Undergraduate


Module Information

The Department offers Level 1000 - 4000 modules for our undergraduate students.

Note: Not all modules are available in a semester.

Japanese Language Modules

Japanese language modules are offered by the Centre for Language Studies and can be viewed in their Japanese language modules page.

Note:

Cohort 2013 and before:

  • JS major students are not allowed to opt for S/U for Japanese language modules taken as major graduation requirements.
  • Students who have taken Japanese language modules, opted for S/U and then subsequently declared JS as a major will have the S/U grade automatically reverted to the letter grade. The S/U grade, once reverted, will remain even if there is a change in major subsequently.

Cohort 2014 and after:


Level 1000

Level 2000

Level 3000

Level 4000

General Education Modules (Cohort 2014 and before)

General Education Modules (Cohort 2015 and after)

JS1101E Introduction to Japanese Studies

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4
Preclusion: GEK1002
Cross-Listing: GEK1002

This module aims to introduce students to the subject of Japanese studies from a multi-disciplinary approach. It has three main components. The first component is humanities, covering art, philosophy, history and literature. The second component is social sciences, which includes sociology, anthropology, politics and economics. The third component is linguistics and language development. Students will learn about the methods and theories the various disciplines contribute to the study of Japan. Audio-visual materials, fieldwork, guest lectures, study tours, projects and debates will supplement lecture and tutorials.

JS2101 Approaches to Japanese Studies I

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-2-5
Prerequisites: JS1101E

This module provides students with a practical skill base for further studies of Japan. We focus on developing three core skills: (1) Knowledge and use of Japanese studies source materials; (2) Knowledge and understanding of major debates within Japanese studies; and (3) Application of critical reading, writing, and research skills. The module is for those majoring or intending to major in the field of Japanese studies.

JS2203 Sound, Grammar and Meaning

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4
Prerequisites: LAJ2201 or pass in JLPT level 4 or placement test

This is an introductory Japanese linguistics module which teaches how the language is analysed in terms of its sound, grammar and meaning. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the language, students will be asked to do frequent exercises that will help develop analytical skills. Topics such as pronunciation, accent patterns, word-formation, sentence analysis, complex sentences, functions of language, comparison with other Asian languages, and literal and pragmatic meanings will also be taught.

JS2212 Introduction to Japanese Literature

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module deals with modern and contemporary literary works. It aims to develop an awareness not only of the different literary genres and literary theories, but also of the aspirations and frustrations of post-war writers as they struggled to reconcile the Japanese tradition with the Western impact. Both important authors and literary movements will be considered. Writings of contemporary women writers will also be read.

JS2213 Popular Culture in Contemporary Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module provides an introduction to popular culture in contemporary Japan. From the study of various Japanese cultural forms and practices, it explores the linkages between particular practices and subcultures on the one hand, and larger societal trends on the other. The course emphasises hands-on learning and expects students to engage in first-hand material gathering and observations. The goal will be to use studies of Japanese popular culture forms to expand critical thinking about globalisation, gender roles, race, nationalism in Japan and beyond.

JS2214 Ideas and Images in Japanese Culture

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

Images are as important as ideas in defining and transmitting cultural patterns, and neither can be understood without exploring the other. This module attempts to look into the core of Japanese culture to understand the ideas that have been used to define Japanese culture and the connections these ideas have with images. Topics covered include Japanese aesthetic ideals, ethical paradigms, festivals, and visual arts. Through project work students will be encouraged to engage themselves creatively in exploring a specific aspect of Japanese culture, art, aesthetics or design that they find interesting.

JS2216 Postwar Japanese Film and Anime

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module uses postwar Japanese films and animation (anime) as the principal texts and investigates their relationship with contemporary Japanese culture, society and politics. Students will be introduced to the various genre and representative film and anime, together with specific critical writings on these works. Focus of the module will be on the relationship between the films and the audience, the impact of the dominance of films and anime in present day Japan and worldwide, and the various social and cultural issues such as violence and globalisation that are closely related to the movie industry.

JS2221 Organisation of Japanese Business

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module explores the organisation of Japanese business and industries. To do so, the module looks at the various players in the Japanese economy and their relationships. In exploring the organisation of Japanese business, the module employs a problem-based learning approach. Students will work in teams and will look at the Japanese economy from a variety of perspectives, i.e. those of the Japanese and foreign governments, domestic and foreign businesses, small and large enterprises, or enterprises from different industries such as manufacturing, retailing, and finance. The modules focuses on students interested in Japan, but also on those wanting to actively bring together interdisciplinary knowledge through the study of Japanese business.

