Selected Topics: 
East Asian History
HIST 4533

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 history and civilization in East Asia, primarily through readings in literature. While East Asia is generally understood to comprise China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, due to limitations of time, the course will focus primarily on developments in Japanese literary works, especially as they reflect larger developments of the region. After all, Japan was undoubtedly the most pivotal center where the fundamentals of East Asian civilization flourished, yet with distinctive local variations. 

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. 

Students are also expected to write a research paper on an assigned topic. The paper will count 40% of the final grade. The assigned topic for the 2005 Study Tour will be "
The Tale of Genji and Japanese/Kyoto Culture." Among other themes, student papers will be expected to explore the extent to which modern Japanese culture retains any of the sensibilities evident in the Tale of Genji. Also, comments on the visibility of Genji themes in the modern Kansai area, including most notably Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, and Uji, will be helpful.

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

Objectives: This  course seeks to provide for students an appreciation of the fundamentals shaping East Asian 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 East Asian geography, Confucianism, Daoism, varieties of East Asian Buddhism, the essential emphases of East Asian legal systems, literatures, and philosophies, as well as the key components of East Asian languages. 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 East Asia. 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. 
Edward Seidensticker, trans. The Tale of Genji. New York: Vintage Books, 1990.

Ivan Morris, trans. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991.

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

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

Yoshimoto Banana. Kitchen. Washington Square Press, 1994.

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.