南山大学

 

Lecture Courses in Japanese Area Studies

Lecture courses listed are taught in English by scholars highly qualified in their respective fields but assignments for some courses may include work in Japanese.

Japanese Literature Ⅳ

This course deals with contemporary Japanese literature and focuses on Natsume Soseki's Kokoro and Dazai Osamu's No Longer Human in the original Japanese and their English translations. These are widely regarded as two of the most popular works of modern Japanese literature. In particular, No Longer Human is the number one bestseller of all Shincho Bunko books since WWII. The aim of this class is to enjoy and appreciate reading Japanese modern novels, interpreting the important parts of the text and gaining a good understanding of the novels. We examine the elements of expressions and the narrative technique employed as well as drawing a comparison with Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence and other novels. The course is conducted mainly in Japanese and partly in English.

Japanese Culture : Language and Society in Japan

The goal of the course is to heighten students' awareness and understanding of the relationship between the Japanese language and Japanese society (or culture) by exploring those aspects of society and culture that facilitate the learning of Japanese. The main issues covered are (1) Japanese women's language and the roles and status of women in Japan; (2) keigo and Japanese society; (3) the concept of uchi/soto; (4) empathy and the Japanese language; (5) youth language; and (6) non-verbal communication.

Japanese Religions Ⅰ

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the religious life of the Japanese people today. In a highly developed and cultured country, Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, folk religions, and new religions co-exist in harmony. The course presents the history and development of religious thought in Japan and provides students with the opportunity to experience the practical side of religion in context in Japan through field trips to a Shinto shrine, Buddhist temple, and a Zen monastery.

Fieldwork Research Methods for Japan Ⅰ

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore contemporary Japanese culture by doing a practical mini-fieldwork project. Projects could be on youth culture and identity, the music scene, fashion and health consumerism, food habits and time, family and friendships, Japanese religion, traditional festivals, education volunteering, or other similar topics. Doing such research can help students to really 'see', 'ask', and 'listen to' Japan, combining what they read in textbooks with the experience of looking at the real living worlds of Japanese people. Each week in class, students discuss one aspect of contemporary Japanese culture, then practice ways of exploring it in their fieldwork. This class will equip students with a deeper understanding of contemporary Japanese culture, and particularly helps students preparing for a graduation thesis on project.

Japanese Society Ⅱ

This is a discussion class in which one aspect of contemporary Japanese culture is explored each week. We investigate the experience of living in Japan in the twenty-first century. Topics include youth culture and identity, leisure and relaxation, friendship and families, traditional rural and urban festivals, gender and identity, and cultural change in an aging nation. Each week, students complete a reading, which is then discussed in class. These discussions are held in small groups in English or Japanese and are augmented by video and other visual media as well as newspaper and magazine articles. They are followed by a class discussion and debate.