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Japanese Literature Course Learning Plans

Course Overview
This course will seek to develop a deeper student understanding and empathy for Japan and her people
through the lens of literature. As some of the depth and meaning can be lost in translation for English
readers the course will also identify key historical and cultural points associated with the literature. The
course will further focus on specific ideals and concepts that resonate with the Japanese experience. At
the beginning of the term, students will receive a survey identifying their knowledge of Japanese
literature, culture, and people. This will be done so that students may later reflect on the awareness
they have gained and the misinformation they have corrected.
Students will have two ongoing online assignments. The first will be a blog cataloging individual
student's reflection papers on the cultural and social impact and implications of the literature as it
relates to the Japanese experience. Students will be urged to review these reflection papers as the
course progresses to try and identify connections between the lessons as well as to the Japanese
experience as a whole. The second online assignment will be a poetry portfolio that will document
specific themes and structures practiced through the periods studied.
To accommodate the vast history of Japanese literature the course will be divided into lessons
historically focusing on specific authors and styles. The titles of each section are as follows:
I. Respect, Honor, and Diligence in Japan: Japanese Folktales
A. Urashimo Taro
B. Issun Bshi
C. Kasajiz
D. Momotaro
II. Perfection in Japan: Ancient Literature
A. Kaifuso
B. Man' Ysh
III. Emotions in Japan: The Heian Period
A. The Pillow Book
B. The Tale of Genji
C. The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu

IV. Impermanence in Japan: The Kamakura Period


A. Tale of Heike
B. An Account of My Hut
C. Shinkokinshu
V. Restraint and Release in Japan: The Muromachi Period
A. Four Styles of Japanese Theater
B. N Theater
C. Seami's The Art of N
D. Three Poets of Minase
Common Core Standards for Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and
Language Standards used in course
Reading
CCS.LA.R.L1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says
explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves
matters uncertain.
CCS.LA.R.L2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of
the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an
objective summary of the text.
CCS.LA.R.L3 Analyze the impact of the authors choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a
story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and
developed)
CCR.LA.R.L4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative
and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words
with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.
CCR.LA.R.I7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats
(e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCS.LA.R.L7 Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a
play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.
Writing
CCS.LA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and
information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds
on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g.,
figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended
definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audiences
knowledge of the topic.
c. Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create
cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and

analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.


e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions
of the discipline in which they are writing.
f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or
explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
CCS.LA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in
standards 13 above.)
CCS.LA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a selfgenerated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple
sources on
the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCS.LA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively;
assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others
while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation .
CCS.LA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research
CCS.LA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter
time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Speaking and Listening
CCS.LA.S&L.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups,
and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 1112 topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and
expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on
that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate
a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision making, set clear goals and
deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence;
ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and
conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on
all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or
research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
CCS.LA.S&L.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually,
quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and
accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
CCS.LA.S&L.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct
perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are
addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and
a range of formal and informal tasks.CCS.LA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and
convey ideas, concepts, and information
through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into
broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia
when useful toaiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other
information and examples.
c. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas
and concepts.
d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

e. Establish and maintain a formal style. f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from
and supports the information or explanation presented.
CCS.LA.S&L.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive
elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
CCS.LA.S&L.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English
when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 1112 Language standards 1 and 3 on page 54 for specific
expectations.)
Language Standards
CCS.LA.LS.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing
or speaking.
a. Apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention, can change over time, and is
sometimes contested.
b. Resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam-Websters
Dictionary of English Usage, Garners Modern American Usage) as needed.
CCS.LA.LS.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
a. Observe hyphenation conventions.
b. Spell correctly.
CCS.LA.LS.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make
effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
a. Vary syntax for effect, consulting references (e.g., Tuftes Artful Sentences) for guidance as needed;
apply an understanding of syntax to the study of complex texts when reading.
CCS.LA.LS.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word
meanings.
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.
b. Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.
CCS.LA.LS.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient
for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate
independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to
comprehension or expression.

