6640002 Japanese History

Numbering Code U-LET23 36640 SJ36 Year/Term 2021 ・ Year-round
Number of Credits 4 Course Type Seminar
Target Year Target Student
Language Japanese Day/Period Wed.2
Instructor name YOSHIKAWA SHINJI (Graduate School of Letters Professor)
Outline and Purpose of the Course In ancient Japan, the use of kanji and the creation of classical Chinese style text were already practiced, mainly by immigrants from Korea and China, beginning in the Kofun period. This practice was further augmented by the formation of the Ritsuryo system following the latter half of the 7th century, during which the creation of documents, records, and compilations was promoted nationally. Further, Kana became more widespread in the 9th and 10th centuries, and records (diaries) were written in hentai-kanbun (a Japanized version of classical Chinese script).
Before the Ritsuryo system, the chief historical records pertaining to ancient history and reflecting the use of such script mainly comprised epigraphs and foreign texts. After the Ritsuryo system was established, diverse historical records, such as Laws, official histories, temple documents, excavated texts, topographies, narratives, etc. were created and still exist today. After the decline of the Ritsuryo system, ancient records and documents became the main source for historical texts, but the importance of Chinese style poetry and Kana literature cannot be understated.
To understand the ancient history of Japan, it is necessary to consider different periods to interpret and use the diverse historical texts accurately and precisely. Therefore, this seminar will provide training in the reading and comprehension of the most basic historical text of the Ritsuryo period, the official history, called 『続日本紀』Shoku Nihongi.
Further, students will read one foundational research paper each week to acquire the historical knowledge necessary for interpreting historical text.
Course Goals Upon their successful completion of this course, students will: -possess the ability to read historical text on ancient Japanese history, and will also have the historical knowledge required to comprehend it.
Schedule and Contents Lecture 1: Introduction
The outline of the ancient history of Japan and『続日本紀』will be explained. Information regarding the dictionaries, books and tools, basic guidebooks, and annotations that will be used in class will be provided. Instruction regarding how classes will proceed and how students may prepare for the presentation will also be given. Moreover, the portion covered by each student will also be assigned during this lecture.
Lectures 2 to 29: Intensive Reading of『続日本紀』and Selective Reading of Foundational Papers
Perform an intensive reading of『続日本紀』using papers from 699 AD and discuss the contents. We are unable to provide the schedule for each lecture, as progress will vary depending on the content of the papers and the proficiency of the student leading the discussion; in general, we will read about half a page of『新訂増補国史大系』during each lecture. Additional study will be carried out if the coverage of any portion is deemed insufficient. Further, students will read one foundational paper pertaining to the ancient history of Japan every week. After reading the papers, students will submit an 800-character summary. The perspective, method, and significance of the research history for each article will be explained in class.
Lecture 30: Conclusion
Summarize the results from the intensive reading of historical texts and articles, and discuss any remaining topics or questions. This lecture can be used as an additional lecture during which students may complete any previous reading that was left incomplete due to lack of time.
Evaluation Methods and Policy 40% Class participation, 60% final report
Course Requirements Students taking this course must have basic knowledge regarding the ancient history of Japan and the ability to read historical texts written in classical Chinese style.
Study outside of Class (preparation and review) 1) Read the prescribed historical text before each lecture.
2) Read the articles provided and write an 800-character summary. The inclusion of opinions and questions in the summary is recommended.
Textbooks Textbooks/References In addition to the study materials mentioned in class, both Volumes 1 and 2 of『新訂増補国史大系 続日本紀』 (吉川弘文館) must be purchased.
References, etc. Will be introduced during class.
Courses delivered by Instructors with Practical Work Experience 分類:

A course with practical content delivered by instructors with practical work experience

Details of Instructors’ Practical Work Experience:

Curation in the Kyoto University Museum

Details of Practical Classes Delivered:

Reading historical documents while analyzing their own history