Culture and Traditions in Japan I

Numbering Code U-LAS07 10001 LE31 Year/Term 2021 ・ First semester
Number of Credits 2 Course Type Lecture
Target Year All students Target Student International students
Language English Day/Period Mon.5
Instructor name PALIHAWADANA Ruchira (Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor)
Outline and Purpose of the Course This course aims at providing a comprehensive view of the Japanese culture through analysis of terms such as Ichigoichie (once-in-a-lifetime encounter), portraying the fundamental values of the Japanese culture. By looking into the way these terms were formed and the way they were used in early texts, as well as the way in which they are reflected in traditional culture and contemporary society the course will seek to provide an understanding to the essence of the Japanese culture.
Course Goals The basic goal of this course is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the core concepts in Japanese culture.
Schedule and Contents Lecture 1 Introduction to the Course
Lectures 2-4 Sen no Rikyu and the Japanese Culture
  Lecture 2 Wakeiseijaku(「和敬清寂」); Concepts in Tea Ceremony
  Lecture 3 Ichigoichie(「一期一会」); Appoaches to Human Relationship in Tea Ceremony
  Lecture 4 Wabi-Sabi(「わびさび」); Tea Rooms and Aesthetic Perceptions
Lectures 5-7 Buddhist Concepts in Japanese Culture
  Lecture 5 Ishindenshin(「以心伝心」); Zen and the Culture of Arts
  Lecture 6 Jigoujitoku(「自業自得」); Buddhist Philosophy in Japanese Culture
  Lecture 7 Ware tada taru wo shiru(「吾唯足知」); Zen and Japanese Gardens
Lecture 8 Student’s Presentations 1
Lectures 9-10 Culture through Literature
  Lecture 9 Hueki ryukou(「不易流行」); Basho and the Art of Haiku Poetry
  Lecture 10 Wakonyousai(「和魂洋才」); Concepts of Modernization in Meiji Literature
Lectures 11-14 Concepts and Their Interpretations in Contemporary Japan and Japanese Language
  Lecture 11 Uchi-soto Relationships(「ウチ・ソト関係」); Group-orientation in Language and Culture
  Lecture 12 Jouge Relationships(「上下関係」); Hierarchical Relationships in Language and Culture
  Lecture 13 Rentaikan(「連帯感」); Values and Language Usages of the Young Japanese
  Lecture 14 Pronominal Terms Such as Watashi (「私」); Speaker-orientation and world view
《Student's Presentations 2》(Held on week 15)
Lecture 15 Feedback & discussion
Evaluation Methods and Policy Presentation 30% (Individual contribution to the group presentation)
Term final paper 40%
Participation in discussions and attendance 30%
Course Requirements This class is limited to international students. However, any local students who wish to attend this class on a non-credit basis are welcome.
Study outside of Class (preparation and review) Participants are requested to express their opinions about the topics taken up in class. Furthermore, they are requested to give a presentation on a selected topic, in addition to submitting a term final paper. They should submit the PowerPoint slides one week before the presentation date.
Textbooks Textbooks/References Handouts will be provided.
References, etc. Japanese Culture, Varley, Paul, (University of Hawaii Press), ISBN:0-8248-2152-1, 2000
Zen and Japanese Culture, Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro and Jaffe, (Princeton University Press), ISBN:978-0-691-14462-7, 2010
The Book of Tea, Okakura, Tenshin, (Kodansha International), ISBN:4-7700-2379-0, 1998
Additional reading material will be announced in each class.