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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Part IB

Course Description

Do you wish to gain the linguistic skills that are necessary for you to read independently a wide range of Japanese texts written well into the twentieth century? Do you wish to push your knowledge of the Japanese language to higher proficiency? Do you wish to impress Japanese people by showing a level of education akin to their own? If so, Pre-modern Japanese Texts is the paper for you!

This one-term paper builds on J5A and is designed to make you proficient in reading Classical Japanese (bungo). It offers a rich syllabus that exposes you to a much wider selection of pre-modern and early modern texts than the one covered in Michaelmas Term. This allows you to both consolidate and expand your knowledge of the Classical Grammar as well as to gain confidence in reading and translating all sorts of primary sources.

The pedagogical goals of the paper are as follows:

  1. Consolidate and expand knowledge of Classical Japanese (bungo), both in terms of grammar and vocabulary.

  2. Develop strategies to read a wide range of pre-modern and early modern texts on your own.

  3. Become proficient in using several online resources that are useful to read not only pre-modern and early modern texts but also modern and contemporary texts.

  4. Delve into a wider range of texts, including fictional prose, non-fictional prose, and poetry.

  5. Expand the study of Japanese literature by reading texts that you do not necessarily encounter in J8B.

  6. Develop knowledge on how to track down and access pre-modern and early modern primary sources.

  7. Reflect on how to translate effectively Japanese into English.

Terms taught