Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1-1-2014


This course is a survey of modern Japanese literature and visual culture since the Meiji Restoration (1868). It focuses on constructions of identities within historical contexts. Our objective is to analyze ways in which writers and artists have positioned their subjects and re-imagined culture to create particular portrayals. The class examines a selection of shōsetsu (the Japanese novel) of Natsume Soseki, Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, Murakami Haruki, and Ogawa Yōko, films of Miyazaki Hayao, and important anime. The course promotes critical methodologies and interdisciplinary or comparative studies, combining, for example, literature with film, visual culture, gender studies, cultural history, Buddhist and Shintō studies, and so forth. Students are encouraged to work closely with the instructor and simultaneously with professors in other programs and fields to create term papers and presentations for the Celebration of Inquiry (CCU's in-house academic conference). Professors working in digital humanities should be particularly valuable resources.


Course Syllabus for RELG 499 Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture. See: