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“Cutting-Edge Samurai Theatre: Noh Then, Noh Now, Noh Tomorrow” by Matthew R. Dubroff and “In the Noh: Using Samurai Theater in the History Classroom” by Eric G. Dinmore Syllabi

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Editor’s Note: The syllabi that follow complement “Cutting-Edge Samurai Theatre: Noh Then, Noh Now, Noh Tomorrow” by Matthew R. Dubroff and “In the Noh: Using Samurai Theater in the History Classroom” by Eric G. Dinmore from the EAA spring 2016 issue (vol. 21, no. 1, p. 34-40). If you have any questions about the readings and course materials listed in the syllabi, you may contact Matthew R. Dubroff at mdubroff@hsc.edu or Eric G. Dinmore at edinmore@hsc.edu.


HONS 101.01 – Samurai Culture 侍の文化

Course Description:

This two-semester seminar for entering freshmen in the Honors Program will trace the rise and fall of the samurai in Japan, as well as the distinct impact these warriors left on Japanese and global culture. We will draw from a range of academic disciplines, including history, literary criticism, theater studies, religion, and the visual arts. This fall, we will focus on the historical transformation of the samurai from loosely-knit bands of provincial warriors to a powerful political elite. In the realm of cultural studies, we will examine Japanese religions, battlefield tales, architecture, Buddhist-inspired visual art forms, nō theater, and the way of tea (sadō). Our course materials will encompass primary documents, plays, Buddhist scripture, warrior epics, and the occasional samurai film. We will even see Star Wars. Through this in-depth examination, we will develop critical college-level academic skills and a more culturally and historically sensitive view of the samurai.

Course Materials:

Available at HSC bookstore:

William Theodore deBary, et. al., eds., Sources of Japanese Tradition, 2nd ed., Volume One (Columbia, 2001).

Hiroaki Satō, Legends of the Samurai (Overlook Press, 1995).

Royall Tyler, ed. and trans., Japanese Nō Dramas (Penguin, 1992).

Recommended textbook for reference (on reserve at HSC library, not at bookstore):

Conrad Schirokauer, et. al., A Brief History of Japanese Civilization, 2nd ed. (Thomson Wadsworth, 2006).

Additional readings will be on library reserve or distributed via Blackboard.

Course Structure:

Class sessions will revolve around discussions and critical examinations of course materials, with occasional lectures by the instructors to provide context. Virtually every day will begin with a student-led oral presentation relevant to the course’s themes. You are expected to complete the assigned readings for each session before coming to class. During the semester, we will also have two exams, a research paper, and a play project.

Requirements:

Oral Presentations: You will make two presentations over the course of the semester. Topics will be chosen during the first weeks of class. Your presentations will last approximately fifteen minutes and will have five minutes for question and answer. The basic format will be a Power Point with between ten and fifteen major slide images (incorporating text, images, audio and video where appropriate). The presentations must be well organized and, based on the topic, provide general background information as well as specific details. Major ideas must be clearly explicated. You must lead the class through the presentation, not read what is written on the slides. You must also hand out an accompanying ten-to-fifteen-line outline at the beginning of the presentation to all members of the class. The last slide of your presentation will be a bibliography with at least three source books used, beyond any computer-based research. Any questions about format or content should be addressed to the professors in the week prior to your presentation.

As we will be doing presentations almost daily, about a wide range of topics, you are responsible to make connections from one presentation to the next (e.g. Is there a connection between early Nara Buddhism and the tea ceremony?) You are also responsible for making connections between your topic and the life of the samurai. Finally, the information everyone presents (and supplemented by the professors) will be used as a basis for the two exams.

Question of the Day (QOD): You will have assigned readings for each class period. You will also view films over the course of the semester as part of the “Samurai Night Fever” film series. Based on those readings and viewings, you must submit one significant question per class day to inspire discussion. This question should be substantive and thoughtful, not merely factual. It should not be answerable with simple “Yes”, “No”, “True” or “False” responses. Rather, the question should indicate that you have thoroughly read/viewed and considered the material. Ideally, QODs will provide issues for discussion and clarification during class time.

QODs must be submitted to Blackboard by 9am on the day of the class that the material is assigned. Submission details will be given in class. These questions will be part of your participation grade.