I. Respect, Honor, and Diligence in Japan: Japanese Folktales


Urashimo Taro, Issun Bshi, Kasajizand Momotaro

Overview
To introduce the idea of Connecting to Japan through Literature the course will begin with some
simple folktales. The students will then key in on ideals and morals associated with these folktales to
gain a better understanding of the cultural ideals that will later drive the literature of works from later
periods. This lesson will primarily use stories taken from Seki's Folktales of Japan as source material.
Resources
D. Belcher. (1984). Illustrated: A Look into Japan. Japan. JTB Publishing Inc. pp. 20-33, 90-92, and
104-105
K. Seki. (1956). Folktales of japan. Chicago, IL. University of Chicago Press
P. Varley. (2000). Japanese Culture. Honolulu, HI. University of Hawai'i Press. pp.8-12
Target Competency
Students will be able identify Japanese cultural ideals taken from through the reading of
Japanese Folktales: Urashimo Taro, Issun Bshi, Kasajizand Momotaro.
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a one page reflection paper
In a short quiz
Your performance will be successful when:
You can identify the themes associated with the four assigned folktale.
You can understand the social, historical, cultural and impact that these folktales have
had on Japan.
Learning Objectives:
Students will understand Japanese cultural ideals of: filial piety, obedience, and
diligence, and sacrifice
Understand cultural ideals associated with Buddhism and Shinto
Students will be able to identify Japanese cultural ideals found in folktales on their own
You will demonstrate your competence:
In class discussion
Finding a Japanese folktale of your own
A half page reflection on the folktale
Completion of a Japanese Folktale Summary worksheet
Your performance will be successful when:
You can identify themes within a folktale and give an analysis and examples of how it
resonates in Japan today.
Learning Objectives:
Understand specific cultural ideals in Japanese society
Understand how these cultural ideals guide Japanese society
Students will be able to compare and contrast cultural ideals found in western and Japanese

folktales
You will demonstrate your competence:
In class discussion
Finding a western folktale of your own
Compare findings on worksheets in groups
Participate in group presentation of conclusions
Completion of a Japanese Folktale Summary worksheet
Completion of Folktale Compare and Contrast worksheet
Your performance will be successful when:
You can identify themes present in western folktales and give analysis and examples of
how they resonate in the West today
You can identify how these themes compare to those of Japanese folktales.
Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate ability to compare and contrast Japanese and Western culture through the
lens of literature
Students will be able to recognize Japanese vocabulary that pertains to the structure, style,
aesthetic and content of the literature:
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a short quiz
Through use of vocabulary in your reflection papers
Your performance will be successful when:
You recognize and write the Romanized version of the characters
You can hear or see the Japanese word and write the English equivalent
You can recognize the important components of the Japanese characters
Learning Objectives:
a. Demonstrate ability to translate key vocabulary to an English equivalent
b. Demonstrate ability to read and recognize Japanese characters
c. Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases,
sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening
Learning Activities
_____1. Read Japanese folktales: Urashimo Taro, Issun Bshi, Kasajizand Momotaro.
_____2. Complete Japanese Folktale summary worksheet for each story
_____3. Complete Folktale compare and contrast worksheet
Assessment Activities
_____1. Quiz for Japanese folktales: Urashimo Taro, Issun Bshi, Kasajizand
Momotaro (including vocabulary)
_____2. Participation in group discussion of the Japanese folktales
_____3. Group presentation of folktale compare and contrast
_____4. Written reflection papers on folktales

Terms used in lesson


Kami -
matsuri -
Oni -
hakama -
kibi dango -
momotaro -
Bshi -

Daimy
Shint
Bodhisattsva statue-
Kasajiz -
filial piety - (n) (a)

