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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Part IB

This is an introduction to the world of pre-modern and early-modern written Japanese. We shall read a variety of primary sources, starting from the Edo period (graphic prose, humorous prose, didactic prose) and going backwards through the Muromachi period (otogizōshi), the Kamakura period (Tsurezuregusa and Hōjōki) to the Heian period (Ise monogatari and/or Genji monogatari and waka poetry). Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of Japanese classical grammar that will allow them to read any text produced up to the 1910s, while developing an understanding of pre-Meiji culture and literature (both learned and popular). Students will be also trained in translating literary texts into English and have a chance to practice translation from classical Japanese into contemporary Japanese. This will help improve modern Japanese at the same time as learning pre-modern and early-modern Japanese.