JAPA212-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022

Japanese Society and Culture in Film and Literature

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
End Date: Sunday, 13 November 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 31 July 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 2 October 2022


This course covers outstanding examples of modern (post 1867) and contemporary literature and film, including animated movies. Works covered have been selected both for their artistic merit and for their culturally interesting subject matter. Themes include the conflict between traditional and western values, colonialism and ethnic minorities such as Okinawa, the effects of the Second World War and the atomic bombings, post-war economic growth and its effect on people’s lives, the 1960s-70s student movement, and contemporary postmodern consumer society. The aims of the course are twofold: (a) to provide some basic skills in ‘reading’ modern Japanese literature and film and (b) to promote an understanding of Japanese society and its people. No knowledge of Japanese language is required.

Learning Outcomes

JAPA212 is a requirement for those intending to major in Japanese and particularly pertinent for
those intending to have contact with Japan.

By the end of the course students should have:
 a familiarity with, and basic skills in ‘reading’ and analyzing, a range of modern Japanese films and literature;
 an understanding of the relationships between the selected films and literature and their social, cultural and historical contexts;
 an awareness of a range of analytical tools and approaches to film and literature;
 a deeper understanding of Japan, its culture and society within a global context;
 a familiarity with issues faced by indigenous cultures in Japan, and their cultural expressions of those issues, which will in turn heighten awareness and understanding of the cultural landscape and biculturalism in Aotearoa NZ;
 a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures other than your own;
 skills in research, analysis and essay writing – key critical and communicative skills that are sought by employers and can be used in a range of applications.

In addition, for students majoring in Japanese, this course will provide you with:
 a deeper knowledge and understanding of Japan that will:
      o underpin and complement your language studies and
      o enhance your capacity to comprehend and critically evaluate Japan-related topics/issues
 some specialised knowledge of two of Japan’s major creative arts; film and literature;
 an awareness of global influences on Japan;
 the ability to situate some key historical events and socio-cultural changes in Japan within a broader, and where applicable, global context

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


JAPA108, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Susan Bouterey


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Assignment 1 12%
Assignment 2 12%
Participation & Engagement 10%
Essay (approx. 2,000 words) 34%
Written test 32%

No final exam.

Textbooks / Resources

There is no required textbook for this course. Handouts and reading lists will be provided as necessary. Students are expected to read and refer to these as instructed.

There is a Learn (Moodle) component to this course.  

Other material, which may be helpful, can be found at the Library Subject Guide for Japanese

Information about the Japanese Programme, including degree requirements, can be found at:www.arts.canterbury.ac.nz/japanese/

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $799.00

International fee $3,600.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All JAPA212 Occurrences

  • JAPA212-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022