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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Spring 2010

ANS 361 • Suicide in Japanese Fiction-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30960 F
9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Course Description

This course will examine works of Japanese literature and visual culture (including novels, plays, films and anime) to analyze how artists grappled with themes of suicide in their works (and sometimes in their lives) in response to tragedy, both personal and national. We will discuss the ethics and politics of artistic representations of suicide when it is precipitated by such diverse contexts as failed romances, military honor, and old age. We will also consider how these works provoke questions about the responsibilities of the individual and artist in Japanese society. This class requires no background in Japanese language or culture; all readings are in English translation.

Grading Policy

Final Paper (detailed instructions to follow): 10% In-class quizzes and/or take-home assignments: 40% Class Participation: 5% Short papers (3 total) 45%


Kojiki Double Suicide (Shinju Ten no Amijima, Shinoda Masahiro, 1969) "Love Suicides at Kamaara" (Yoshida Sueko, 1984) “Double Suicide” (Shinju, Kawabata Yasunari, 1927) Cruel Story of Youth (Seishun zankoku monogatari, Oshima Nagisa, 1960) “Double Suicide, A Japanese Phenomenon”, Oba Minako Tr. Manabu Takechi and Wayne Root. Japan Interpreter, vol. 9, no. 3, 1975


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