HAILI KONG, Professor and Chair
ELEONORE BAGINSKI, Administrative Coordinator
BETHANNE SEUFERT, Administrative Assistant

WILLIAM O. GARDNER, Associate Professor
YOSHIKO JO, Lecturer
ATSUKO SUDA, Lecturer 3
CHRISTOPHER SCHAD, Visiting Lecturer

Language Resource Center
MICHAEL JONES, Language Resource Center Director
ALEXANDER SAVOTH, Language Resource Center Technologist


3 Absent on leave, 2014–2015.


The Academic Program

Courses in Japanese language, literature, and culture may be combined with courses taken at Haverford, Bryn Mawr and with study abroad toward a special major or a minor in Japanese or may be counted toward a major or minor in Asian studies (see Asian studies). Interested students should consult with the section head of Japanese or with the chair of Asian studies.

Special Majoring and Minoring in Japanese

Students may construct a special major in Japanese, featuring intensive study in Japanese language, literature, and culture. Japanese special majors will complete their coursework through a combination of study at Swarthmore, courses at Haverford or Bryn Mawr, and study abroad. Students interested in a Japanese special major or minor should consult with the section head of Japanese as soon as possible.

Students seeking a broader exposure to East Asian society and culture may consider a Japanese concentration within the Asian studies major. Students who wish to concentrate on linguistics rather than Japanese literature and culture may construct a special major in Japanese Language and Linguistics, with a combination of advanced language study at Haverford and Bryn Mawr, study abroad and courses and seminars in the Linguistics department at Swarthmore College. Students wishing to pursue this possibility should consult with the Japanese section head.

Special Major in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture

At least 10 total credits starting with 001, including at least one credit outside the department, are required for a special major in Japanese. Special majors should complete the following sequence of language courses JPNS 001, 002, 003, 004, 012, 012A, 013, 013A or their equivalent. Japanese special majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in a program approved by the section; transfer credits normally may be counted toward the special major.

Special majors should complete at least two courses on Japanese culture of level 015 and higher and at least two additional courses of level 30 and higher or their equivalent in coursework outside the department. Students are encouraged to combine their study of Japanese literature and culture with coursework in Japanese history, anthropology and sociology, religion, art, music, economics, political science, education, comparative literature, and other related fields within the tri-college consortium. At least two courses on Japanese literature and culture should normally be taken within the department.

All special majors will complete a culminating project.

Minor in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture

A minimum of 5 credits numbered 004 and above is required for the course minor. At least one credit must be taken in Japanese literature, film or culture in translation, either in coursework offered by the Japanese section or its equivalent in coursework outside of Swarthmore, with the approval of the section. A minimum of 3 credits should be taken at Swarthmore.

The section strongly encourages study abroad in a section-approved program; transferred credits normally may be counted toward the minor. One credit may be earned from another department on a Japan-related subject with the approval of the section.

Honors Special Majors and Minors in Japanese

Honors study for qualified students may be substituted for the culminating project in the major. Students are encouraged to consult with the Japanese section head to discuss Honors special majors and honors minors.


JPNS 001–002. Introduction to Japanese

Students who start in the 001–002 sequence must complete 002 to receive credit for 001.
This intensive introduction to Japanese develops the four language skills of speaking, writing, listening, and reading. The spoken component will cover both formal and casual forms of speech; the written component will introduce the hiragana and katakana syllabaries; and about 200 kanji characters.
1.5 credits.

JPNS 001.

Fall 2014. Jo, Schad.

JPNS 002.

Spring 2015. Jo, Schad.

JPNS 003–004. Second-Year Japanese

Combines intensive oral practice with writing and reading in the modern language. The course attempts to increase students’ expressive ability through the introduction of more advanced grammatical patterns and idiomatic expressions. The course will introduce approximately 300 new kanji characters in addition to the 200 covered in JPNS 001002.
1.5 credits.

JPNS 003.

Fall 2014. Gardner, Jo.

JPNS 004.

Spring 2015. Gardner, Jo.

JPNS 007. Chinese/Japanese Calligraphy

(Cross-listed as CHIN 007)
Calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting. This course will introduce students to the importance of calligraphy in East Asian Culture. In addition to being a valuable cultural skill, calligraphy is also a process of self-cultivation and self-expression, which reflects the mind-set of the writer. Thus, students will have the opportunity to learn Chinese/Japanese characters not only as linguistic symbols but also as cultural emblems and as an art form. Course objectives include learning to appreciate the beauty of Chinese/Japanese calligraphy, experiencing calligraphy by writing with a brush and ink, and studying various philosophies of calligraphy. In addition to learning several different calligraphic scripts, students will be introduced to the origin, evolution, and aesthetic principles of the Chinese and Japanese writing systems, as well as calligraphy’s close connections with painting and poetry. Persistent hands-on practice will be required of all students; course work will include in-class practice, individual/group instruction, reading assignments, and take-home assignments. This class is open to all students and has no language requirement. Due to the course’s practicum component, enrollment will be limited by lottery to 10 students. The course can be repeated for credit.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
0.5 credit.
Spring 2015. Jo.

