Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM001N (AF:348437 AR:186979)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
This is one of the characterizing subjects within the "Japan" curriculum of the graduate course in "Lingue e Culture dell'Asia e dell'Africa Mediterranea".
The course contributes to the attainment of the teaching goals of the graduate course in the area of language skills and includes also the more specific goals of the cultural and humanities areas.
The main objectives of the course are: 1) to acquire a foundational knowledge of Japanese premodern literature’s genres, literary techniques, and historical development; 2) to develop critical thinking skills through textual, historical, and socio-cultural analysis, through a variety of activities including close reading, class discussion, and longer written analyses; 3) to gain competencies in situating literature in its socio-cultural, political, ideological,
and historical context, and in critically assessing the relationship between works of literature produced in different periods; 4) to acquire useful tools to conduct bibliographic research and work independently on different topics of Japanese premodern literature ; 5) to learn how to write an academic essay.
Knowledge and understanding:
- to know and understand the main authors and works of Japanese premodern literature
- to know and understand concepts and tools from the fields of literary criticism and historiography
- to deepen the knowledge and understanding of historical contexts through the analysis of literary texts
- to know useful tools to conduct independently bibliographic research

Applying knowledge and understanding:
- to analyze and interpret literary texts by using concepts and tools from the fields of literary criticism and historiography
- to critically apply concepts from literary historiography to the historical period studied in the course
- to use bibliographic references in different languages (included Japanese)
- to conduct new and interdisciplinary researches

Making judgements:
- to produce critical judgments on the textual and historical-literary phenomena that are part of the program
- to subject various types of sources (academic and creative texts) to critical examination
- to develop original and innovative theories on the topics introduced during the lessons

- to express one's opinion in an effective way
- to re-elaborate and express in an effective way the opinions of other people
- to write independently an academic essays on Japanese premodern literature
- to analyze and translate texts written in Classical Japanese

Lifelong learning skills:
- to know how to conduct bibliographic research
- to know how to critically integrate the study of different materials (notes, slides, manuals, creative texts, academic articles)
- to be able to read and re-elaborate in a synthetic way materials written in different languages
- to refine one's ability to use the online teaching platform
- to know how to write an academic essay in an effective way
A solid knowledge of Japanese political and social history from the X to XVIII century. Good command of classical and modern Japanese.
Ise monogatari is traditionally identified as one of the most important Japanese literary text of the Heian period (794-1185). Since the eleventh century when it was enshrined in the classical literary canon it has been the object of intensive study and extensive commentary. The course will consider how Ise monogatari have been interpreted, and reinterpreted, over time. What significance does it hold for us as modern Italian-language readers? What values or meanings might it have had for contemporary audiences? Through the close reading of a selection of essays students will be able to understand the range of interests and methodologies that inform scholarship on Ise monogatari. These include: examinations of the historical context that produced it; the continental influences on it; its influence on Genji monogatari and vice versa; its function as source text for noh plays; the long commentary tradition on this work; the illustrations and parodies that arouse from it in the Edo period (1603-1868); and the contemporary manga adaptations.
Students will be expected to develop translation skills (expecially from modern and classical Japanese) and sharpen their ability to apply philological and critical arguments to selected pieces of Ise monogatari. They will also learn how to conduct bibliographic research and how to write a brief academic essay on the topics discussed during the lessons. For this purpose the teacher will explain how to use several databases and websites of national and international libraries. Teacher will also guide students to the gradual process of writing academic essays and to the correct use of editorial rules.
- Maurizi Andrea (ed.) (2018) . I racconti di Ise. Venezia: Marsilio Editori.
- Moretti Laura (2016) Recasting the Past. An Early Modern "Tales of Ise" for Children. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
- Mostow Joshua S., Yamamoto Tokuro, Hanlon Kurtis (eds.) (2021). An Ise monogatari Reader. Context and Reception. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
- Mostow Joshua S. (2021). " The Ise-e Tradition and Ise Manga". Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese 55 (1), pp. 215-242.
- Mostow Joshua S. (2014). Courtly Visions. The Ise Stories and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
- Newhard Jamie L. (2013). Knowing the Amorous Man. A History of Scholarship on Tales of Ise. Cambridge (Massachusetts) and London: Harvard University Asia Center.
- Shirane Haruo, Suzuki Tomi (eds.) (2000). Inventing the Classics. Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Katagiri Yoichi (ed.) ( 1972) "Ise monogatari". Katagiri Yoichi, Fukui Teisuke, Takahashi Shoji, Shimizu Yoshiko (eds.). Taketori monogatari, Ise monogatari, Yamato monogatari, Heichu monogatari. Tokyo: Shogakukan. Nihon koten bungaku zenshu 8.
A selection of texts in classical Japanese will be available for download on the online learning platform of this course. Detailed explanation about bibliography will be also available on the same online learning platform.
The achievement of the objectives of the course will be verified as follows:
1) Evaluation of a short essay (max 3000 words, 50% of the final mark) focusing on the analysis of one of the topics discussed during the lessons. The essay will be submitted one week before the oral exam and will follow the editorial roles explained by the teacher.
2) Evaluation of an interview (50% of the final mark) which aims to verify students' knowledge of the textual references and critical scholarship of the field included in the section "referral texts" of the syllabus. Students will be also expected to prove their ability to analyze and translate a selection of pieces from literary works in Classical Japanese.
Frontal Lessons with Power Point presentations in video streaming.
written and oral
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 27/09/2021