JS2222 Japanese Society and Social Institutions

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module is intended to help students gain a basic understanding of society and values in contemporary Japanese society. We will examine the wider social patterns and developments characterising contemporary Japan through different segments of society and life-course of the Japanese. Topics to be covered include socialisation, family, education, women, community development, aging and death.

JS2223 Government and Politics of Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module is designed to help students understand fundamental issues and problems of contemporary Japanese politics and policy-making. Major topics include the formation and collapse of the one-party dominant system, electoral reforms, party and factional competition with a focus on the Liberal Democratic Party, coalition politics, roles of the Prime Minister, systems in the Cabinet and the Diet, central bureaucracy, and features of the policy-making system. It will also review the implications of domestic politics for Japan's foreign economic policy. Readings can be utilised as basic backgrounds for the topics, while the lectures will focus in the current political issues and reforms.

JS2224 Singapore and Japan: Historical and Contemporary Relationships

(Defunct with effect from AY2015/2016. Refer to SSA2205 or GES1015.)

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4
Preclusion: SSA2205, GES1015
Cross-Listing: SSA2205

This module aims to promote a better understanding of Singapore-Japan relations, combining historical, political, economic, social and cultural perspectives. Besides an examination of the history of interactions between people in Singapore and Japan from the late 19th century to the present, the module also helps students grasp issues affecting Singapore‘s position and perception in a wider geographical and cultural context by considering its relations with Japan. Students are actively encouraged to use oral history, fieldwork and internet for their projects.

JS2225 Marketing and Consumer Culture in Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

Today's Japan is one of the most highly developed consumer markets. For its people shopping has presumably become the most important leisure and social activity and companies try to attract customers with continuous product and sales innovations. The module investigates this intricate relationship between business and consumer, economics and society, by looking at various case studies, for each critically identifying and discussing patterns of consumption and marketing from a multidisciplinary perspective. These case studies may include department stores, vending machines, electronic gadgets, branded merchandise, food, gift giving, and fashion goods.

JS2226 Global City Tokyo

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

Tokyo is arguably the representative city of modern Japan. This module will examine how Tokyo copes with issues facing a modern metropolis, especially its response to the challenge of globalisation. Moreover, by analysing Tokyo's history of development, this module will discuss the extraordinary pace and intensity of urbanisation as a result of globalisation as well as commom problems faced by "global cities" around the world. This module will be of particular interest to Singaporean students not only because of the close ties between Japan and Singapore but also because of the many comparisons that can be made between Tokyo and the city-state.

JS2227 Japan and China: Rivals and Partners

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module deepens the understanding of Sino-Japanese relations from a multi-disciplinary perspective. It examines the ways in which the Japanese and Chinese nations have interacted with each other from the mid-19th century to the present. Students learn how both a sense of cultural affinity as well as a deep-seated mistrust have shaped relations between the two powers. This module also examines the transformation of the Sino-Japanese political and economic relationship in a changing international environment.

JS2228 Gender and Sexuality in Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-4-3

This course provides an introduction to basic gender and feminist theories through a comparative examination of Japanese and other cultures. We begin by interrogating the ways that the terms "male" and "female" have been defined variously using biological, social, legal and political criteria. Using selected historical, literary and ethnographic examples as case studies, we examine the discourses pertaining to the use of these categories as both the process and consequence of unequal distribution of power within society. Through debate and discussion, students will gain a deeper understanding of the variation and mutability of gender and sexual discourse as a social, rather than purely ontological, construct.

JS2229 The Japanese Experience

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-1-6

This module surveys the fascinating development of Japanese civilisation from prehistoric times to the present. Throughout our journey we will investigate and answer key questions about this intriguing civilisation. Where did the Japanese come from? What forces shaped Japanese society? How has Japan changed and interacted with the world? Rather than simple facts, the module will focus on processes and problems throughout Japanese history. Our aim will be to answer critical questions about the country. The module is for students of all disciplinary backgrounds who are interested in thinking about Japan.

JS2230 Itadakimasu - Food in Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5

This module exposes students to country and culture of Japan using food as its analytic focal point. In the section on historical, political and economic perspectives, students will uncover the ways that food in Japan influences state policies, creates international conflicts and contributes to the formation of national identity. In the section on socio-cultural perspectives, students will learn to evaluate the ways that food creates meaning in such realms as language, education, media programming, and religious practices. Concepts covered in this course will be applicable to a broad range of phenomenon outside of Japan and outside the topic of food.

JS2231 Japan in Southeast Asia

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5

Japan and Southeast Asia share a complex history of interactions. Looking at issues such as early migration and trade relationships, the occupation during the Pacific War, production networks, development aid and free trade agreements, or the enthusiastic reception of Japanese products including anime, television drama and food allow us to build an understanding of the dynamics of relationships in Asia. This will be done by first introducing the key issues and then focusing on either popular culture, international business, international relations, or Japanese migration to different regions of Southeast Asia. The module will be complemented by a fieldtrip to Southeast Asia.