II. Perfection in Japan: Ancient Japanese Literature


Kaifuso and Man' Ysh
Overview
This lesson will focus on the idea of perfection and how it permeates through Japanese culture. It will
use examples in Ancient Japanese Literature to articulate this ideal. Excerpts from Kaifuso and Man'
Ysh will be used in addition to some contextual informative material. The two literary texts will also
give students an impression of cultural influences on Japan: foreign Chinese influence and native
Japanese ideals. The Kaifuso is an anthology of poetry written in Chinese. Students will gain an
understanding of the themes that influenced and intellectually guided early Japanese literature. The
Man' Ysh is a collection of Japanese poetry dating to the 8th century and is described as the true
beginning of Japanese poetry. Its passages give insight into the native Japanese soul and spirit.
Students will also complete their only independent waka which will be gradually revised over the
course of the semester giving students insight into the concept of seeking perfection that permeates
through the Japanese poetry of the time.
Resources
D. Belcher. (1984). Illustrated: A Look into Japan. Japan. JTB Publishing Inc. pp. 65
D. Keene. (1955). Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest to the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
New York, NY. Grove Press. pp. 19-24, 33-53 and 59-60.
D. Keene. (1955). Japanese Literature: An Introduction for Western Readers. New York, NY. Grove.
pp 1-21
P. Varley. (2000). Japanese Culture. Honolulu, HI. University of Hawai'i Press. pp.42-47
National Geographic Magazine
Target Competency
Students will be able to analyze and identify the differences between Kaifuso and Man' Ysh ,
and how these differences reflect Chinese and Japanese influences on literature of the time.
You will demonstrate your competence:
In two unique poetry entries for this lesson
In class discussion
In a test on the section
Your performance will be successful when:
You can write a you can write a wanka/tanka thematically similar the works of Man'

Ysh and Kaifuso


You can identify specific thematic elements reflected in Man' Ysh and Kaifuso
You can identify which style of poetry an excerpt represents with reading and analysis
You can support your analysis identifying the key thematic elements, characteristics,
word choice, etc.
Learning objectives:
Analyze and identify thematic elements of Japanese and Chinese styles independently
Identify who composed the majority of the poetry in each style
Understand the influence of Chinese philosophical ideals on Japanese literature
Understand how the Chinese language helped shape Japanese literature
Be able to analyze Japanese and Chinese style wanka
Understand why the two styles developed
Infer the impact that the development of these two styles might have upon Japanese
literature going forward
Understand the impact that the Japanese language had on the spread of the waka/tanka
Identify and understand the guiding themes in the Chinese style of poetry of Kaifuso
Identify and understand the guiding themes in the more native Japanese style of Man'
Ysh
Students will be able to identify how the literary style and approach of the period reflects
Japanese culture and identity today.
You will demonstrate your competence
In a one page reflection paper
A short quiz
Class discussion of research findings
Your performance will be successful when
You can identify a connection with a given example and support your opinion with the
literary analysis cultivated from the lesson
You can site specific examples taken from independent research and support them with
written analysis
Learning objectives
Analyze the tanka/waka style of Man' Ysh and Kaifuso and how each resonates with
contemporary Japan (using cultural or personal examples)
Students will be able to recognize Japanese vocabulary that pertains to the structure, style,
aesthetic and content of the literature:
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a short quiz
Through use of vocabulary in your reflection papers
Your performance will be successful when:
You recognize and write the Romanized version of the characters
You can hear or see the Japanese word and write the English equivalent
You can recognize the important components of the Japanese characters
Learning Objectives:
a. Demonstrate ability to translate key vocabulary to an English equivalent

b. Demonstrate ability to read and recognize Japanese characters


c. Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases,
sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening
Learning Activities
_____1. Reading of excerpts from Man' Ysh and Kaifuso
_____2. Class discussion Man' Ysh and Kaifuso
_____3. Independent research for reflection paper/class discussion on Ancient Japanese style
and contemporary impact

Assessment Activities
_____1. Lesson Test
_____2. Reflection paper: Ancient Japanese style and contemporary impact (1 page)
Quiz on Ancient Japanese style and contemporary impact
_____3. Participation in class discussion of Ancient Japanese style and contemporary impact
_____4. Poetry Portfolio Entry 1: 3 stanza independent waka
Poetry Portfolio Entry 2: 3 stanza Kaifuso (Chinese) style waka
Poetry Portfolio Entry 3: 3 stanza Man' Ysh (Japanese) style waka
Terms Used in Lesson
Tanka/Waka /
Haiku
Pivot words