Exams: There will be two in-class essay examinations on October 22 and November 24. Both will be strictly closed-book and handwritten. You may take your exam on a computer only if you have a documented reason to do so (e.g., a diagnosed learning disability). You may make up the exams only in the case of an excused absence, and you must notify us well in advance in order to request an excuse for the absence. We will discuss the exams in greater depth as they draw nearer, but the format will consist of short essays and identification questions based on the student oral presentations.

Research Paper: You will write a seven-to-eight-page research paper (about 2,000 words) on a famous samurai and his relationship to the arts. We will discuss the specifics of this assignment and distribute a list of “pre-approved” historical figures on September 24. A hard copy of your paper will be due at the beginning of class on November 12 – we will not accept emails. Please cite any outside sources you use, and append a list of works cited in Chicago format (see The Bedford Handbook, Seventh Edition, pp. 756-790). Avoid relying on Internet-based sources, especially the frequently unreliable Wikipedia.

Nō Play Project: At the end of the semester, you will write a nō play drawing from course themes. This will be due during the final exam period. We will talk about the specific details of this assignment on November 12, the day you turn in the research paper.

Throughout the semester we will read a range of nō plays. These plays represent one of the oldest continuous theater traditions in the world. Nō has been enjoyed by the Japanese for over 600 years and played a significant role in the lives of the samurai. The stories of the plays will either directly relate to the samurai or provide insight into their world. Discussions of these texts will be incorporated into class and into class presentations. There will be viewings of nō in class and students will also have the opportunity to be introduced to some of the basic skills of nō performers.

Late assignments: The paper and play assignments will be deducted one full letter grade for each calendar day late.

Plagiarism: Dishonest work of any kind will not be tolerated. We will promptly refer all matters involving suspect work to the student body president for action.

Attendance: In accordance with the College’s attendance policy regarding freshmen, you are permitted two unexcused absences for personal or medical reasons this semester (three credit hours = two of our eighty-minute sessions). We will not ask you the reason for these absences, but you should extend the courtesy of notifying us in advance. After the second unexcused absence, you will receive a warning letter from the Dean of Students that your performance is unsatisfactory. Upon the third unexcused absence, you shall receive a Withdrawn Failing (WF) for the course.

Absences will be excused only in the event of an official College-supported activity, as described in the Academic Catalogue. Athletic practices and optional excursions do not count as excused absences, nor do court dates or family commitments. Note also that there are no formal medical excuses at the College. If you are seriously ill and cannot attend class, it is your responsibility to request that a written explanation from the Dean of Students be sent to us.

Participation: You should expect to discuss class readings each week. A consistent failure to contribute to discussions will lower your class participation grade. By participation, we mean that you must read the material carefully and thoughtfully, bring it to class, be prepared to comment on it and on your fellow students’ comments, and be alert and engaged during discussion sessions. Finally, a few words on conduct: you may not bring any food or tobacco to class. Also, we will not tolerate the use of any electronic devices, particularly mobile phones, blackberries, and iPods. If we catch you sleeping in class, we will count that day as an unexcused absence – you need to be mentally as well as physically present.

Grade Distribution:

Participation (discussion, QODs, attendance, and preparation) 30%

Two Oral Presentations 20% (10% each)

Two Exams 20% (10% each)

Paper 15%

Play 15%

Course Schedule

(Bb) indicates a reading available on Blackboard (L) indicates a reserve reading at the HSC Library

Readings should be completed before the class day on which they are assigned.

Part One: The Rise of the Samurai

Wednesday, August 27

Seminar introduction: introductions, ground rules, nature of the course, etc.

Week One: History and the Samurai

Monday, September 1

The Nature of Historical and Cultural Study

Read: E. H. Carr, What Is History?, Ch. 1 (Bb)

Wednesday, September 3

Library Day! Research and Presentation Techniques (presentations by Mr. Brian Burns and Ms. Shaunna Hunter, HSC Library)

Week Two: Shintō and Foundational Myths

Monday, September 8

Japan before “Japan”

Read: Sources, 1-16; Satō, “Yamato Takeru” (3-13) For reference: Schirokauer, 2-17 (L) Presentation: Kofun

See: Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior), Kurosawa Akira, dir.

