ASIA 253
Love and Death in Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture Fall 2024
Division I
Cross-listed COMP 255

Class Details

Modern Japanese literature is filled with compelling love stories that are variously passionate and poignant, tragic or uplifting, heartwarming or twisted, and sometimes all of the above. This course offers a survey of modern Japanese fiction and visual culture through the lens of the love story, beginning with tales of doomed lovers that were popular in the eighteenth-century kabuki and puppet theaters, and moving through a range of other relationships, including parental love and sacrifice, sex and the occult, and romance at an advanced age. We will focus on novels and short stories by canonical modern authors like Tanizaki, Kawabata, and Mishima, as well as contemporary popular fiction by writers like Murakami Haruki and Murakami Ryu. We will also give significant attention to popular visual culture, including puppet theater, comics, animation, and film. The class and the readings are in English.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 1715
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation, 2-4 short response assignments, one test, one or two 5-page papers, and an ungraded creative project
Prerequisites: none; no familiarity with Japanese language or culture is required
Enrollment Preferences: Students majoring or considering a major in Comparative Literature
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 255 Division I ASIA 253 Division I
Attributes: GBST East Asian Studies

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