III. Emotions in Japan: The Heian Period


The Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, and The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu
Overview:
The next lesson in the course will look into emotions in Japanese culture through literary works of the
Heian period. Here students will analyze excerpts from two literary works: Sei Shonagon's The
Pillow Book and Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji. To help students gain perspective on the
prevailing value of the period students will complete a haiku and waka, to be included in their Poetry
Portfolios, taking into consideration the dominant literary themes of the time. In addition, students will
experiment with their first pieces of partnered linked verse for entry into their Poetry Portfolios. The
class will also participate in literary analysis of both pieces identifying social and cultural norms of the
period. Students will complete independent research for a Blogster collage presentation/project to
compare and contrast contemporary western ideals of courtship with those of the Heian period. The
lesson will delve deeply into the aesthetic concept of mono no aware to give them insight into the
perspective of emotion in Japanese literature and culture which will be important as the course
progresses.
Resources
D. Belcher. (1984). Illustrated: Who's Who in Japan. Japan. JTB Publishing Inc. pp. 26-29

D. Keene. (1955). Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest to the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
New York, NY. Grove Press. pp. 106-155.
D. Keene. (1955). Japanese Literature: An Introduction for Western Readers. New York, NY. Grove.
pp 22-36 and pp 70-87
P. Varley. (2000). Japanese Culture. Honolulu, HI. University of Hawai'i Press. pp.64-67

Target Competency
Students will compare the two literary works of the period read in class
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a test on the lesson
In a group discussion
In an in class group debate
Your performance will be successful when:
You can use textual evidence to support your groups argument
You can identify key differences in the styles of the two authors
You can identify specific facts detailing the significance of both works
You can provide relevant research to support your argument and analysis
Learning Objectives
Understand the literary impact, in Japan and internationally, of both works
Understand the factors for why many of the greatest Japanese works of the period were
written by females
Recognize specific historic and literary qualities relating to the literature of the period
Gain awareness of life in the Heian period
Build knowledge of Heian period literature and culture to make connections between
further periods and modern Japan.
Students will be able to identify important emotional aesthetic ideals of the Heian period
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a haiku based on the aesthetic of mono no aware for Poetry Portfolio
In a partnered renga (linked verse) for Poetry Portfolio
In a one page reflection paper
In a short quiz
In a group discussion
Your performance will be successful when:
You can identify occurrences of mono no aware in text
You can give analysis citing examples in text of the importance of emotional aesthetic
ideals during the Heian.
Learning Objectives:
Students can understand the how the aesthetic ideals of the Heian give insight into
emotion in Japan
Students can gain awareness aesthetic style of the Heian from the Renga (linked verse)
poetry and apply this knowledge to better understand the Japanese experience.

Students will compare and contrast Heian period courtship practices with modern western
courtship
You will demonstrate your competence:
By giving an oral presentation
In a Heian culture worksheet
By researching relevant cultural, literary, or personal examples in modern western
culture
By completing a Blogster collage utilizing examples from the text and modern images
In class discussion following presentations
Your performance will be successful when:
You can identify three similar and contrasting elements of courtship practices citing
examples in the text and from research.
You can infer how the social norms illustrated in Heian literature influenced the
Japanese norms today.
Learning Objectives:
Gain awareness of Heian period culture as told through the literature of the period
Analyze and gain cultural awareness how the social norms of the Heian and compare to
our culture today.
Understand the impact that these social norms have had on Japanese progressing to
modern times.
Students will be able to recognize Japanese vocabulary that pertains to the structure, style,
aesthetic and content of the literature:
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a short quiz
Through use of vocabulary in your reflection papers
Your performance will be successful when:
You recognize and write the Romanized version of the characters
You can hear or see the Japanese word and write the English equivalent
You can recognize the important components of the Japanese characters
Learning Objectives:
a. Demonstrate ability to translate key vocabulary to an English equivalent
b. Demonstrate ability to read and recognize Japanese characters
c. Recognize components parts (radicals) of the Japanese characters
Learning Activities
_____1. Read The Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, and The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu
_____2. Read articles on authors Sei Shonagon and Murasaki Shikibu in Illustrated: Who's Who
of Japan.
_____3. Read excerpt on Heian period in Japanese Culture
_____4. Read excerpt on linked verse style from the Heian Period in Japanese Literature: An
Introduction for Western Readers
_____5. Complete Heian culture Worksheet
_____6. Independent research of The Pillow Book and The Tale of Genji

_____7. Blogster Culture Presentation/Project


_____8. In class disussion of project
_____9. The Pillow Book vs. The Tale of Genji Debate
Assessment Activities
_____1.
_____2.
_____3.
_____4.
_____5.
_____6.
_____7.
_____8.

