2016 Special Lecture: Intellectual History in Japan

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Hatanaka Kenji 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue7-8(S224)  Fri7-8(S224)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

In this lecture, we construe the intellectual history in Japan with reference to a certain theme. 2016's theme is the evil.
Through interpretation, examination and criticism of discourses on the evil in Japan, students will be able to understand the historical diversity of the concept of the evil.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand the features and backgrounds of the historical ideas of evil in Japan and their diversity.
2) Obtain basic skills required in the human sciences such as reading, examination, mutual criticism and constructing an academic statement.


Japan, ethical thought, religion

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

lectures with slides and video. Group discussion.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction: Invitation to the evil
Class 2 Overview on the ancient and medieval thought in Japan
Class 3 1. evil in ancient myths Kojiki, Nihonshoki
Class 4 2. "Akuto" Konjaku Monogatari-shu, Heike Monogatari
Class 5 3. evil person and salvation Tannisho
Class 6 Overview on the thought in Tokugawa era
Class 7 1.The concept of the evil in Confucianism Mencius
Class 8 2. The case of Ako (1701-1702) Chushingura or Forty-seven Ronin
Class 9 3. The concept of the evil in Kokugaku Motoori, Kojiki-den
Class 10 4. evil in popular culture of the first half of the 19th century in Japan Namboku, The Yotsuya kwaidan
Class 11 Overview of the modern thought in Japan
Class 12 1. villaines and witches Ozaki, The Gold Demon
Class 13 2. Watsuji Tetsuro and his "community" Watuji, Ethics
Class 14 3. Who is Dr.Fu Manchu? Rohmer, The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu
Class 15 4. Maruyama Masao and Hannah Arendt Maruyama, Thought and Behaviour in Modern Japanese Politics Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem


Hand out lecture materials

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are provided during class.

Assessment criteria and methods

paper 1: 40%, paper 2(final paper): 60%
Details will be explained in the first class.

Related courses

  • SHS.U443 : Graduate Lecture in Culture and Arts F1A

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Nothing required

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