JS2232 Japan and Korea

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

From the fifth century onwards, Japan has had an intricate and at times conflicting relationship with Korea. The formation of Japan’s modern and imperial culture was inseparable from its colonial experience in Korea: conversely, modernity in Korea was formed under Japanese colonialism. This module aims at understanding historical interrelations between Japan and Korea during colonial and postcolonial times by focusing on issues of modernity, national identity, cultural politics, and globalisation. It uses various official and popular cultural forms such as museums, expositions, art, film, anime, TV drama, and international events to study the intertwined histories between these two countries.

JS3101 Approaches to Japanese Studies II

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-0-7
Prerequisites: This module is for students who major in Japanese Studies. Students should have completed JS2101 Approaches to Japanese Studies I and at least LAJ2202 Japanese 3 (or equivalent Japanese language skills).

This module guides students towards using source materials in the Japanese language for their research. Based on their disciplinary interests, students will develop a research question and write a substantial paper based on Japanese language sources. Catering to students with different levels of Japanese language ability, this can be a review paper based on academic work in Japanese or a research paper using primary materials of different levels of difficulties, for example newspaper articles, government committee protocols, NGO publications, websites, or Japanese advertisements.

JS3208 Approaches to Japanese Linguistics

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4
Prerequisites: LAJ2202 or pass in JLPT level 3 or placement test

As this is an intermediate level Japanese linguistics module, students who wish to read it should have done an introductory module on linguistics offered by the Department of Japanese Studies (for example, JS2203 Sound, Grammar and Meaning) or other departments, apart from meeting the Japanese language pre-requisite. Emphasising the different approaches to Japanese linguistics, this module will cover the phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic analysis of the language. In order to enhance students' understanding of the analytical skills/tools, students will do frequent exercises on the language from many different points of view. Topics such as lexicography, pragmatics, socio-linguistics and historical linguistics may also be introduced.

JS3210 Japan in the Twentieth Century

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

Since the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, Japan has grown into a major international power with one of the world's largest economies. This module surveys the immense changes in Japanese politics, society and culture that have occurred in that period, and also looks at the milestones in the development of the Japanese economy. Topics discussed include the struggle between autocratic and democratic political forces, the formation of a national culture and national identity, and the attempts by intellectuals to define the essence of Japanese culture.

JS3211 Modern Japanese Religion

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

This module introduces students to the complex, dynamic and sometimes controversial world of religious belief and practice in modern Japan. The importance and continual relevance of religion in contemporary Japanese society will be examined with reference to pre-modern developments as well as modern-day cultural, social, and political trends. In addition to learning about Japanese religion, students will be ecouraged to critically reflect on such general problems as the definition of religion, religion-state relations, the interpretation of religious experience, the meaning of ritual, and the phenomenon of syncretism.

JS3213 Alternative Lives in Contemporary Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

In a society where group consciousness and ethnic homogeneity are hailed as national characteristics, what does it mean to be different? This course deals with this question through an examination of social groups in contemporary Japan which by choice or circumstance fall out of the mainstream. Topics will include ethnic minorities, homosexuals, criminals, religious cult members, people with HIV/AIDS, the homeless, and others. By drawing upon the experiences of these alternatives lives, students will be asked to generate their own theories on the process of social differentiation and the production of cultural identity in contemporary Japan.

JS3214 Japanese Philosophy and Thought

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

This module examines the modern Japanese sense of cultural, social and national identity, as analysed by social scientists, cultural historians, and scholars of Japanese thought. Some famous studies of the Japanese self by psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists and socio-linguists will be discussed, supplemented by a historical perspective focusing on the samurai heritage and the ideas behind the Meiji Restoration. No knowledge of the Japanese language or of specialised scholarly vocabulary is required or expected.

JS3216 Japanese Film and Literature

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

Many Japanese literary works have been adapted into films, often with new interpretations. Students will do comparative readings/viewings of these works, paying special attention to the unique characteristics of each genre, and their thematic concerns. One of the key concerns in these works is the ascription and representation of gender (often female, occasionally male) roles. Works with prominent gender themes including Abe Kôbô's Women in the Dunes will be studied as a means to critically examine the gender discourse in modern Japan , as well as other pertinent issues such as alienation, identity, and history which are often part of the discursive construction of gender.

JS3217 Japanese Art and Aesthetics

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This module is designed to familiarise students with the rich world of Japanese art, utilising the excellent collection of Japanese art books in the Japanese Resources Section of the library. Slide photographs of selected works will be shown and discussed in class. Approximately equal time will be spent on (1) ancient and medieval art and sculpture, (2) arts of the early modern period, and (3) modern artistic trends since the Meiji Restoration. The aim is to deepen students' appreciation of Japanese art by considering historical contexts, discussing the ideas and feelings conveyed by the art, and probing the aesthetic and philosophical concepts behind the art.

