31609 - Japanese Culture and Literature 2

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should deepen their competence in Japanese literary history, through analysis of general issues (periodization, literary movements and schools). They should also be acquainted with the latest methods and analytical tools they need to understand the works of the main authors, contextualising them within their cultural and historical period.


Course contents

Reading Modern and Contemporary Japan through Narrative and Cultural Expressions

The course focuses on modern and contemporary Japanese literature with emphasis on the interplay between literature, culture and society. Reading Japanese narratives from modern and contemporary Japan, we will analyze how do literature and society influence each other: historical events and occurrences, such as the Meiji restoration, the defeat of the World War II, student movements, the gas-attack in the Tokyo subway, the earthquakes, and changes in sex-role expectations, economy and demography have in different ways stimulated creative writing. In recent years, the emergence and increasing popularity of manga, animation films, videogames and “light novels” have also influenced the way stories are told. In other words, the study of modern and contemporary Japanese literature can offer an important insight into various aspects of Japanese history, culture and society.

Students who choose  not to attend the course will find all informations under the heading "Recommended reading".   

Readings/Bibliography

Bibliography for attending students: 
Students are expected to show a basic knowledge of the history of Japanese literature from 1868 to present days. Our reference text is:  

L. Bienati, P. Scrolavezza,  La narrativa giapponese moderna e contemporanea , Collana "Elementi", Marsilio, Venezia 2009   

Critical sources (compulsory)

M.R. Novielli, P. Scrolavezza, Lo schermo scritto. Letteratura e cinema in Giappone, Cafoscarina Editrice, Venezia 2012

Suggested readings:

Rachael Hutchinson e Leith Douglas Morton, Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature, Routledge, 2016 (a selection will be available online by the beginning of the classes).

P. Scrolavezza, Interni giapponesi: nuove narrative per scenari famigliari in trasformazione, in La famiglia nelle culture e nelle società dell'Asia, a cura di Maria Angelillo, Bulzoni Editore, Roma 2013, pp. 147-160(available online by the beginning of the classes). 

P. Scrolavezza,  Paradisi perduti: disillusione e perdita dell'innocenza nell'ultima produzione di Hayashi Fumiko, in I dieci colori dell'eleganza. Saggi in onore di Maria Teresa Orsi, a cura di Matilde Mastrangelo e Andrea Maurizi, Aracne Editore 2013, pp. 511-525 (available online by the beginning of the classes). 

P. Scrolavezza, Silhouettes in black: l'ombra del giallo nella scrittura femminile del Giappone contemporaneo, in G. Coci (ed), Japan Pop, Roma, Aracne Editore, pp. 189-208 (available online by the beginning of the classes). .

Raechel Dumas, Domesticity, Criminality, and Part-Time Work - Female Bodily Economy in Kirino Natsuo’s Auto, in ejcjs, volume 13, Issue 3, 2013 (http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/ejcjs/vol13/iss3/dumas.html)

Mark J. McLelland, Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan. Cultural Myths and Social Realities, Curzon Press, Richmond 2000  (a selection will be available online by the beginning of the classes) 

Primary sources (compulsory):

*Tayama Katai, Il futon, Marsilio, Venezia 2015

Natsume Sōseki, Il cuore delle cose, Neri Pozza, Milano, 2006 (or any available edition).

*Hayashi Fumiko, Lampi, Marsilio, Venezia, 2011.

*Edogawa Ranpo, La poltrona umana e altri racconti, Atmosphere Libri, Roma 2018.

Matsumoto Seicho, Tokyo Express, Adelphi 2018.

Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Libro d'ombra, Bompiani, 2000 (or any available edition)

Mishima Yukio, Patriottismo, in Romanzi e racconti, Mondadori, Milano 2004.

Abe Kobo, La donna di sabbia, Guanda, Parma 2012

Kawabata Yasunari, Il Giappone, la bellezza e io (available online by the beginning of the classes).

Ōe Kenzaburō, Io e il mio ambiguo Giappone (available online by the beginning of the classes).

Enchi Fumiko, Onnazaka. Il sentiero nell'ombra, Safarà Editore, 2017.

Murakami Haruki, a novel of your choice.

Kirino Natsuo,a novel of your choice.

