JAP4110 – Classical Japanese

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course introduces students to a range of varieties of pre-modern Japanese forms of writing.

In addition to offering a grounding in classical Japanese grammar, the course will discuss issues related to the transition from classical to modern Japanese in the Meiji period. In class, we will read excerpts from pre-modern and early modern texts.

Also, we will discuss academic articles and essays that deal with social and political aspects of language change in modernizing Japan.

Learning outcome

  • You will gain insight in earlier stages of the Japanese language.
  • You will become able to reflect on the dynamics behind the radical changes that led to the creation of modern Japanese in the Meiji period.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the MA programme option Japanese Studies.


The course consists of 1 class of 2 hours once a week over 10 weeks.

Obligatory activities:

  • Attendance to at least 8 of 10 classes
  • A qualifying assignment

The qualifying assignment is to be submitted in Canvas within a given deadline. Approved obligatory activities are valid in the present semester and the two next semesters that the course is given. All obligatory activities must be approved in order to qualify for the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of any absence from class, and to check whether or not the compulsory activities are approved. 

This is how you apply for valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.


The exam is a 4 hours written school exam. The exam includes questions about grammar, translation of passages discussed in class, and questions based on assigned essays about language change in Japan.

All obligatory activities must be approved in order to qualify for the exam. See "Teaching" for more information.

Grading guidelines

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

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.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Periodic evaluation Spring 2014

Periodic evaluation Autumn 2010

Periodic evaluation Autumn 2008


Useful information about master's studies at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language