JS3222 Japanese Business Management

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

With the ongoing stagnation of the Japanese economy in the 1990s, the very Japanese management which has been hailed in the past as a cornerstone of Japan's economic success has today become an issue of much debate. This module takes up this debate with an emphasis on the core area of Japanese management, the management of human resources. After outlining the features of management in Japan, the module critically assesses these features over time and from different perspectives. Besides targeting students interested in Japan the module also welcomes students that are interested in critically discussing national differences in management systems in general.

JS3223 Japan and the Asia-Pacific Region

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

This module aims to develop students' understanding of Japan's external relations with other nations in Asia and the Pacific. Students will learn about the most contemporary issues in Japanese external relations, place them in a modern historical context, and analyse them with theoretical frameworks and political concepts. The topics include the Japan-US security alliance, historical problems related to Yasukuni Shrine and history textbooks, ODA and PKO, territorial disputes, as well as Japan's commitment to regional institutions in the Asia-Pacific.

JS3225 Japanese Mass Media

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4

This course aims to deepen student's knowledge of Japanese society and history through a study of its mass media. It will cover the rise of the major media industries in postwar Japan, trace the development of particular TV and news genres in response to societal changes; identify broad cultural and linguistic patterns in media texts; and interrogate notions of transnational cultural flow using Japan's popular media as a case study. Lectures will draw on materials from TV archives, magazines, comics, news articles and film footage, and other media-related sources. Tutorials will be conducted in "workshop" style in which students will be expected to work with first hand Japanese media materials.

JS3226 Japan: The Green Nation?

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-1-6

This module explores the fascinating relationship between humans and environment in Japan. We will use Japan to think about how we humans should interact with and treat the precious environment that sustains us. We will consider the topic from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including myths, literature and thought, popular culture, architecture and art, politics, economy, law, environmentalism, and social movements. The module will be of value to any students who have an interest in the environment, Japan, or both. Students will leave the module not only with knowledge about Japan, but hopefully, greater sensitivity to the challenges facing humankind today.

JS3227 Entrepreneurship: Self-made in Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

Entrepreneurship is one of the main factors determining the dynamics of a country's economy. However, Japan has been described as a collectivist society where individual initiative is not appreciated and where it was often the government that led economic development. Yet, Japan has produced a number of extraordinary individuals who played an important role in shaping its economy. Through a series of case studies of dynamic and colourful entrepreneurship the module aims to identify the forces underlying entrepreneurship in Japan, thereby creating a general understanding of the interaction between the individual and its economic, political and social environment.

JS3228 Japan on the Move

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5

This module analyses the movement of people in Japan for both work and play from a range of disciplines. Major topics include domestic and international labour migration; the impacts of gender, class, ethnicity, and nationality on mobility; the politics and economics of mobility vs. native place; transnational mobility; transportation networks; and domestic and international tourism. The module introduces students to a range of historical and contemporary issues through the theoretical lens of mobility, providing them with not only a comprehensive understanding of the importance of human mobility within Japan, but also the theoretical background to apply their knowledge beyond Japan.

JS3229 Field Studies in Japan

MCs: 4
Workload*: 18-22-0-50-40
Prerequisites: LAJ2202 or pass in JLPT level 3 or equivalent

The module enables students to build upon and test knowledge learned at NUS through field study in Japan. The module combines a period of intensive coursework and/or independent research on the NUS campus with a 10-20 day field study experience in Japan. The focus will differ based on the expertise of the faculty member teaching the module. The module may centre on the environment, tourism, urban and rural development, traditional performance or popular culture.

JS3230 Men and Women in Modern Japanese Literature

MCs: 4
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-4

This module will look at constructions of gender in modern Japanese literature by both female and male authors. Readings will cover some of the major authors, genres, and literary movements of modern Japanese literature, as well as secondary readings in gender theory.

JS3550 Internship

MCs: 4
Workload*: Please see remarks
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a minimum of 24 MC in JS; and have declared JS as their Major.
Preclusion: Any other XX3550 internship modules (Note: Students who change major may not do a second internship in their new major)

Internships vary in length but all take place within organisations or companies, are vetted and approved by the department, have relevance to the major in JS, involve the application of subject knowledge and theory in reflection upon the work, and are assessed. Available credited internships will be advertised at the beginning of each semester. Internships proposed by students will require the approval of the department.