Short Quiz on Renga


Participation in group debate
The Pillow Book vs. The Tale of Genji Debate
One page reflection paper on the emotional aesthetic ideals of the Heian
Lesson test on the two works read
Poetry Portfolio Entry 4: 3 stanza Mono no aware haiku
Poetry Portfolio Entry 5: 6 stanza Renga 1 (with partner evoking courtship style)
Poetry Portfolio Entry 6: 3 stanza independent waka revised

Terms Used in Lesson


aware (pathos)-
Monogatari (tale) -
zuihitsu (running brush) -
nikki (diary) -
makoto (sincerity) -

miyanbi (courtly refinement)-


Hiragana (phonetic alphabet) -
(court-lady)
makimono (rolls of Japanese paper)
shahon (method of transferring literature)

IV. Impermanence in Japanese: The Kamakura Period


Tale of Heike, An Account of My Hut, and Shinkokinshu
Overview:
The next lesson in the course will look at the concept of impermanence in Japanese culture. Excerpts
from three works of the Kamakura Period will be used as they permiate with this sensibility. Students
will have an opportunity to recognize the subtle literary style used to convey what would begin the
medieval period in Japanese history. An Account of My Hut will give students a better understanding of
the religious ideals that shaped this concept of impermanence. In The Tale of Heike students will gain
insight into the violent beginning of the Shogunnate government in Japan that gave rise to the religious
concept. Through the poetry of Shinkokinshu, students will see examples of the concept of
impermanence being used in the more abstract haiku format.
Resources
D. Belcher. (1984). Illustrated: A Look into Japan. Japan. JTB Publishing Inc. pp. 66-67
D. Belcher. (1984). Illustrated: Who's Who of Japan. Japan. JTB Publishing Inc. 42-43, 52-53.
D. Keene. (1955). Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest to the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
New York, NY. Grove Press. pp. 179-212
P. Varley. (2000). Japanese Culture. Honolulu, HI. University of Hawai'i Press. pp.91-108
Target Competency:

Students will be able to analyze excerpts from Tale of Heike and An Account of My Hut to
recognize specific cultural and religious concepts as well as historic events and figures
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a lesson test
In a one page reflection paper on the period and its impact on the modern Japanese
experience
In a Kamakura history/culture worksheet
In class discussion
Your performance will be successful when:
You can identify key historic figures and events associated with the Kamakura
You can offer analysis relating to the historic, cultural, or religious aspects of the period
with support from the texts of the period
Identify specific examples of impermanence from the text and
Learning Objectives:
a. Understand the historic, religious, and cultural significance of the period that guided
Japanese culture as a whole during this period
b. Demonstrate ability to read and recognize Japanese characters
c. Recognize components parts (radicals) of the Japanese characters
d. Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases,
sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening
Students will be able to recognize the concept of impermanence and occurrences of it in Japanese
poetry
You will demonstrate your competence:
In class discussion of Shinkokinshu
A lesson test
In a haiku for entry in your Poetry Portfolio
In a waka for entry in your poetry portfolio
In revising your independent poem for final submission into your Poetry Portfolio
Your performance will be successful when:
You can cite examples of the concept of impermanence in Japanese poetry
You can utilize key words and concepts in your own poetry to reflect the ideal of
impermanence
Learning Objectives:
Understand the impact of Japanese religious practices on literature
Understand the impact of Japanese historic events on Japanese literature
Relate concepts of impermanence to the modern Japanese experience
Learning Activities
_____1. Read Tale of Heike, An Account of My Hut, and Shokokinshu
_____2. Read excerpt on Zen in Illustrated: A Look into Japan
_____3. Read excerpt on Minamoto no Yoritomo and Shinran in Illustrated: Who's Who of
Japan.
_____4. Read excerpt detailing the Kamakura period in Japanese Culture

_____5. Class discussion of Shinkokinshu


_____6. Kamakura culture/history worksheet
Assessment Activities
_____1.
_____2.
_____3.
_____4.
_____5.
_____6.

Lesson Test
Participation in group discussion of the Japanese folktales
One page reflection paper on the impact of impermanence on the Japanese experience
Poetry Portfolio Entry 7: 3 stanza Impermanence waka
Poetry Portfolio Entry 8: Impermanence haiku
Poetry Portfolio Entry 9: 3 stanza independent waka revised