JPNS 012–013. Third-Year Japanese

These courses aim to lead Japanese students into the intermediate-advanced level, deepening students’ exposure to Japanese culture through the study of authentic materials and the application of language skills in diverse linguistic contexts. They will combine oral practice with reading, viewing, and discussion of authentic materials including newspaper articles, video clips, and literary selections. Students will continue to develop their expressive ability through use of more advanced grammatical patterns and idiomatic expressions, and will gain practice in composition and letter writing. These courses will introduce approximately 300 new kanji characters in addition to approximately 500 covered in first- and second-year Japanese.
Prerequisite: Completion of JPNS 004 or demonstration of equivalent language skills.
These courses are recommended to be taken together with JPNS 012A in the fall semester and JPNS 013A in the spring semester, which will provide additional opportunities for application and extension of newly acquired skills.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Schad.

JPNS 012A. Japanese Conversation

This course aims to improve students’ command of spoken Japanese at the intermediate level. Can be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: completion of JPNS 004, or instructor’s permission.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
0.5 credit.
Spring 2015. Schad.

JPNS 013A. Readings in Japanese

This course aims to improve students’ intermediate-advanced reading skills, while introducing them to the world of Japanese literature in the original. We will examine texts in various genres, such as personal essays, short stories, folk tales, manga, haiku, and free-verse poetry, and discuss the distinctive features of each genre as well as the cultural context for each work. Readings and discussion will be in Japanese. The course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: completion of JPNS 012, or instructor’s permission.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
0.5 credit.
Fall 2014. Gardner.

JPNS 014A. Foreign Language Teaching and Pedagogy

(Cross-listed as EDUC 072)
This course has two elements that are developed together throughout the course of the semester. Students can serve the Swarthmore community by teaching a foreign language to local elementary school students in an after-school program that meets two times/week. Students must teach for the entire 6-week session, two days per week. During the evening pedagogy sessions held on campus, we will discuss writing weekly lesson plans, foreign language acquisition in children, teaching methodologies and approaches. We use a common goal-oriented curriculum among all the languages. Students must register for the language or educational studies course that they will be teaching and for a service time (A) M/W or (B) T/Th.
0.5 credit.
Spring 2015. Staff.

JPNS 017. First-Year Seminar: The World of Japanese Drama

(Cross-listed as LITR 017J/THEA 017)
This first-year seminar will explore the unique dramatic traditions of Japan from diverse angles, including a study of dramatic texts, videos of performance, and films based on famous dramatic works. Our seminar will focus on the three great dramatic traditions of Noh masked drama, Bunraku puppet theater, and Kabuki. We will also examine the cultural background of these dramatic forms, including the influence of Buddhism, Shintô, and shamanism, as well as the philosophical background and methodology of training and performance.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

JPNS 019. Topics in Japanese

This fourth-year level advanced Japanese course aims to develop students’ language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, through examination and discussion of a variety of authentic materials on selected topics such as literature, language, history, education, and society. Readings and discussion will be in Japanese.
Prerequisite: completion of JPNS 013 or equivalent.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

JPNS 021. Modern Japanese Literature

(Cross-listed as LITR 021J)
An introduction to Japanese fiction from the Meiji Restoration (1868) to the present day, focusing on how literature has been used to express the personal voice and to shape and critique the concept of the modern individual. We will discuss the development of the mode of personal narrative known as the “I novel” as well as those authors and works that challenge this literary mode. In addition, we will explore how the personal voice in literature is interwoven with the great intellectual and historical movements of modern times, including Japan’s encounter with the West and rapid modernization, the rise of Japanese imperialism and militarism, World War II and its aftermath, the emergence of an affluent consumer society in the postwar period, and the impact of global popular culture and the horizon of new transnational identities in the 21st century. All readings and discussions will be in English.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

JPNS 024. Japanese Film and Animation

(Cross-listed as LITR 024J/FMST 057)
This course offers a historical and thematic introduction to Japanese cinema, one of the world’s great film traditions. Our discussions will center on the historical context of Japanese film, including how films address issues of modernity, gender, and national identity. Through our readings, discussion, and writing, we will explore various approaches to film analysis, with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of formal and thematic issues. A separate unit will consider the postwar development of Japanese animation (anime) and its special characteristics. Screenings will include films by Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Imamura, Kitano, and Miyazaki.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

