The Supernatural in Japanese Fiction, Film and Animation

Columbia University, Fall 2005
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Patrick Caddeau, 407 Kent Hall

Course meets: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:10 to 10:25 in 413 Kent Hall


Assigned readings are to be completed before class. Students are expected to lead at least one in-class presentation during the semester. Weekly response papers (250 words) are to be submitted via email each Monday by 10:00 pm except on weeks when a short essay is due. Two short essays, approximately 1,000 words (4 pages) in length, and a final paper, approximately 2,000 words (8 pages) in length, are to be submitted during the course of the semester. One-half letter grade will be deducted for each day written assignments are submitted beyond the specified date. Regular attendance, contribution to class discussion, viewing of screened films, and completion of assignments will factor into final grade. Film screenings are normally scheduled for Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm. See syllabus for additional information and instructions concerning films.

The following books can be purchased at the Columbia University Bookstore:

The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature: Susan Napier
Kafka on the Shore:
Murakami Haruki
The Woman in the Dunes:
Kôbô Abe
Seven Japanese Tales
: Jun’ichirô Tanizaki

Additional reading assigments can be viewed by clicking the links found in the on-line syllabus. Readings not available on-line will be distributed in reading packets.

The following reference materials and suggested readings will be available in Bulter Library on reserve for the course:

Bordwell, Film Art (PN1995 .B617 1990)
Keene, Dawn to the West (PL726.55 .K39 1984)
Napier, Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke (NC1766.J3 N37 2001)
Varley, Japanese Culture (DS821 .V36 2000)

(specific dates on syllabus and scheduled film screening times subject to change, changes will be announced in class)

Unless otherwise noted film screenings will be held on Friday afternoons at 1:00 pm in 413 Kent Hall. If you are unable to attend a scheduled film screening make arrangements to view the film in the media center before the class meeting in which the film will be discussed. The call number for the film, when available, follows the title (in English then Japanese), director, year released, and length of film. Films will normally be available at the reserve desk for the course, but please note that films are subject to limited availability in the media center.

9/9 Princess Mononoke (Mononoke hime; Miyazaki Hayao, 1997, 134m: DVD 3120)
9/16 Spirited Away (Sen to chihiro, Miyazaki Hayao, 2001, 124m: DVD 3129)
9/23 Ugetsu (Ugetsu Monogatari; Mizoguchi Kenji,1953, 96 m,  VIDEO PN1997 .U44 1990 Z)
9/30 Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1951, 88m, DVD 1233)

10/7 Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka, Isao Takahata, 1988, 88m, PN1997. H67
10/14 Godzilla (Gojira, Honda Ishirô, 1954, 108m, PN1997 G5743 1954)
10/21 Ghost in the Shell (Kôkaku kidôtai;Mamoru Oshii, 1995, 82m: DVD 2288)
10/28 Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo 1987, 124m, PN6790.J3 O8691)
11/4 Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 161m: PS 1917 . K68 1995 g)
11/10 Ring (Hideo Nakata 1998, 98m; Japan VHS)
11/11 Ring, the (Gore Verbinski, 2002, 115m,  PL861.U95 R569)
11/18 Woman in the Dunes (Suna no onna; Teshigahara Hiroshi, 1969, 127m: DVD 1009)
11/30 Picnic (Shunji Iwai, 1986, 68 m)
12/2 Afterlife (Wadafuru raifu, Kore-edo Hirokazu, 1998, 118m: DVD 3626)