This course examines Japanese literature of the Meiji era, an era unique in the history of the world. Until the 1400s, Japan had no contact with the West due to its geographic location. After a brief and limited exposure to Western literature, Japan closed its doors to the West and remained isolated from approximately 1600 until 1868. During the Meiji Era (1868-1912) Japan was flooded with examples of all the phases of Western literature it had missed, and Japanese writers soon responded to the Western developments. This course will deal with that response, from Tsubouchi Shyoyo's criticism of modern Japanese novels and their lack of appreciation for Realism, to the development of the Japanese I-novel. Due to Japan's literary response to the West, it can also be argued that the Meiji Era marked the end of Japanese literature as a unique entity, and this course will explore this issue as well.

Recent Sections Instructor(s) Syllabus
Fall 2017: 01-LEC Mary Diaz Syllabus Unavailable


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