*Ekuni Kaori, Stella stellina, a cura di P. Scrolavezza, Atmosphere libri, Roma 2013

Tawada Yoko, Persona, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2018

Scrivere per Fukushima, Atmosphere Edizioni, Roma, 2013 (a selection will be available online by the beginning of the classes) 

  

Bibliography for non attending students:  
Students are expected to show a basic knowledge of the history of Japanese literature from 1868 to present days. Our reference text is:  

L. Bienati, P. Scrolavezza,  La narrativa giapponese moderna e contemporanea , Collana "Elementi", Marsilio, Venezia 2009    

Critical sources (compulsory)

M.R. Novielli, P. Scrolavezza, Lo schermo scritto. Letteratura e cinema in Giappone, Cafoscarina Editrice, Venezia 2012

Rachael Hutchinson e Leith Douglas Morton, Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature, Routledge, 2016 (a selection will be available online by the beginning of the classes).

P. Scrolavezza,  Interni giapponesi: nuove narrative per scenari famigliari in trasformazione, in La famiglia nelle culture e nelle società dell'Asia, a cura di Maria Angelillo, Bulzoni Editore, Roma 2013, pp. 147-160 (available online by the beginning of the classes).    

P. Scrolavezza,  Paradisi perduti: disillusione e perdita dell'innocenza nell'ultima produzione di Hayashi Fumiko, in I dieci colori dell'eleganza. Saggi in onore di Maria Teresa Orsi, a cura di Matilde Mastrangelo e Andrea Maurizi, Aracne Editore 2013, pp. 511-525 (available online by the beginning of the classes). 

P. Scrolavezza, Silhouettes in black: l'ombra del giallo nella scrittura femminile del Giappone contemporaneo, in G. Coci (ed), Japan Pop, Roma, Aracne Editore, pp. 189-208 (available online by the beginning of the classes). . 

Mark J. McLelland, Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan. Cultural Myths and Social Realities, Curzon Press, Richmond 2000  (a selection will be available online by the beginning of the classes) 

Primary sources (compulsory):

Higuchi Ichiyō, La tredicesima notte, in Narratori giapponesi moderni I, Mondadori, Milano 1986, pp. 55-72 (available online by the beginning of the classes)

*Tayama Katai, Il futon, Marsilio, Venezia 2015

Natsume Sōseki, Il cuore delle cose, Neri Pozza, Milano, 2006 (or any available edition).

*Hayashi Fumiko, Lampi, Marsilio, Venezia, 2011.

*Edogawa Ranpo, La poltrona umana e altri racconti, Atmosphere Libri, Roma 2018.

Matsumoto Seicho, Tokyo Express, Adelphi 2018.

Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Libro d'ombra, Bompiani, 2000.

Mishima Yukio, Patriottismo, in Romanzi e racconti, Mondadori, Milano 2004.

Abe Kobo, La donna di sabbia, Guanda, Parma 2012

Kawabata Yasunari, Il Giappone, la bellezza e io (available online by the beginning of the classes).

Ōe Kenzaburō, Io e il mio ambiguo Giappone (available online by the beginning of the classes).

Enchi Fumiko, Onnazaka. Il sentiero nell'ombra, Safarà Editore, 2017.

Yoshimoto Banana, a novel of choice.

Kirino Natsuo, a novel of choice.

Murakami Haruki, a novel of choice.

*Ekuni Kaori, Stella stellina, a cura di P. Scrolavezza, Atmosphere libri, Roma 2013

Tawada Yoko, Persona, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2018

Scrivere per Fukushima, Atmosphere Edizioni, Roma, 2013




Teaching methods

The course will consist mainly in lectures held by the teacher. A strong and active participation in class discussions by the students is warmly encouraged.

Assessment methods

The exam will be oral.  The exam will test the student's ability to elaborate on the topics exposed in class, to show the knowledge acquired thorugh the study of the proposed bibliography, and their capability for critical thinking.  A critical knowledge of the topics will be evaluated as excellent, while an excessive dependence on texts and manuals without any interpretative support will be evaluated with a positive but low score. The proven and repeated difficulty in creating logical and descriptive connections between cultural phenomena and literary contents, as well as a partial reading of the compulsory bibliography will result in an insufficient evaluation. 

Teaching tools

Slides, video, multi-media supports.  A series of films related to the texts in this syllabus will be shown and discussed during classes. The list will be published by the beginning of the lessons.  
In addition to class lectures, a series of seminars held by national as well as international scholars will be organized, whose active involvement is part of the final exam.
   
The Powerpoint files used during the course will be available for students on the course website (see 'Teaching material).

Office hours

See the website of Paola Scrolavezza