JPNS 035. Narratives of Disaster and Rebuilding in Japan

(Cross-listed as LITR 035J)
This course will explore documentary and fictional representations of the modern Japanese landscape and cityscape in crisis, with special attention to the role of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster as a catalyst for change in contemporary Japan. Documentaries and fictionalizations of the 2011 “triple disaster” reignited debates over cultural trauma and the ethics of representing disaster. Through the study of literature, film, and critical discourse, we will examine the historical and cultural implications of such famous 20th-century disaster narratives as Godzilla and Japan Sinks, as well as the latest writing and films from Japan, in the context of public debates about safety, sustainability, and social change after the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.
The course is a part of the BMC 360˚ course cluster “Perspectives on Sustainability: Disasters and Rebuilding in Japan.” The final project for the 360˚ course cluster will involve an exhibition utilizing objects and texts in the Trico special collections and archives. Readings and discussions will be in English. Course enrollment is limited; priority for registration will be given to 360˚ students and Japanese and Asian Studies majors and minors.
Eligible for ASIA or ENVS credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

JPNS 041. Fantastic Spaces in Modern Japanese Literature

(Cross-listed as LITR 041J)
As Japanese society has transformed rapidly in the 20th century and beyond, a number of authors have turned to the fantastic to explore the pathways of cultural memory, the vicissitudes of interpersonal relationships, the limits of mind and body, and the nature of storytelling itself. In this course, we will consider the use of anti-realistic writing genres in Japanese literature from 1900 to the present, combining readings of novels and short stories with related critical and theoretical texts.
Fictional works examined will include novels, supernatural tales, science fiction, and mysteries by authors such as Tanizaki Junichirô, Edogawa Rampo, Kurahashi Yumiko, and Murakami Haruki. Readings will be in English; no previous experience in Japanese studies is required.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

JPNS 051. Japanese Poetry and Poetics

(Cross-listed as LITR 051J)
Japanese poetic forms such as haiku, renga, and tanka have had a great impact on modern poetry across the world, and have played a central role in the development of Japanese literature and aesthetics. This course will examine Japanese poetry from its roots in ancient oral tradition though the internet age. Topics include the role of poetry in courtship, communication, religion, and ritual; orality and the graphic tradition; the influence of poetic models from China and the West; social networks and game aesthetics in renga linked poetry; and haiku as a worldwide poetic form. Course projects will include translation and composition in addition to analytical writing. Readings will be in English, and there are no language requirements or other prerequisites; however, the course will include a close examination of Japanese poetic sound, syntax, meter, and diction, or how the poems “work” in the original language.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Gardner.

JPNS 061. Manga, Bande Dessinée, and the Graphic Novel: A Transnational Study of Graphic Fiction

(Cross-listed as LITR 061FJ)
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

JPNS 074. Japanese Popular Culture and Contemporary Media

(Cross-listed as LITR 074J)
Japanese popular culture products such as manga (comics), anime (animation), television, film and popular music are an increasingly vital element of 21st-century global culture, attracting ardent fans around the world. In this course, we will critically examine the postwar development of Japanese popular culture, together with the proliferation of new media that have accelerated the global diffusion of popular cultural forms. Engaging with theoretical ideas and debates regarding popular culture and media, we will discuss the significance of fan cultures, including the “otaku” phenomenon in Japan and the Unites States, and consider how national identity and ethnicity impact the production and consumption of popular cultural products. We will also explore representations of technology in creative works, and consider the global and the local aspects of technological innovations, including the internet, mobile phones, and other portable technology. Readings and discussion will be in English. The course will be conducted in a seminar format with student research and presentations comprising an important element of the class. Previous coursework in Japanese studies or media studies is recommended but not required. Eligible for ASIA Program

1 credit.

JPNS 083. War and Postwar in Japanese Culture

(Cross-listed as LITR 083J)
What was the Japanese experience of World War II and the Allied Occupation? We will examine literary works, films, and graphic materials (photographs, prints, advertisements, etc.), together with oral histories and historical studies, to seek a better understanding of the prevailing ideologies and intellectual struggles of wartime and postwar Japan as well the experiences of individuals living through the cataclysmic events of midcentury. Issues to be investigated include Japanese nationalism and imperialism; women’s experiences of the war and home front; changing representations and ideologies of the body; war writing and censorship; the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Japanese responses to the Occupation; and the war in postwar memory. The course readings and discussions will be in English.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

JPNS 094. Independent Study
JPNS 096. Japanese Thesis

Writing course.