Remarks: Internships will vary. However, all must include a minimum of 120 hours, accumulated during one period working for the organisation or company. An internship with a minimum of 240 hours working in the organisation or company may earn 8 MC. Of these 4 MC will be credited to the Major, and 4 to UE. Supervision, as for ISMs, is set at 4 hours for a 4 MC internship, 8 for an 8 MC internship. The student will also spend some time on reading and writing.

IJS3550 Extended Internship

MCs: 4
Workload*: Please see remarks
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a minimum of 24 MC in JS; and have declared JS as their Major.
Preclusion: Any other XX3550 internship modules (Note: Students who change major may not do a second internship in their new major)

Internships vary in length but all take place within organisations or companies, are vetted and approved by the department, have relevance to the major in JS, involve the application of subject knowledge and theory in reflection upon the work, and are assessed. Available credited internships will be advertised at the beginning of each semester. Internships proposed by students will require the approval of the department.

Remarks: Internships will vary. However, all must include a minimum of 120 hours, accumulated during one period working for the organisation or company. An internship with a minimum of 240 hours working in the organisation or company may earn 8 MC. Of these 4 MC will be credited to the Major, and 4 to UE. Supervision, as for ISMs, is set at 4 hours for a 4 MC internship, 8 for an 8 MC internship. The student will also spend some time on reading and writing.

JS4101 Research and Writing in Japanese Studies

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.
Preclusion: JS4221

This module is designed to encourage and enhance independent thinking, research and writing. Students will explore various approaches to the study of Japan and pursue a research proposal leading to a research project.

JS4207 Readings in Modern Japanese

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
LAJ3201 or LAJ3203 or pass in JLPT Levels 2 or 1 / GCE ‘AO’ or ‘A’ Level Japanese or placement test AND completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
LAJ3201 or LAJ3203 or pass in JLPT Levels 2 or 1 / GCE ‘AO’ or ‘A’ Level Japanese or placement test AND completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module aims to develop a reasonable level of fluency in reading such contemporary Japanese materials as academic writings, dialogues involving colloquial speech, and relatively sophisticated analyses of Japanese culture, society, current affairs and business affairs. Attention will also be given to developing accurate translation skills and to some of the subtler points of Japanese and English grammar. The module will also involve practice in using computers for Japanese word processing and for making use of the Japanese Internet.

JS4208 Japanese Language and Society

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
LAJ2202 or placement test AND completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
LAJ2202 or placement test AND completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module explores how contemporary Japanese language and its use reflects Japanese society and culture. The issues and themes to be focused on vary each semester, but they include, for example, the use of communication strategies in contemporary Japanese, societal hierarchy and language, the relationships between gender and language use, and Japanese socio-cultural values as reflected in language. The approach of this module is multi-disciplinary in that the insights will be drawn from Linguistics, Sociology, Anthropology, Literature, Psychology and Media Studies as necessary. Students reading this module will conduct research projects in which literature and data are collected and analysed to be written up as a report in English. Use of the Internet to communicate with students doing similar projects in universities abroad will also be explored.

JS4209 Selected Topics in Japanese Linguistics

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
LAJ2202 or placement test AND completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
LAJ2202 or placement test AND completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module provides an opportunity for staff and students to explore a diversity of topics in Japanese linguistics. The topics covered each year will vary depending on staff expertise and students' interest. Issues and themes to be considered include formal/morphosyntactic and semantic analysis; pragmatic and discourse analysis; and phonetic and phonological analysis. Emphasis will be placed on linguistic exercises and practices and critical analysis of data.

JS4211 Japanese Culture and Communications

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This course will understand modern Japanese society and culture through an examination of its communications industry in the postwar period (1945-present). Locating this subject matter within the theoretical framework of sociology, journalism, cultural studies, information science, and history of science, it will investigate different sectors of Japanese mass communication, including mass media (eg., entertainment industry & broadcasting), publications (eg., newspapers, books & magazines), education, advertisement, design, and information technology industry (eg., computer industry, office technology & telecommunications).

JS4213 Approaches to Modern Japanese History

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.
Preclusion: HY4218
Cross-Listing: HY4218

This module traces the historical development of Japan from the mid 19th century to the present. It focuses on close reading and discussion of important English-language works with particular emphasis on historical and theoretical controversies in the field. Students will be encouraged to think about both the modern history of Japan as well as the historians who have claimed to reconstruct and narrate it. The module is aimed at students interested in the intersection between Japanese history, the practice of historiography, and the application of theoretical models to the past.

JS4214 Ideas, Values and Identity in Japan

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module examines the modern Japanese sense of cultural, social and national identity as analysed by social scientists, cultural historians and scholars of Japanese thought. Some famous studies of the Japanese self by psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists and socio-linguists will be discussed, supplemented by a historical perspective focusing on the samurai heritage and the ideas behind the Meiji Restoration. No knowledge of the Japanese language or of specialised scholarly vocabulary is required or expected.

