East Asia before 1600
HIST 3610

 Summer Session 1
2005 Kyoto Study Tour Syllabus
May 10-26, 2005 
John A. Tucker, Ph.D.

 Brewster A-304
Work 328-1028/Home 756-4126
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Description: This course examines the major trends in the development of civilization in Japanese history, through the perspective of historically significant literary texts, from prehistory to the middle of the eighteenth century. Readings in important Japanese historical texts, fiction and non-fiction, in translation, will be at the core of the course.  The significance of the readings will be amplified by visits to sites related to the readings, primarily in Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka.

Students will receive three credit hours for this course, based on a scheduled 45 contact hours of lectures, delivered before, during and after the study tour. 

Course Requirements & Grading: Students will also be expected to write a journal of their experiences in Japan, noting where they went, what they saw, and how it impressed them.  Reflections on travel experiences are one valuable way of taking the experience to a different, more meaningful level. Journals, submitted the last day of the semester, will count 30% of the final grade. 

A research paper on an assigned topic, "Kyoto as a Site of Traditional East Asian History," will also be required. It will count 40% of the final grade.

Regular participation in the Kyoto Study Tour will also count for 30% of the final grade.

Objectives: This  course seeks to provide for students an appreciation of the fundamentals shaping Japanese civilization, be they religious, philosophical, economic, literary, linguistic, or artistic. Thus, by the end of the semester students should have an understanding of the nature of Japanese geography, Confucianism, Daoism, varieties of Japanese Buddhism, the essential emphases of Japanese legal systems, literatures, and philosophies, as well as the key components of the Japanese language. Given this broad background in the fundamentals, students who complete the course successfully should be able to more insightfully assimilate new information and studies related to Japan. Additionally, as is true with the study of any foreign culture, students should have realized significantly more about themselves and their "own" culture. Since most of the instruction will take place in Japan, lectures will be formulated in relation to historic and cultural sites visited. 

Required Readings: In order to relate contemporary news to East Asian history, students will be given press handouts on a regular basis. Material in them will be discussed in class, the stuff of quizzes, and possibly exams. In addition, the following are the texts required for the course. 
Conrad Schirokauer. A Brief History of Japanese Civilizations. New York: Harcourt Brace, Jovanovich, 1993.

Edward Seidensticker, trans. The Tale of Genji. New York: Vintage Books, 1990.

Richard Bowring, trans., The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.

Oe Kenzaburo. The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath. Grove Press, 1985.

A. L. Sadler, trans. Ten Foot Square Hut and Tales of the Heike. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Press, 1971.

Students are encouraged to read extensively about East Asia, using the Joyner Library collection, interlibrary loan materials, postings on the internet, or their personal library. At the same time, the three texts assigned must be read carefully since they are the material on which students will be tested. Generally speaking, students will not be expected to "know" details which appear only in the readings assigned. However, any material that is mentioned in class and appears in the readings will be considered fair game for the quizzes and exams. 

Disability Statement: East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a covered disability must go to the Department for Disability Support Services, located in Brewster A-117, to verify the disability before any accommodations can occur.  The telephone number is 252-328-6799.