Leaves of Words: A Survey of Japanese Literature

0710U [CRN: 15128]

While Zen, sushi and animé have become commonplaces in contemporary American parlance, Japanese literature and culture remain static enigmas, conjuring up visions of stolid-faced samurai, cherry blossoms, and post-modern dystopias. In this survey of Japanese literary works from the 8th century to the present, we will examine the development of canons of literature, both poetry and prose, and aesthetics in specific social contexts in Japanese cultural history. Also, we will consider their re-evaluations in subsequent eras, raising questions about the stability and continuity of such traditions. In addition to readings, we will briefly look at film, manga and anime.
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