Wednesday, September 10

Spirits Everywhere: Shintō

Read: Sources, 17-39; Takasago in Japanese Nō Dramas, 277-292 Presentation: Shintō

Week Three: Buddhism and the Continental Influence

Monday, September 15

The Sino-Korean Influence and Confucianism

Read: Sources, 40-42, 50-59, 75-83; Satō, “Yorozu” (13-15) For reference: Schirokauer, 18-46 (L) Presentation: Confucius

See: Kumonosujō (Throne of Blood), Kurosawa Akira, dir.

Wednesday, September 17

Borrowing, Adapting, Stealing: Early Buddhism

Read: Sources, 123-174; Kantan in JND, 133-141 Presentation: Nara Buddhism

Week Four: The Foundation of the Japanese State

See: MacbethA Performance of Macbeth, Philip Casson, dir.

Monday, September 22

Nara and Heian Japan

Read: Sources, 84-99; Satō, “Ōtomo no Yakamochi” (16-19) For reference: Schirokauer, 47-77 (L) Presentation: Movie Analysis 1

Wednesday, September 24

Historical Research Methods; Tōdaiji and Classical Urban Design

Read: E. H. Carr, What Is History?, Ch. 4 (Bb) Presentation: Tōdaiji

Week Five: Heian Courtiers and Heian Warriors

Monday, September 29 Classical Warrior Ideals

Read: Satō, “The Duel” (19-22), “Minamoto no Mitsunaka” (22-29), “Minamoto no Yorinobu” (71-79), “Taira no Munetsune” (88-90), “Minamoto no Yoshiie” (95- 109)

Presentations: Hiragana, The Tale of Genji

Wednesday, October 1

Gender and the Poetic Life

Read: Satō, “Tachibana no Norimitsu” (52-59); The Pillow Book, TBA; Tadanori in JND, 264-276 Presentation: Classical Japanese Poetry

Week Six: The Rise of the Samurai

Monday, October 6

The Taira and Minamoto

Read: Helen Craig McCullough, trans., The Tale of the Heike, Ch. 9

Presentations: The Tale of the Heike, Archery

Wednesday, October 8

Winning and Losing: Dying like a Samurai

Read: Atsumori in JND, 37-48 Presentations: Shōen, Samurai Fashion and Weapons

Week Seven: Yoshitsune, the Tragic Hero

Monday, October 13

Yoshitsune: A Hero on the Run

Read: Satō, ”Minamoto no Yoshitsune” (110-156); Funa Benkei in JND, 82-95 Presentations: Biwa hōshi, Benkei

See: Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (The Hidden Fortress), Kurosawa Akira, dir.

Wednesday, October 15

Yoshitsune: The Real Winner; Exam Review

Read: “Yoshitsune” in Ivan Morris, The Nobility of Failure (Bb); Yashima in JND, 329- 343

Presentations: Japanese Ghosts, Yoshitsune on Stage and in History

FALL BREAK

Part Two: The Refinement of Samurai Culture

Wednesday, October 22

EXAM #1

Week Eight: The First Warrior Government

See: Star Wars, George Lucas, dir.

Monday, October 27

Politics of the Kamakura Bakufu

Read: Sources, 413-417; David John Lu, ed., Sources of Japanese History I, TBA (Bb) For reference: Schirokauer, 78-99 (L) Presentations: Movie Analysis 2, Jitō Stewards and Shugo Governors

Wednesday, October 29

The Way of the Arts: Japanese Aesthetics

Read: Sources, 197-204, 364-388

Presentations: Mono no aware, The Hōjō Clan

Week Nine: Popular Buddhism and Zen 

Monday, November 3

Buddhism as a Mass Religion: The Pure Land and Nichiren Sects

Read: Sources, 211-217, 222-228, 292-306 Presentation: Later Buddhism

Wednesday, November 5

Zen Buddhism and Zazen

Read: Sources, 306-328

Presentation: Zen

Week Ten: Samurai versus Mongols, Samurai versus Aristocrats

Monday, November 10

Warriors in a Topsy-Turvy Age

Read: Sources, 280-284; Satō, “Kusunoki Masashige” (157-187); web assignment on Mongol scrolls (Bb)

