JAP2501 – Japanese Contemporary Society Through Film and Animation
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
This course examines Japan’s postwar and contemporary society on the basis of Japanese film and animation. The classes are divided into two parts. The first part consists of screenings of both major and relatively unknown feature films, documentaries and anime from the 1950s up until the present day, by leading or representative authors such as Ozu Yasujirō, Miyazaki Hayao, Hara Kazuo, Ōtomo Katsuhiro, Kawase Naomi, and others. In the second part we will position the screened works within the various distinct periods of Japan’s postwar history and, on the basis of the screenings and the related readings, discuss issues such as:
- family and gender
- depopulation and ageing
- city and countryside
- economy and environment
- rule and opposition
- immigration and minorities
- war memory and national identity
- nostalgia and rural imagination
Students will gain a deep understanding of some of the issues that are central to postwar and contemporary Japanese society. On the basis of the readings, the lectures and the discussions they will become familiar with various views and interpretations of these social, political, economic and intellectual issues. They will learn to reflect upon these issues in a critical and comparative way. Furthermore, by following this course, students will develop their academic writing and discussion skills, and will be trained to analyze a film. And in the process they will also acquaint themselves with a dozen core works of contemporary Japanese cinema and animation.
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Recommended previous knowledge
The course requires good knowledge of English. The course is conducted in English. There will be English subtitles to the screenings, and the related readings will also be in English.
The course JAP1501 – Dagens Japan provides helpful background information.
Teaching is in the form of 3-4 hour meetings, consisting of a screening followed by a lecture and discussion. There will be one long break in between the two parts. The lecture and discussion are based on the screening and the related readings. It is obligatory to attend at least 80% of the classes. The screenings are not obligatory for those who have already seen the film or animation. Active participation, in the form of questions and participation in the discussion on the basis of the screening and the texts prepared in advance, is required.
- The course also requires the handing in of an obligatory qualifying assignment, consisting of an outline of the final paper and a related list of sources
- The qualifying assignment must be approved by the teacher in order to be qualified to write the final paper
The qualifying assignment is only valid for one semester.
All obligatory qualifying assignments must be approved in order to qualify for the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to check whether or not the compulsory activities are approved. This is how you apply for valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.
The qualifying assignment must be approved before the student can sit for the exam.
The examination is a 10-page essay.
Submit assignments in Inspera
You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.
Use of sources and citation
Language of examination
English or Norwegian
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
Withdrawal from an examination
It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.