JS4216 Tales and Performance in Premodern Japan

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Starting with an introduction of poetry, an important component in the literary scene especially in the realm of court literature, various other genres, including tales (monogatari), memoirs, noh and kabuki, will be examined in this module. With reference to critical works of contemporary scholars both in Japan and the West, different issues and concerns pertaining to these categories of works will be identified and discussed in the seminars. Topics include the relationship among these genres and poetry, the significance of women's writings in the Heian court, and the metamorphosis of performance genre through the ages and its implications. Various forms of texts, such as scroll paintings, films, documentaries and music will be used. The aim of the course is twofold: firstly, to expose students to some representative literary works in the canon; and secondly, to situate these texts in a post-modern framework so as to provide a more relevant and interesting reading.

JS4217 Selected Topics in Japanese Studies

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module provides an opportunity for staff to explore a diversity of issues and themes in Japanese Studies from a multidisciplinary perspective. The topics covered each year will vary depending on staff expertise and interest. Issues and themes to be considered include Japanese ideology and intellectual trends; science and technology; war and peace; self-identity and behaviour; health, welfare and medicine; leisure, entertainment and communication; and regionalism, internationalism and globalism.

JS4223 Japanese Public Policy

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module will analyse the structure and processes of Japanese public administration. It will examine the forms of administration in the pre-Meiji period, the administrative changes and reforms during the Meiji period and after World War II, as well as personnel management practices and the process of policy formulation and implementation.

JS4224 Japanese International Relations

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in PS, with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or or 28 MCs in PS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module aims to promote the better understanding about Japan's foreign policy and international relations. The module consists of three analytical focuses: defence and security policies, foreign economic policy and regional and multilateral institutions. The first section highlights major features of Japan's defence and security policies including the recent changes in Japan's security environment in the Asia Pacific region and their impact on Japan's defence policy approaches. The second section focuses on the characteristics of Japan's policies of international trade and foreign aid. This section also discusses the domestic system in the context of Japan's foreign economic policy and highlights how the Western critics regarded the issue as problematic. The third section examines Japan's approaches to regional institutions such as APEC, ARF, ASEAN+3, and the G8 Summit Meeting and United Nations, with focuses on its approaches and diplomatic activities in each case. Although this module highlights more empirical cases of Japanese foreign policy, it also introduces some theoretical debates as well.

JS4225 Social Dynamics in Modern Japan

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This seminar investigates the construction of identity in modern Japan. Using anthropological and sociological readings, we will identify and critique the main theoretical models which have been used to explain self and society in Japan. Topics include family, national identity, gender, class, ethnicity, and ideologies of individualism.

JS4226 Japanese Law, Society and Public Policy

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module is designed to introduce the Japanese legal system in its historical, cultural, political as well as economic contexts. It aims at providing students with an understanding of Japanese legal traditions and attitudes, practices and ideologies, processes and institutions, and legislation and dispute resolution. The interplay between Japanese law, society and public policy in contemporary Japan will be emphasised through case studies on such topics as civil rights, employment discrimination, industrial policy, environmental movement, administrative guidance, textbooks and education, family succession and inheritance, crime and capital punishment, and wartime compensation.

JS4227 Japanese Political Economy

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in PS or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module is designed to promote students' understanding of some of the salient features of Japan's political economy, especially the roles of politicians and bureaucrats in the conduct of industrial and foreign economic policy. The module will review major research on Japan's political economy written from historical, theoretical and comparative perspectives. By exploring the changing international images of Japan in the field of political economy, the module aims to highlight: the role of the government in Japan's high postwar economic growth and features of its industrial policy-making processes; the relevance of high growth in other East Asian economies in comparison to the Japanese case; the different schools of thought on Japan's economic policy and the evolution of US-Japan trade friction in the 1980s; and Japan's approaches to and initiatives in deregulation in the 1990s.

JS4228 Japanese Cities in the Global Economy

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-1-8.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GE with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in GE or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

This module is designed to enhance students' understanding of contemporary Japan from a geographical perspective. Japanese cities and regions are thought to be going through a period of transition influenced by wider socio-economic forces of globalisation. Major topics covered in the module include industrial restructuring and factory relocation to Asia, creation of new urban industries, urban social change such as residential segregation and homelessness, popular culture and urban consumption, new economic immigrants and ethnic minorities. As this module can be read by both JS and Geography students, basic knowledge of either contemporary Japanese society, or social/economic change of Asian cities and regions are expected.