Presentation: Khubilai Khan, Zeami

Wednesday, November 12 Developing Nō, Practicing Nō

Read: Japanese Nō Dramas, 1-22

Presentations: Nō, Kyōgen

RESEARCH PAPER DUE

Week Eleven: Muromachi and the High Tide of Medieval Warrior Culture

Monday, November 17

The Muromachi Bakufu

Read: Sources, 417-420; Satō, “Kō no Moronao” (188-203) For reference: Schirokauer, 100-119 (L)

Presentation: Ginkakuji

Wednesday, November 19

Warrior Aesthetics and The Way of Tea: Sadō

Read: Sources, 388-398 Presentation: Tea

Week Twelve: Pre-Thanksgiving Exam

Monday, November 24

EXAM #2

THANKSGIVING BREAK

Week Thirteen: Warring States

Monday, December 1

“High Feudalism” and Western Contacts

Read: Sources, 420-432; Satō, “Lord Sōun’s Twenty-One Articles” (249-253); Michael Cooper, ed., They Came to Japan, 151-168 (L)

For reference: Schirokauer, 122-141 (L)

Presentations: Daimyō and Domains, Tanegashima Rifle, Sword Hunts

See: King Lear

Wednesday, December 3

Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin

Read: Satō, “Two Warlords” (204-231) Presentation: Ikkō-ikki Leagues, Francis Xavier

See: Ran, Kurosawa Akira, dir.

Monday, December 8

Oda Nobunaga

Read: Sources, 441-457; Satō, “The Warlord and Poetry” (232-246)

END OF FALL SEMESTER

During Exam Period: PLAY DUE

Grading Practices

Thesis, Papers, and Exams

An A or A- thesis, paper, or exam is one that is good enough to be read aloud in a class. It is clearly written and well-organized. It demonstrates that the writer has conducted a close and critical reading of texts, grappled with the issues raised in the course, synthesized the readings, discussions, and lectures, and formulated a perceptive, compelling, independent argument. The argument shows intellectual originality and creativity, is sensitive to historical context, is supported by a well-chosen variety of specific examples, and, in the case of a research paper, is built on a critical reading of primary material.

A B+ or B thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates many aspects of A-level work but falls short of it in either the organization and clarity of its writing, the formulation and presentation of its argument, or the quality of research. Some papers or exams in this category are solid works containing flashes of insight into many of the issues raised in the course. Others give evidence of independent thought, but the argument is not presented clearly or convincingly.

A B- thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates a command of course or research material and understanding of historical context but provides a less than thorough defense of the writer’s independent argument because of weaknesses in writing, argument, organization, or use of evidence.

A C+, C, or C- thesis, paper, or exam offers little more than a mere a summary of ideas and information covered in the course, is insensitive to historical context, does not respond to the assignment adequately, suffers from frequent factual errors, unclear writing, poor organization, or inadequate primary research, or presents some combination of these problems.

A D thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates serious deficiencies or severe flaws in the student’s command of course or research material.

An F thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates no competence in the course or research materials. It indicates a student’s neglect or lack of effort in the course.

Discussion

A student who receives an A for participation in discussion typically comes to every class with questions about the readings in mind. An ‘A’ discussant engages others about ideas, respects the opinions of others, and consistently elevates the level of discussion.

A student who receives a B for participation in discussion typically does not always come to class with questions about the readings in mind. A ‘B’ discussant waits passively for others to raise interesting issues. Some discussants in this category, while courteous and articulate, do not adequately listen to other participants or relate their comments to the direction of the conversation.

A student who receives a C for discussion attends class regularly but typically is an infrequent or unwilling participant in discussion.

A student who fails to attend class regularly and adequately prepared for discussion risks the grade of D or F.

HONS 102.01 – Samurai Culture, Part Deux

Course Description:

This two-semester seminar for entering freshmen in the Honors Program will trace the rise and fall of the samurai in Japan, as well as the distinct impact these warriors left on Japanese and global culture. We will draw from a range of academic disciplines, including history, literary criticism, theater studies, religion, and the visual arts. This spring, we will continue our story of the samurai through the early modern and modern eras (ca. 1570-present). Using the same class format as in the fall, we will examine the unification of Japan in 1600, the Tokugawa shogunate, the transformation of the samurai from warrior to bureaucrat, the demise of samurai society after the 1868 Meiji Restoration, and legacies of the samurai in our contemporary world. Major cultural themes will include the identity crisis among early modern samurai, the “forbidden fruit” of commoner art forms, kabuki theater, samurai philosophers, and the conflict between cultural modernization and the samurai spirit.