Terms Used in Lesson:


Amidism (Buddhist belief) -
mapp (latter days in Buddhism) -
sabi (loneliness) -
shgun (military leader) -

muj (impermanence)
nembutsu (Buddhist prayer to Amida)
kamikaze (divine wind)

V. Restraint and Release in Japan: The Muromachi Period


N Theater, Seami Motoyiko and Three Poets of Minase
Overview:
This final lesson of the course will focus the concepts of dichotomy of restraint and release in Japanese
culture and identity. The lesson will be guided by one of the bloodiest as well as artistically vibrant
periods in Japanese history. Students will first gain an understanding the four major Japanese theatrical
forms. To gain a better understanding of the two extremes of restraint and release students will
complete a project revolving around the kabuki and N theaters styles. As it possesses more literary
significance, the lesson will concentrate on the N theater and works by famed playwright Seami. To
gain a better understanding of the aesthetic of N students will read Seami's explanation in The Art of
N, as well as other informational texts. The class will watch a film of a N play and give analysis
specific aesthetics. N theater will give students a better idea of the emotional restraint and control that
permeates through Japanese culture, society, and people.
To finish this lesson students will read excerpts from the linked verse (renga) poem The Three Poets
of Minase. Students will be given instructions of how these three poets refined the renga form. The
students (in groups of 3 or 4) will then compose three tanka using the renga form for entry into their
poetry portfolios.
Resources
D. Belcher. (1984). Illustrated: Who's Who of Japan. Japan. JTB Publishing Inc. 62-63
D. Keene. (1955). Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest to the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
New York, NY. Grove Press. pp. 258-300
D. Keene. (1955). Japanese Literature: An Introduction for Western Readers. New York, NY. Grove.

pp 32-38
D. Keene. (1988). The Pleasures of Japanese Literature. New York. Columbia University Press. pp.22
D. Keene. (1970). 20 Plays of the Noh Theater. New York. Columbia University Press. pp. xvi
K. Komparu. (1983). The Noh Theater: Principles and Perspectives. New York. John Weaterhill, Inc.
pp. 10-43
National Geographic Magazine (various issues selected by students) or other image source.
Target Competency:
Students will be able to differentiate between the four distinct styles of Japanese theater.
You will demonstrate your knowledge:
In two page group essay about one of the given styles
In a short group presentation of one of the styles
In a test based on the group presentations
In class discussion of presentations
Your performance will be successful when:
You can draw evidence from informational sources to support analysis, reflection, and
research
You can gather information from multiple print or digital sources and quote or
paraphrase the data of others while avoiding plagiarism
You can initiate and participate effectively in group discussions
Present information and findings conveying a clear perspective on the style of theater
and the Japanese experience
Learning Objectives:
Independent research one of the given styles
Understanding how each style of theater uniquely expresses the Japanese experience
Students will understand the basic construction of N theater as outlined by in The Noh Theater.
You will demonstrate your competence:
In worksheets analyzing a recorded N play
In group discussion of the N play
In group discussion on the N play and its relationship to the Japanese experience
In five short quizzes
Your performance will be successful when:
You can identify occurrences of the Three Stages of Beauty
You demonstrate understanding of the importance of the Five Cycle Theory
You demonstrate understanding of the relationship between the Five Cycle Theory and
the Five categories of N Plays in oral discussion and independently through written
worksheets
Learning Objectives:
Understand how the N theater reflects the Japanese ideals of restraint
Understand how the N theater relates the Japanese experience
Understand the construction of a N play

Understand how the depth of Three Stages of Beauty and how this dynamic reflects
on our understanding of Japan
Understand the significance of structure, character dynamics, dialogue and performance
of N plays
Students will understand and utilize the Renga or linked verse form used in the Three Poets
of Minase
You will demonstrate your competence:
In a short quiz
On a Kigo (seasonal words) worksheet
On a Renga structure worksheet
In your second Renga entry into your poetry portfolio
Your performance will be successful when
You can use Kigo (seasonal words) correctly
Your linked verse follows the specific guidelines that governed the Renga in the time of
The Three Poets of Minase
Learning Objectives:
Gain awareness of the stylistic peak of the Renga in Japanese poetry
Understand the importance of subject matter and its impact on the style in Japanese
poetry
Understand the strict guidelines that Japanese use to define renga
Understand the importance of these guidelines and how they raise the artistic expression
of the art form.
Learning Activities
_____1.
_____2.
_____3.
_____4.
_____5.
_____6.
_____7.

