LIT 225: Poetry and Drama of Japan

Prof. Ikeda, Winter 2015

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This course guide contains resources and research support for professor Ikeda's course Poetry and Drama of Japan.

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This course is designed to introduce students to the poetry and theater of Japan's premodern era. We examine classical themes and poetic art forms, and read from the vast canon of Japanese poetry. Readings cover major poets such as Hitomaro, Komachi, Teika, Saigyo, Sogi and Basho. The second part of the course offers a close study of the four traditional dramatic art forms of Japan: Noh, Kyogen or Comic Theater, Puppet Theater, and Kabuki. Students experience the performative aspect of the Noh theater by learning dance movements and song/chant from the play Yuya . The final part of the course demonstrates how classical theater has influenced modern playwrights and novelists. -- from the course catalog

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Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the poetry and theater of Japan’s pre-modern era.  We will examine classical themes, poetic art forms and read from the vast canon of Japanese poetry.  Readings will cover major poets such as Hitomaro, Komachi, Saigyo, Sogi and Basho.  The second part of the course will offer a close study of the four traditional dramatic art forms of Japan: Noh, Kyōgen or Comic Theater, Puppet Theater and Kabuki.  Students will experience the performative aspect of the Noh theater by learning dance movements and song/chant from the play “Yuya.”  The final part of the course will demonstrate how classical theater has influenced modern playwrights and novelists.