Course Materials:

Available at HSC bookstore:

Brandon, James, ed. and trans., Kabuki: Five Classic Plays (Hawaii, 1992).

William Theodore deBary, et. al., eds., Sources of Japanese Tradition, 2nd ed., Volume Two, Part One, abridged (Columbia, 2006).

Keene, Donald, trans., Chūshingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (Columbia, 1997).

Mark Ravina, The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigō Takamori (Wiley, 2004).

Hiroaki Satō, Legends of the Samurai (Overlook Press, 1995).

Recommended textbook for reference (on reserve at HSC library, not at bookstore):

Conrad Schirokauer, et. al., A Brief History of Japanese Civilization, 2nd ed. (Thomson Wadsworth, 2006).

Additional readings will be on library reserve or distributed via Blackboard.

Course Structure:

Class sessions will revolve around discussions and critical examinations of course materials, with occasional lectures by the instructors to provide context. Virtually every day will begin with a student-led oral presentation relevant to the course’s themes. You are expected to complete the assigned readings for each session before coming to class. During the semester, we will also have two exams, a research paper, and a nō play project.

Requirements:

Oral Presentations: You will make two presentations over the course of the semester. Topics will be chosen during the first weeks of class. Your presentations will last approximately fifteen minutes and will have five minutes for question and answer. The basic format will be a Power Point with between ten and fifteen major slide images (incorporating text, images, audio and video where appropriate). The presentations must be well organized and, based on the topic, provide general background information as well as specific details. Major ideas must be clearly explicated. You must lead the class through the presentation, not read what is written on the slides. You must also hand out an accompanying ten-to-fifteen-line outline at the beginning of the presentation to all members of the class. The last slide of your presentation will be a bibliography with at least three source books used, beyond any computer-based research. Any questions about format or content should be addressed to the professors in the week prior to your presentation.

As we will be doing presentations almost daily, about a wide range of topics, you are responsible to make connections from one presentation to the next (e.g. Is there a connection between early Nara Buddhism and the tea ceremony?) You are also responsible for making connections between your topic and the life of the samurai. Finally, the information everyone presents (and supplemented by the professors) will be used as a basis for the two exams.

Question of the Day (QOD): You will have assigned readings for each class period. You will also view films over the course of the semester as part of the “Samurai Night Fever” film series. Based on those readings and viewings, you must submit one significant question per class day to inspire discussion. This question should be substantive and thoughtful, not merely factual. It should not be answerable with simple “Yes”, “No”, “True” or “False” responses. Rather, the question should indicate that you have thoroughly read/viewed and considered the material. Ideally, QODs will provide issues for discussion and clarification during class time.

QODs must be submitted to Blackboard by 9am on the day of the class that the material is assigned. Submission details will be given in class. These questions will be part of your participation grade.

Exams: There will be two in-class essay examinations on March 5 and April 23. Both will be strictly closed-book and handwritten. You may take your exam on a computer only if you have a documented reason to do so (e.g., a diagnosed learning disability). You may make up the exams only in the case of an excused absence, and you must notify us well in advance in order to request an excuse for the absence. We will discuss the exams in greater depth as they draw nearer, but the format will consist of short essays and identification questions based on the student oral presentations.

Kabuki Play Project: You will write a seven page play. The goal will be to create a brief Kabuki play with a focus on the themes of the conflict between giri and ninjô, and the grandiose aesthetics of Kabuki, all done in a contemporary U.S. setting. Specific details will be discussed in class.

This assignment will be due on Thursday, March 26.

Cultural History Research Paper: You will write a seven-to-eight-page research paper (about 2,000 words) on a famous artist or writer and his or her relationship to the “way of the samurai.” We will discuss the specifics of this assignment and distribute a list of “pre-approved” cultural figures on September 24. A hard copy of your paper will be due at the end of the study period on Thursday, April 30 – we will not accept emails. Please cite any outside sources you use, and append a list of works cited in Chicago format (see The Bedford Handbook, Seventh Edition, pp. 756-790). Avoid relying on Internet-based sources, especially the frequently unreliable Wikipedia.

Late assignments: The paper and play assignments will be deducted one full letter grade for each calendar day late.

