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Course Title: INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE LITERATURE (IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
Using English translations, the course is designed to give an overview of Japanese literary genres through a variety of readings chosen because they reflect the best of their type and historical period. The selections begin with well-known prose works, and comprise folktales, travel journals, pillow books, and early novels that give an insight into a historical Japan. We will then consider the genre of poetry, which reflects the Japanese way of looking at the world, concentrating on kokoro, the essence of the Japanese worldview. The third genre, drama, begins with the ancient kabuki theater and continues through contemporary anime productions. The course ends with In Praise Of Shadows, an essay by Junichiro Tanazaki that summarizes and reflects upon the cultural differences between eastern and western civilization.