31564 - Japanese Culture and Literature 1

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students knows the general outlines of the history of Japanese literature from the origins to the beginning of modernity. They will be provided the basic analytical tools to understand the works of the main authors, and they are able to contextualize them within their cultural, linguistic, artistic and historical background.

Course contents

Canon Formation, Cultural Identity, and Classical Japanese Literature

 
The course will trace the outlines of Japanese literary history from its origins to the end of Tokugawa period. The primary aim is to provide students with some basic tools to approach literary texts, in order to facilitate the understanding of the most representative authors and to stimulate the critical analysis of some fundamental notions such "classic" or "literary canon". The focus will be on classical narratives and their influence on later prose, poetry, theater and on contemporary pop culture.

Readings/Bibliography

Students are expected to show a basic knowledge of the history of Japanese literature until 1868. Our reference text is:

L. Bienati, A. Boscaro, La narrativa giapponese classica, Collana "Elementi", Marsilio, Venezia 2010.

Critical sources (compulsory):

Terry Eagleton, Cos'è la letteratura, in Introduzione alla teoria letteraria, trad. di F. Dragosei, Roma, Editori Riuniti, 1998, pp. 7-23 (available online by the beginning of the classes)

Haruo Shirane, Canon Formation in Japan: Genre, Gender, Popular Culture, and Nationalism, in Michel Hockx e Ivo Smits (a cura di), Reading East Asian Writing: The Limits of Literary Theory, London – New York, Routledge Curzon, 2003, pp. 22-38 (available online by the beginning of the classes)

Pierantonio Zanotti, Introduzione alla storia della poesia giapponese giapponese: Dalle origini all'Ottocento , Venezia, Marsilio, 2012 (capp. 1-2-4-5-8-10-11-12)

Suggested readings:

A. Boscaro (a cura di), Letteratura giapponese. I. Dalle origini alle soglie dell'età moderna, Einaudi, Torino 2005

Haruo Shirane, (a cura di), Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600, New York, Columbia University Press, 2007 (a selection will be available online by the beginning of the classes)

Haruo Shirane, (a cura di), Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600-1900, New York, Columbia University Press, 2002 (a selection will be available online by the beginning of the classes).

Primary sources (compulsory):

*Kojiki. Un racconto di antichi eventi, a cura di P. Villani, Marsilio 2006.

Man'yōshū (una selezione di poesie sarà disponibile fra i materiali didattici online all'inizio del corso).

Kokinwakashū (una selezione di poesie sarà disponibile fra i materiali didattici online all'inizio del corso) - Edizione consigliata: Kokin Waka shū: Raccolta di poesie giapponesi antiche e moderne, a cura di I. Sagiyama, Milano, Ariele, 2000.

*Storia di un tagliabambù, a cura di Adriana Boscaro, Marsilio. 

* I racconti di Ise, a cura di Andrea Maurizi, Marsilio 2018

Murasaki Shikibu, La Storia di Genji, Einaudi, Torino 2012 (trad. dal giapponese di M. T. Orsi) (capp. 1-2-4-5-9-22-25).

*Il diario di Tosa, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2004.

*Le memorie della dama di Sarashina, a cura di C. Negri, Marsilio, 2005.

Sei Shonagon, Le note del guanciale, SE, 2014.

*Kamo no Chomei, Racconti di un eremo, a cura di F. Fraccaro, Marsilio, 2001.

*La monaca tuttofare, la donna serpente, il demone beone, a cura di Roberta Strippoli, Marsilio, Venezia.

Ihara Saikaku, Cinque donne amorose, a cura di Lydia Origlia, Adelphi. (1 racconto: “Storia dell'editore di almanacchi letta nella parte di mezzo”, disponibile fra i materiali didattici online all'inizio del corso).

*Il rovescio del broccato. Storie di fantasmi e cortigiane dal Giappone, a cura di di Cristian Pallone, Atmosphere libri 2019.

* Storie di vendetta di samurai, a cura di di Mario Talamo, Atmosphere libri 2021.

*Ueda Akinari, Racconti di pioggia e di luna, a cura di Maria Teresa Orsi, Marsilio, Venezia.

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.

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

Two different options are possible:

1) A written test followed by an oral exam.

The written test will take place only once, in the middle of the course, and and will focus on the first part of the program (the topics will be specified in the Syllabus, to be published on IOL before the beginning of the course). The written test will consist of 10 open questions. Up to 3 marks will be awarded for each question.The exam will be oral.

The written test will be followed by an oral exam, which will focus on the second part of the programme. The oral 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.

2) Oral exam only.

Those who decide not to take - or who will not pass - the written test, will have to take an oral exam which will cover the whole programme.

The oral 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 provided during the course.
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 (Virtuale).

Office hours

See the website of Paola Scrolavezza