Plagiarism: Dishonest work of any kind will not be tolerated. We will promptly refer all matters involving suspect work to the student body president for action.

Attendance: In accordance with the College’s attendance policy regarding freshmen, you are permitted two unexcused absences for personal or medical reasons this semester (three credit hours = two of our eighty-minute sessions). We will not ask you the reason for these absences, but you should extend the courtesy of notifying us in advance. After the second unexcused absence, you will receive a warning letter from the Dean of Students that your performance is unsatisfactory. Upon the third unexcused absence, you shall receive a Withdrawn Failing (WF) for the course.

Absences will be excused only in the event of an official College-supported activity, as described in the Academic Catalogue. Athletic practices and optional excursions do not count as excused absences, nor do court dates or family commitments. Note also that there are no formal medical excuses at the College. If you are seriously ill and cannot attend class, it is your responsibility to request that a written explanation from the Dean of Students be sent to us.

Participation: You should expect to discuss class readings each week. A consistent failure to contribute to discussions will lower your class participation grade. By participation, we mean that you must read the material carefully and thoughtfully, bring it to class, be prepared to comment on it and on your fellow students’ comments, and be alert and engaged during discussion sessions. Finally, a few words on conduct: you may not bring any food or tobacco to class. Also, we will not tolerate the use of any electronic devices, particularly mobile phones, blackberries, and iPods. If we catch you sleeping in class, we will count that day as an unexcused absence – you need to be mentally as well as physically present.

Grade Distribution:

Participation (discussion, QODs, attendance, and preparation) 30%

Two Oral Presentations 20% (10% each)

Two Exams 20% (10% each)

Kabuki Play 15%

History Paper 15%

Course Schedule

(*) indicates a reading available on Blackboard or the front desk at the HSC Library

Readings should be completed before the class day under which they appear.

Part Three: Warriors without a War

Thursday, January 15

Seminar Re-introduction

Week One: Politics and Institutions of the Tokugawa Peace

Tuesday, January 20

Read: Sukeroku: Flower of Edo in Brandon, Kabuki Presentation: Pleasure Quarters and Geisha

Thursday, January 22

The Tokugawa Bakufu: Japan’s Last Samurai Government

Read: Sources, 1-27

Presentation: Tokugawa Ieyasu

Week Two: The Invention of “Samurai Tradition”

Sunday, January 25: see The Seven Samurai

Tuesday, January 27

Samurai Theorizing Their Raison D’etre

Read: “Gorin no Sho” and “Hagakure” in Sato, 254-272, 287-303; Sources, 409-426 Presentation: Motoori Norinaga

Thursday, January 29

Read: Saint Narukami and the God Fudô in Brandon, Kabuki, 93-127

Presentation: Kabuki

Week Three: Warrior Cultures, Commoner Cultures

Sunday, February 1: see The Magnificent Seven

Tuesday, February 3

The “Floating World” and Townsman Culture

Read: Sources, 255-288 Presentation: Chikamatsu

Thursday, February 5

Read: Saint Narukami and the God Fudô in Brandon, Kabuki, 127-164

Presentation: Edo Fashion and Sake

Week Four: The Forty-Seven Rōnin as Reported in Documents

Tuesday, February 10

The Incident of the Forty-Seven Ronin

Read: Sources, 353-383

Thursday, February 12: Kabuki Workshop

Read: Chūshingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, 29-103

Week Five: The Forty-Seven Rōnin as Presented on the Stage

Tuesday, February 17

Modern Reappraisals of Samurai Ways

Read: “The Abe Family” in Sato, 341-379 Presentation: Bunraku

Thursday, February 19

Read: Chūshingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, 104-180 Presentation: Fukuzawa Yukichi

Week Six: The Identity Crisis among the Samurai

Sunday, February 22: see Tanpopo

Tuesday, February 24

Late Tokugawa Samurai Disgruntlement

Read: Ravina, Ch. 1-3

Thursday, February 26: Iaidô Workshop

Week Seven: Nativism and the End of Samurai Rule

Tuesday, March 3

Nativism and the Fall of the Tokugawa

Read: Ravina, Ch. 4

Thursday, March 5: EXAM #1

SPRING BREAK!