JS4229 Japanese Translation - Theory & Practice

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-4-5.5
Prerequisites: LAJ3202 or pass in JLPT level 1 or equivalent

This module introduces students to basic translation theory while simultaneously engaging them in actual translation exercises. Various texts will be used in these exercises, including literary and academic texts, writings in businesses and popular culture, newspaper articles, etc. The objective of this course is twofold: to deepen students' understanding of cultural differences manifested in Japanese and English writings, and to train students' translation skills.

JS4230 Advanced Readings in Popular Culture

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-3-0-3-6.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in SC with a minimum CAP of 3.50 or be on the Honours track.

Cohort 2012 onwards:
Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in JS or 28 MCs in SC or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Students will read theoretical and practical approaches to the study of popular culture from a variety of disciplines, including cultural studies, media studies, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and anime/manga studies. Students will then use those theories and methods in analysing primary materials from Japan, including manga, anime, music, television and film.

JS4401 Honours Thesis

MCs: 15
Workload*: 0-0-0-0-37.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
Completed 110 MCs including 60 MCs of JS major requirements with a minimum SJAP of 4.00 and CAP of 3.50.

Cohort 2012-2015:
Completed 110 MCs including 60 MCs of JS major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.50.

Cohort 2016 onwards: Completed 110 MCs including 44 MCs of JS major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.50.
Preclusion JS4660

Students are required to write an academic thesis on an approved topic under the guidance of a supervisor. The HT will be equivalent to three modules of study.

JS4660 Independent Study

MCs: 5
Workload*: 0-0-0-0-12.5
Prerequisites: Cohort 2011 and before:
To be offered subject to the agreement of the Supervisor and Department. Completed 100 MCs, including 60 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.50.

Cohort 2012-2015:
To be offered subject to the agreement of the Supervisor and Department. Completed 100 MCs, including 60 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.20.

Cohort 2016 onwards: To be offered subject to the agreement of the Supervisor and Department. Completed 100 MCs, including 44 MCs in JS, with a minimum CAP of 3.20.
Preclusion JS4401

The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic within the discipline in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. Head's and/or Honours Coordinator's approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

GEK1002 Introduction to Japanese Studies

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4
Preclusion JS1101E. Students majoring in JS are precluded from taking this module.
Cross-Listing JS1101E

This module aims to introduce students to the subject of Japanese studies from a multi-disciplinary approach. It has three main components. The first component is humanities, covering art, philosophy, history and literature. The second component is social sciences, which includes sociology, anthropology, politics and economics. The third component is linguistics and language development. Students will learn about the methods and theories the various disciplines contribute to the study of Japan. Audio-visual materials, fieldwork, guest lectures, study tours, projects and debates will supplement lecture and tutorials.

GEK2022 Samurai, Geisha, Yakuza as Self or Other

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GEH1014

This module challenges the foundation of human knowledge. Examining cultural icons from Japan's past and present we will unpack the assumptions, stereotypes, narrative strategies, and visualising techniques of representing Japan. Students will probe one or more of Japan 's three famous cultural icons - the samurai, the geisha, and/or the yakuza - as they appear in literature, visual and performance arts, and academic writings. By the end of the module students will not only have a richer understanding of the “realities” behind such icons, but more significantly, they will be equipped to challenge stereotypes of Japan presented by journalism, popular culture, and the humanistic and social sciences. Ultimately such discovery will lead students to question their own knowledge of self and other. Students should refer to the module IVLE page for details of the selected icon(s) for the current semester.

GEK2042 Cultural Borrowing: Japan and China

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GEH1015

Humans have always actively borrowed from other cultures. Such borrowing is a creative process which influences aspects of life ranging from basic material needs to aesthetic appreciation. Often, however, cultural borrowing is labelled as simple imitation. This results in cultural stereotypes that impede understanding of other cultures. Using Chinese and Japanese cultural borrowings as illustration, this module teaches second and third year students to analyse the creative process of cultural exchange. By developing theoretical perspectives from the study of China and Japan, students will learn about exchanges among culture in general.

GEM1046 Home

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GET1003

Few words in the English language (or any language) are as evocative and emotionally-charged as “home.” But how do we determine what we call home, and why should we take “home” seriously? This module explores the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the complex idea of home. Major topics include: sense of place, home technologies and design, gender and housework, home and travel, globalisation, nationalism, homelessness, exile, and representations of home. Students will complete the module with a new appreciation for the complexity of the places – house, neighbourhood, nation, planet – they call home.

GEM1047 Understanding Consumption

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4
Preclusion GEH1016

Consumption has come to dominate our lives, is driving economies, yet also endangering the future of our planet. This module asks questions about consumption from multiple perspectives, such as how did consumption assume its prominent place, how do economists rationalise consumption, how do companies use behavioural models to craft marketing strategies, whether consumption is good or bad for society or the individual, or whether consumers need to be protected. Participants in this module will explore how different disciplines approach such questions and will have the opportunity to reflect on their own consumption practices and impact on the social and physical environment.

