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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Edward T Mack
JAPAN 433
Seattle Campus

Readings in Modern Japanese Literature

Reading and discussion of selected modern literary texts in the original language, concentrating on the short story. Close attention to grammar and syntax. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.5 in either JAPAN 313 or JAPAN 334.

Class description

The goal of the course is to introduce students to the real complexity and beauty of literary Japanese, while providing them with the tools necessary to read even the most challenging fiction.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Students read through contemporary Japanese short stories on their own and then meet to go over that reading, focusing on grammar and vocabulary but also discussing literary devices and effects.

Recommended preparation

JAPAN 313 or its equivalent is an absolute requirement; JAPAN 431 and 432 are highly recommended. A high level of Japanese reading ability is required; expect the gulf between third-year Japanese readings and these stories to be substantial.

Class assignments and grading

Unlike most other language offerings, this course is made up of readings that have not been tailored or selected for ease of comprehension. Students read the most celebrated short stories of recent years, regardless of difficulty, in their complete form. Classtime is spent going slowly through each story and then discussing the story as a whole. Readings are in Japanese; class discussion will primarily be in English.

The largest single factor in determining a student's grade is participation. In addition, there will be vocabulary quizzes throughout the term as well as a translation project.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Edward T Mack
Date: 02/18/2003