Part Four: Modern Legacies and Myths

Week Eight: The Modern Imperial Order and the Warrior

Tuesday, March 17 Meiji Japan

Read: Ravina, Ch. 5; Meiji (1889) Constitution*; Imperial Rescript on Education* Presentation: Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito)

Thursday, March 19

Read: Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani in Brandon, Kabuki Presentation: ukiyoe

Week Nine: Saigō Takamori, Another Tragic Hero

Tuesday, March 24

Saigō and the Satsuma Rebellion

Read: Ravina, Introduction and Ch. 6 Presentation: Saigō Takamori

Thursday, March 26: PLAY DUE

Presentation: haiku

Week Ten: The Meiji Re-Invention of Bushidō

Sunday, March 29: see Yojimbo

Tuesday, March 31

Bushidō and Martial Arts for the Modern Era

Read: Nitobe Inazō, Bushidō (selections TBA); “The Invention of the Martial Arts” and “The Invention of the Yokozuna and Championship System” in Mirror of Modernity*

Thursday, April 2: Aikidō Workshop

Read: Love Letter from the Licensed Quarter in Brandon, Kabuki

Week Eleven: Twentieth-Century Militarism and the “Samurai Spirit”

Sunday, April 5: see A Fistful of Dollars

Tuesday, April 7

Modern “Militarism”

Read: John Dower, War without Mercy (selections TBA)*, “Cardinal Principles of Our National Polity”*, “The Way of Subjects”*

Presentation: yamato-damashii

Thursday, April 9

Read: The Scarlet Princess of Edo in Brandon, Kabuki (239-288)

Presentation: sumō

Week Twelve: Mishima Yukio and the “Japanese Way”

Tuesday, April 14

The Life of Mishima Yukio

Read: Mishima Yukio, “Patriotism”*

Presentation: Mishima Yukio

Thursday, April 16

Read: The Scarlet Princess of Edo in Brandon, Kabuki (288-349)

Presentation: manga

Week Thirteen: Contemporary Legacies

Sunday, April 19: see Ghost Dog

Tuesday, April 21

The Seven Samurai revisited (anime version, selections to be viewed)

Thursday, April 23: EXAM #2

Tuesday, April 28: Last Class

HISTORY PAPER DUE AT END OF READING PERIOD (4/30)

Grading Practices

Thesis, Papers, and Exams

An A or A- thesis, paper, or exam is one that is good enough to be read aloud in a class. It is clearly written and well-organized. It demonstrates that the writer has conducted a close and critical reading of texts, grappled with the issues raised in the course, synthesized the readings, discussions, and lectures, and formulated a perceptive, compelling, independent argument. The argument shows intellectual originality and creativity, is sensitive to historical context, is supported by a well-chosen variety of specific examples, and, in the case of a research paper, is built on a critical reading of primary material.

A B+ or B thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates many aspects of A-level work but falls short of it in either the organization and clarity of its writing, the formulation and presentation of its argument, or the quality of research. Some papers or exams in this category are solid works containing flashes of insight into many of the issues raised in the course. Others give evidence of independent thought, but the argument is not presented clearly or convincingly.

A B- thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates a command of course or research material and understanding of historical context but provides a less than thorough defense of the writer’s independent argument because of weaknesses in writing, argument, organization, or use of evidence.

A C+, C, or C- thesis, paper, or exam offers little more than a mere a summary of ideas and information covered in the course, is insensitive to historical context, does not respond to the assignment adequately, suffers from frequent factual errors, unclear writing, poor organization, or inadequate primary research, or presents some combination of these problems.

A D thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates serious deficiencies or severe flaws in the student’s command of course or research material.

An F thesis, paper, or exam demonstrates no competence in the course or research materials. It indicates a student’s neglect or lack of effort in the course.

Discussion

A student who receives an A for participation in discussion typically comes to every class with questions about the readings in mind. An ‘A’ discussant engages others about ideas, respects the opinions of others, and consistently elevates the level of discussion.

A student who receives a B for participation in discussion typically does not always come to class with questions about the readings in mind. A ‘B’ discussant waits passively for others to raise interesting issues. Some discussants in this category, while courteous and articulate, do not adequately listen to other participants or relate their comments to the direction of the conversation.

A student who receives a C for discussion attends class regularly but typically is an infrequent or unwilling participant in discussion.

A student who fails to attend class regularly and adequately prepared for discussion risks the grade of D or F.

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