2023-2024 Catalog

ASN 161 Modern Japanese Literature

This course introduces students to key literary texts from Japan’s modern era (1868-present). During this period, Japanese literature and the Japanese written language were reinvented alongside rapid socioeconomic, political, and cultural changes. As Japan experienced the industrialization, economic success, wars, natural disasters, and technological breakthroughs that characterize this period, literature played a key role in forming the national consciousness. Authors examined in this course may include Higuchi Ichiyō, Natsume Sōseki, Kawabata Yasunari, Tanizaki Jun'ichirō, Ōe Kenzaburō, Tawada Yōko, and Murakami Haruki. We will consider works of Japanese literature within their linguistic, cultural, and historical contexts. Through essays, reading responses, and class discussions, students will explore how literature transforms the human experience into words and in doing so transforms the human experience. The course is given in English, but those whose language proficiency permits may choose to reference the texts in the original Japanese.


4 units

Cross Listed Courses

CSLC 161

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus