CC 325 AX - Japanese Visual Culture
3 or 4 Credits
TR 1:30-2:45 pm - Professor Prough
Cross listed with EAST 390AX 
Fulfills diversity requirement.

Over the past two decades Japanese popular culture has become standard fare globally; from Power Rangers to Pokémon, Sailormoon to Spirited away a generations of kids have been shaped by images and narratives from Japan. This seminar aims at developing a visual literacy and historical understanding of several key elements of Japanese visual culture past and present. Examining depictions of Heian court romance, the samurai print culture; traditional performance arts; Hello Kitty, Pokémon and the commercialization of cute; the global popularity of manga and anime; and the work of contemporary artists we will ask questions about the relationship between representation and culture within the Japanese context. In each of the 5 thematic units—the Tale of Genji, Samurai, theater, manga and anime, contemporary art—we will think about the ways that literature and art shape each other, reflect and effect their contexts, and evolve over time. Finally, throughout the semester we will examine the ways that the Japanese visual culture has been shaped by and in turn shaped Western art forms as well as Western understanding of Japan.

Major assignments will include three 5-8 page papers and one visual assignment.

Required Books:

Murasaki, Shikibu. 1990. The Tale of Genji. New York: Vintage Books. 978-0679729532
Chikamatsu. 1997. Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers): A Puppet Play (Paperback). Edited by Donald Keene. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. 978-0231035316
Napier, Susan J. 2007. From Impressionism to Anime. New York: Palgrave. 978-1403962140
Koike, K., and G. Kojima. 2000. Lone Wolf and Cub, Volume 1: The Assassin's Road: San Val, Incorporated. 978-1616551346 or 978-1569715024 (The edition doesn’t matter in this case)
Vartanian, I., and K. Wada. 2011. See/Saw: Connections Between Japanese Art Then and Now: Chronicle Books. 978-0811869577