OverviewThis module explores the cultural specificity and diversity of Japanese culture, traditions, social and political systems and literature from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The topic of Japan will be approached on a thematic basis but with particular emphasis on an understanding of the historical and interpretive challenges to inter-cultural understanding between Japan and Europe/the West.
This module appears in:
Total Contact Hours: 30
Method of assessment
Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 20%
Essay 2 (2,000 words) – 30%
Examination (three hours) – 50%
de Bary, W. Th (2000), Sources of Japanese Tradition, Vol 1, New York: Columbia University Press.
de Bary, W. Th (2010), Sources of Japanese Tradition, Vol 2, New York: Columbia University Press.
Earheart, H. Byron (2014), Religion in Japan: Unity and Diversity, 5th Edition, Boston: Wadsworth.
Josephson, Jason (2012), The Invention of Religion in Japan, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Tanaka, Stefan (1995), Japan's Orient: Rendering Pasts into History, London and Berkeley: University of California Press.
On successfully completing the module, Level 6 students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of and be able to critically examine a range of Japanese traditions associated with the category of religion, including Buddhism and Shinto;
- Critically analyse a key concept, idea, theme or practice occurring in Japanese traditions;
- Demonstrate a critical and systematic understanding of the problems of translating Japanese culture, traditions, practices and concepts into a western interpretive framework and language, for instance the problems of using terms like 'religion' and 'philosophy' or western notions of 'literature' in relation to Japanese contexts.