Fads and Fashions in Japan (hereafter IMAGES), pages 7 - 31
HOLIDAY (LABOR DAY) - NO SCHEDULED CLASS
COMING TO TERMS WITH JAPAN
"Fashion's Tongues" and "Kosupure" in IMAGES, pages 32 - 52, 137 - 150
ARTICLES from Contemporary Japan in Historical Perspective materials on electronic reserve in the CSU Main Library (To access these articles, from the course web site, click on the underlined word "ARTICLE" above. All articles listed as assigned for a single date are located in the same electronic reserve file.):
- "Rewriting the Book on How to Deal with Japan" (Business Week, August 7, 1989: 1 page)
- "Book Excerpt: The Enigma of Japanese Power" (Fortune, May 8, 1989: 4 pages)
- "Tokyo: The Hard Life" (7he Atlantic, March 1989: 5 pages)
- "Life in a Box: Japanese Question Fruits of Success" (The New York Times, January 2, 1994: 3 pages)
- "Guns: One Nation Bars, The Other Requires" " (The New York Times, March 10, 1997: 2 pages)
- Japan Bashing: More Than Racism" (Christian Social Action, May 1992: 4 pages)
INTERNET WEB SITE:
"How the World Sees Japan" << http://www.time.com/time/asia/news/magazine/0,9754,107333,00.html >>, Time Asia (vol 157, no 17), April 30, 2001.
JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT ONE DUE
INTERNET DISCUSSIONS THREE (TERMINOLOGY / CHRONOLOGY / GEOGRAPHY) ) OPEN
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12,
OSAKA 2001 - JAPAN IN THE NEW MILLENIUM
INTERNET WEB PAGES:
OSAKA 2001 << http://academic.csuohio.edu/makelaa/lectures/osaka/index.html >>, TOKYO STORY << http://academic.csuohio.edu/makelaa/japan/tokyorpt2003.htm >> and TOKYO DAZE << http://academic.csuohio.edu/makelaa/family/tokyo102003.htm >> recount impressions of major contemporary Japanese cities as directly experienced by the course instructor during visits in 2001 and 2003; the first of these takes the form of a web exercise to be completed and submitted to the instructor while the latter two are essentially illustrated diary entries and essays, portions of an on-going set of family journal web pages. Taken together, they serve to provide a visual impression of Japanese urban life during the opening decade of the new millenium for anyone unfamiliar with contemporary Japan. Other illustrated Travel Reports << http://academic.csuohio.edu/makelaa/lectures/travel.html >> from earlier visits since 1999 and as part of the instructor's recent sabbatical << http://academic.csuohio.edu/makelaa/family/adventures2003.htm >> spent at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone are also accessible for those interested in further exploration.
OSAKA 2001 SURVEY DUE
QUIZ ONE (PERSPECTIVES) DUE
JAPAN'S PHYSICAL AND HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY
DISCUSSION: The Uses of the Past in the Present
VISUAL LITERACY WEB EXERCISE DUE
INTERNET DISCUSSION ONE CLOSED
"'Emperor of Japan': A Scholar Pieces Together a Life of the Enigmatic Meiji," The New York Times, August 18, 2002.
ARTICLE: "In Search of the Premodern" and "Discovering Japan's Premodern Heritage" (Japan Echo, Volume XV, Number 4, 1988: 10 pages)
CODES OF CONDUCT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19,
CODES OF CONDUCT I: SHINTO, BUDDHISM AND NEO-CONFICIANISM
CODES OF CONDUCT II: SHINTO, BUDDHISM AND NEO-CONFICIANISM
James Brooke, "Ikitsuki Journal: Once Banned, Christianity Withers in an Old Stronghold" << Ikitsuki%20Journal%20Once%20Banned,%20Christianity%20Withers%20in%20an%20Old%20Stronghold.htm >>, The New York Times, December 25, 2003.
- Michael Shapiro, "Japan: The Spiritual Side" (The New York Time Magazine, November 23, 1986: 4 pages)
- "Barren Ground: Christian Missionaries Sow the Seed in Japan but Find Little Grows" (Wall Street Journal, July 9, 1986: 1 page
- excerpt from "Matters of Faith" (CWRU: The Magazine of Case Westem Reserve University, May 1991: 2 pages
- "Strict Etiquette Lives On In Japan: Pick A Seat Wisely" (The Christian Science Monitor, March 6, 1997: 1 page)
JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT TWO DUE
Chapter 4, "Calligraphy" in Stephen Addiss' How to Look at Japanese Art (hereafter ART), pages 76 - 93
- "Japanese Importing English Words with Surprising Results" (Knight-Ridder Newspapers, undated: 1 page)
- "Japanspeak: Moon Grow Over Tokyo" (Wall Street Journal, December 11, 1984: 1 page)
- "English in Japan Not Just Language" (Associated Press, February 1, 1986: 1 page)
- "Copywrite Japan" (letter from Charlotte Briggs, April 1987: 4 pages)
- "Japan's Linguistic Revenge" (Nisho Iwai Journal, Winter 1995: 5 pages
EXPLORATIONS OF JAPANESE SOCIETY
SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY
WRITING SKILLS ASSESSMENT PROJECT DUE
"The Convenience Phone" in IMAGES, pages 125 - 136
Merle Aiko Okawara (Chairperson, JC COMSA), "Montreal Forum: Changes in Social Fabric of Japan", << changes.htm >> Presentation at GLOCOM-UQAM Forum, Montreal, Canada, November 24, 2003
Yumiko Ono, "Retired Salarymen, "'Garbage' of Japan, Clean Up Thier Act" << salarymen.htm >>, The Wall Street Journal, undated.Masayuki Yoshida, "Giri: An Indigenous Japanese Concept" << giri.html >>, October 8, 1996
- "New Words Capture Image Of Japanese Farnily" (The Japan Times Weekly, January 21 - 27, 1991: 2 pages)
- "Who Needs Love? In Japan, Many Couples Don't" (The New York Times, 1997: 4 pages)
INTERNET DISCUSSION SIX (SOCIETY) OPEN
URBAN LIFE STYLES
VIDEO: Neighborhood Tokyo
DISCUSSION: : Urban Expectations and Realities
"Leisure Options" and "Pachinko" in IMAGES, pages 83 - 100, 110 - 124
Norimitsu Onishi, "Never Lost, but Found Daily: Japanese Honesty" << Never%20Lost,%20but%20Found%20Daily%20Japanese%20Honesty.htm >>, The New York Times, January 8, 2004.
