Japanese (JPNS)

Major Courses

JPNS A100 Modern Japanese I  3 crs.

In this course, the fundamentals of modern spoken and written Japanese are taught. Students learn the kana syllabary, the basic grammatical structure and the vocabulary that is used in every-day conversation. The language is taught in its cultural context with emphasis on the use of polite and informal language. Approximately 50 Japanese characters are introduced.

JPNS A101 Modern Japanese II  3 crs.

Students learn to use the passive and potential forms of the Japanese verb. More specialized vocabulary is introduced to refine students’ grasp of the proper use of polite and informal language. Approximately 100 Japanese characters and their use in Japanese sentence construction are explained.

Prerequisite: JPNS A100 or placement

JPNS A200 Intermediate Japanese I  3 crs.

In this course, students complete their introduction to all Japanese grammatical forms and read modern Japanese literary texts in their cultural context. Students learn the vocabulary needed to read mass media publications including Japanese magazines and newspapers. Approximately 200 additional Japanese characters are introduced.

Prerequisite: JPNS A101 or placement

JPNS A201 Intermediate Japanese II 3 crs.

This course introduces readings from modern Japanese novels and literary journals. Students are expected to discuss the readings in Japanese and write short Japanese critiques or reviews of the material. Each student constructs and masters a specialized vocabulary list that pertains to his or her own interests. Approximately 300 additional Japanese characters are introduced.

Prerequisite: JPNS A200 or placement

JPNS A287 East Asian History 3 crs. 

This course focuses on relationships among the various cultures, histories, and literatures of East Asia with an emphasis on China and Japan. Topics are taken in historical sequence. Students also view and discuss video documentaries and film selections. This course is taught in English.  Cross-listed with HIST A287

JPNS A300 Japanese Conversation and Composition I  3 crs.

This course focuses on original Japanese compositions and short oral presentations. Students develop a wide vocabulary and learn idiomatic expressions and continue to add to their knowledge of kanji characters. Readings about contemporary Japanese customs, business, and culture are used for class discussion and for reviewing grammar.

Prerequisite: JPNS A201 or placement

JPNS A301 Japanese Conversation and Composition II  3 crs.

This course develops students’ ability to converse on a more advanced level. Students practice making short oral presentations on an increasingly broader range of topics. Emphasis is also placed on Japanese reading and writing ability as well as the study of kanji and kanji compounds.

Prerequisite: JPNS A300 or placement

JPNS A360 Punishment and Power in Modern Japan 3 crs.

The course covers the penal practices used in Japan from the 17th century to modern times.  It explores how changes in the law related to the country's desire to conform to Western legal standards in the 19th and 20th centures.  The Japanese prison system, "thought control" and the legal implications of the Allied Occupation are also studied.  Cross-listed with HIST A360

JPNS A392 Japanese History I   3 crs. 

This course examines Pre-Buddhistic Japan of the Jomon and Yayoi Eras, Nara, the "Golden Age" of Heian, the emergence of the Samurai in the Kamakura Era, Ashikaga Shogunate, and the arrival of the West. Emphasis is given to the religious, political, and cultural life of Japan between c. 500 B.C. and 1600 A.D.  Cross-listed with HIST A392

JPNS A393 Japanese History II   3 crs. 

This course examines the Tokugawa Era (1600 — 1868), the impact of the West and the subsequent emergence of Japan as a modern nation in the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa Eras. Emphasis is placed on Japanese arts and culture.  Cross-listed with HIST A393

JPNS A495 Special Project 1 cr. 

Students work independently on a research paper in conjunction with a regular advanced course and under the supervision of a professor. Research should reflect the skills and knowledge the student has acquired in their field of study.

Advanced Common Curriculum

JPNS U250: WAL: Culture in Premodern Japan 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Creative Arts and Cultures/Writing About Literature
RAC: Premodern

This course introduces the history, literature, religion, and philosophy that formed Japanese culture from the 10th to the 15th century. English translations of contemporary texts by writers of the imperial court are studied from a broad historical perspective. Students attain an appreciation of Japanese culture as it has evolved from the classical period to the present.  Cross-listed with HIST W276.

JPNS V251 Culture in Early Modern Japan 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course introduces Japanese history, literature, religion, and philosophy from the 17th to the 19th century.The rise of the merchant class and the decline of the samurai are analyzed. Cross-listed with HIST X277.

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Humanities/Arts requirement for students who began their program of study before fall 2013. This course does not satisfy requirements for the 2013-2014 Common Curriculum.

JPNS V252 Modern Japanese Culture 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course explores the modern Japanese conflict between the desire to assimilate Western culture and the need to preserve traditional values. The Japanese and Western understanding of the individual and of the individual’s place in society are also explored. English translations of modern novels and essays provide students with a clearer understanding of Japan’s people and evolving culture.  Cross-listed with HIST X278.

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Humanities/Arts requirement for students who began their program of study before fall 2013.  This course does not satisfy requirements for the 2013-2014 Common Curriculum.

JPNS V267 Japanese Animation and Culture 3 crs. 

Common Curriculum: Creative Arts and Cultures

By viewing and discussing the most important Japanese anime films, students receive a comprehensive introduction to the often misunderstood culture of modern Japan. Students analyze the references in the films to both classical and modern Japanese culture, touching on everything from Japanese art, religion, literature, and history to body language, linguistic expressions, and daily life.

This course replaces JPNS V253.