Research project on the four styles of Japanese theater


Viewing of recorded N play
N theater worksheet
Renga Structure worksheet
Kigo handout
Kigo worksheet
Group discussion/analysis of styles of Japanese theater

Assessment Activities
_____1.
_____2.
_____3.
_____4.
_____5.
_____6.

Two page group essay on assigned style of Japanese theater


Presentation on assigned style of Japanese theater
Test based on group Japanese theater presentations
N theater quiz
Renga quiz
Poetry Portfolio Entry 10: Renga 2
9 stanza renga (with three person group) alternating order of writers
6 stanza renga (with two person group)
_____7. Poetry Portfolio Entry 11: 3 stanza independent seasonal waka

_____8. Poetry Portfolio Entry 12: 3 stanza independent waka final


Terms Used in Lesson:
monomane (mimicry imitation) -
yugen (mystery/invisible beauty) -
hana (apparent beauty)
katta (dance poses)
rojaku (quiet beauty)shite (protagonist) -

waki (side person) -


tsure (companion)-
N play -
renga (linked verse) -
emakimono (Japanese horizontal scroll)-

Japanese Poetry Portfolio


Overview:
Since the students will have an ongoing portfolio that will be maintained online to be introduced during
the Ancient Literature lesson. Students will be more fully immersed in the Japanese historical periods
as they are asked to compose poetry (in English) utilizing the themes associated with each historical
period. In addition each student will develop a Japanese poem independently and will gradually revise
this single poem over the course of the semester as he or she develops a better understanding of the
themes in Japanese literature. The poetry portfolio will give students a better understanding and
appreciation of Japanese literature.
I. Ancient Period Literature
A. Chinese Waka: Using an image of a natural scene as inspiration compose a three stanza
waka utilizing the Chinese stylistic concepts similar to Kaifuso
B. Japanese Waka: Using the same image as in (A) compose a three stanza waka utilizing the
Japanese stylistic concepts similar to Man' Ysh
C. Indepenent Waka: Using a muse of your choosing compose a three stanza waka for your
independent poem
II. Heian Period Literature
A. Renga 1: With a partner, find an example of a romantic relationship from any modern
medium (literature, television, film) and compose three stanzas each of a courtship renga
(linked verse) similar to that found in The Tale of Genji and The Pillow Book
B. Mono no aware Haiku:Utilizing the concept of Mono no Aware find something that
moves you compose three stanzas of haiku and express your feeling
C. Independent Waka: To continue the concept of perfection revise your three stanza
independent waka but try to adjust your language to meet the Japanese aesthetic principles
discussed in this lesson more precisely
III. Kamakura Period Literature

A. Impermanence Waka: Utilize any medium (literature, film, TV, News) and find a subject
relating to warfare to use as inspiration. Compose a three stanza waka relating your feeling
while experiencing this warfare while keeping with the ideals of impermanence
B. Impermanence Haiku: Use the same piece of media for inspiration and compose a one
stanza haiku to summarize your feeling
C. Independent Waka: Continuing your quest for perfection in Japanese poetry revise your
independent waka keeping the aesthetics from the previous two lessons while trying to add a
sense of impermanence through more precise language
IV. Muromachi Period Literature
A. Renga 2: In groups of three (or two if necessary) compose a renga utilizing the more strict
guidelines developed through the Muromachi Period. Each person will perform three
stanzas of the waka alternating each time for a total of nine stanzas. Members should also
vary the order of writers so that each may write the introductory haiku (first three lines, 5-75) and close of the waka (final 2 lines, 7-7)
B. Seasonal Waka: Choose any season of the year and compose a three stanza waka utilizing
specific kigo (seasonal words).
C. Independent Waka: To finish the quest for perfection in Japanese poetry revise your
independent waka one final time and paying special attention to specific kigo that could be
used as well as the guidelines used by the Renga authors of Minase.