In this high-intermediate Japanese course, students will examine Japanese aesthetics, the Japanese perspectives on nature, and social behaviors by reading excerpts and poems from the modern translation of the Tale of Genji. This Japanese literature masterpiece was written by Lady Murasaki, a court lady, during the Heian period (794-1185). This novel not only depicts the sense of beauty that is permeated into the Japanese society, but also displays the social hierarchy in Japan.
Therefore, students in this course will examine different styles of speech that demonstrate the levels of politeness and respect and analyze appropriate behaviors in the society. Materials such as scrolls, paintings, films, and comic books are used throughout the course to help students understand Japanese language and culture pragmatically. Class activities include oral presentations, discussions, and individual writing projects.