RESEARCH ESSAY CONTENT
DESCRIPTION AND WORKING BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE
ROLE PLAY CHOICE DUE
HOLIDAY (COLUMBUS DAY) - NO SCHEDULED CLASS
THE JAPANESE WOMAN: DEFINITIONS AND PRACTICES
Michael Zielenziger, "Fewer Births, Marriages Threaten Japan's Future" << Shifting%20Family%20Values.htm >>, San Jose (CA) Mercury News, December 29, 2002
Andrew Gordon, "From Modern Girls to Parasites: The Enduring Discourse of Women in Japan" << ModernGirls.html >>, Tsushin (Vol. 7, No. 2), Fall 2001.
J. Sean Curtin, et. al., "Parasite Singles: International Perspective and Analysis" << ParasiteSingles.htm >> , email correspondence (August 2001).
QUIZ TWO (SOCIETY) DUE
IDEAL MEN, FANTASY WORLDS
VIDEO: Dream Girls
READING:"The Sex Bazaar" in IMAGES, pages 63 - 82
SOCIETY AND POPULAR CULTURE IN JAPAN TODAY: IMPLICATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES
QUIZ THREE (WOMEN) DUE
ASPECTS OF JAPANESE POPULAR CULTURE
24 , 2005:
A VIDEO INTRODUCTION TO POPULAR CULTURE IN JAPAN
VIDEO: THE JAPANESE VERSION
INTERNET DISCUSSION SEVEN (POPULAR CULTURE) OPEN
INTERNET DISCUSSISON SIX CLOSED
26, 2005 THROUGH FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2005:
DR. MAKELA IN JAPAN - NO SCHEDULED CLASSES
CONTEMPORARY POPULAR CULTURE RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS PROJECT
JAPAN'S CULTURAL HERITAGE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7,
LITERARY AND ARTISTIC IDEALS, VALUES AND SYMBOLS
ASSIGNED ILLUSTRATED LECTURE: Traditional Architecture in Japan
THE CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL INFLUENCE OF THE JAPANESE GARDEN
VIDEO: DREAM WINDOW
READING: "Gardens", Chapter 6 by Audrey Yoshiko Seo in ART, pages 116 - 135
THE POSTMODERN COMES TO JAPAN
DEFINING THE POSTMODERN IN JAPANESE CULTURE
VIDEOS: On Your Mark and Struggle for Hope (excerpt)
JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT THREE DUE
INTERNET DISCUSSION NINE (POSTMODERN CULTURE) OPEN
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21,
THE POSTMODERN IN LITERATURE
ARTICLE: Haruki Murakami's short story "Barn Burning" from his collection The Elephant Vanishes: 18 pages
MELDING PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE: FOUR CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE ARTISTS
INTRODUCTORY WEB PAGE: MODERN ARTISTS IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN << art.htm>>
[RESEARCH ESSAY DRAFT due to instructor for evaluation.]
EDUCATION, THE ECONOMY AND POLITICS
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28,
EDUCATION IN JAPAN
"Fake Foreigners" in IMAGES, pages 151 - 166
James Brookes, "Tokyo Fears China May Put an End to 'Made in Japan'" << NYTFear.htm >>, The New York Times, November 21, 2001.
QUIZ FOUR (EDUCATION) DUE
INTERNET DISCUSSION TEN (ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL LIFE) OPEN
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5,
POLITICAL LIFE IN TODAY'S JAPAN
CONCLUDING THE COURSE OF STUDY
ROLE PLAYING EXERCISE: CONTEMPORARY JAPAN
MOCK PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY DUE
14, 2005 (1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.):
CLASS DISCUSSION: JAPAN 2005
COURSE EVALUATION SESSION
"Afterword" in IMAGES, pages 167 - 172
"Is Japan Still the Future?" << http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.09/ >> , WIRED 9.09, September 2001.
QUIZ FIVE DUE
JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT FOUR DUE
COURSE EVALUATION FORM DUE
INTERNET DISCUSSIONS TWO AND TEN CLOSED