GEM1048 International Relations of Asia

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GEH1024

Asia has become part and parcel of world politics since the 19th century. This module examines how a wide range of ideas and ideologies borne in Europe have shaped the norms, practices and institutions of Asia’s politics and international relations. It explores the resilient nature of local norms and culture in the changing dynamics of international relations, particularly in the age of globalization. After this course, students will appreciate the historical background to contemporary developments and have acquired a solid basis of rationality in understanding international relations of Asia and in general.

SSA2205 Singapore and Japan: Historical and Contemporary Relationships

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4
Preclusion JS2224, GES1015
Cross-Listing JS2224

This module aims to promote a better understanding of Singapore-Japan relations, combining historical, political, economic, social and cultural perspectives. Besides an examination of the history of interactions between people in Singapore and Japan from the late 19th century to the present, the module also helps students grasp issues affecting Singapore‘s position and perception in a wider geographical and cultural context by considering its relations with Japan. Students are actively encouraged to use oral history, fieldwork and internet for their projects.

GEH1014 Samurai, Geisha, Yakuza as Self or Other

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GEH2022

This module challenges the foundation of human knowledge. Examining cultural icons from Japan's past and present we will unpack the assumptions, stereotypes, narrative strategies, and visualising techniques of representing Japan. Students will probe one or more of Japan 's three famous cultural icons - the samurai, the geisha, and/or the yakuza - as they appear in literature, visual and performance arts, and academic writings. By the end of the module students will not only have a richer understanding of the “realities” behind such icons, but more significantly, they will be equipped to challenge stereotypes of Japan presented by journalism, popular culture, and the humanistic and social sciences. Ultimately such discovery will lead students to question their own knowledge of self and other. Students should refer to the module IVLE page for details of the selected icon(s) for the current semester.

GEH1015 Cultural Borrowing: Japan and China

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4
Preclusion GEK2042

Humans have always actively borrowed from other cultures. Such borrowing is a creative process which influences aspects of life ranging from basic material needs to aesthetic appreciation. Often, however, cultural borrowing is labelled as simple imitation. This results in cultural stereotypes that impede understanding of other cultures. Using Chinese and Japanese cultural borrowings as illustration, this module teaches second and third year students to analyse the creative process of cultural exchange. By developing theoretical perspectives from the study of China and Japan, students will learn about exchanges among culture in general.

GEH1016 Understanding Consumption

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GEH1047

Consumption has come to dominate our lives, is driving economies, yet also endangering the future of our planet. This module asks questions about consumption from multiple perspectives, such as how did consumption assume its prominent place, how do economists rationalise consumption, how do companies use behavioural models to craft marketing strategies, whether consumption is good or bad for society or the individual, or whether consumers need to be protected. Participants in this module will explore how different disciplines approach such questions and will have the opportunity to reflect on their own consumption practices and impact on the social and physical environment.

GEH1024 International Relations of Asia

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GEH1048

Asia has become part and parcel of world politics since the 19th century. This module examines how a wide range of ideas and ideologies borne in Europe have shaped the norms, practices and institutions of Asia’s politics and international relations. It explores the resilient nature of local norms and culture in the changing dynamics of international relations, particularly in the age of globalization. After this course, students will appreciate the historical background to contemporary developments and have acquired a solid basis of rationality in understanding international relations of Asia and in general.

GES1015 Singapore and Japan: Historical and Contemporary Relationships

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-3-4
Preclusion JS2224, SSA2205

This module aims to promote a better understanding of Singapore-Japan relations, combining historical, political, economic, social and cultural perspectives. Besides an examination of the history of interactions between people in Singapore and Japan from the late 19th century to the present, the module also helps students grasp issues affecting Singapore‘s position and perception in a wider geographical and cultural context by considering its relations with Japan. Students are actively encouraged to use oral history, fieldwork and internet for their projects.

GET1003 Home

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-2-5
Preclusion GEM1046

Few words in the English language (or any language) are as evocative and emotionally-charged as “home.” But how do we determine what we call home, and why should we take “home” seriously? This module explores the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the complex idea of home. Major topics include: sense of place, home technologies and design, gender and housework, home and travel, globalisation, nationalism, homelessness, exile, and representations of home. Students will complete the module with a new appreciation for the complexity of the places – house, neighbourhood, nation, planet – they call home.

GET1045 Structures of Conversation

MCs: 4
Workload*: 2-1-0-4-3

What are the elements that go into organising a conversation? This module examines the intricacy and complexity of conversational structure such as the emergent structure of the talk, its prosodic features, gesture, eye-gaze coordination, etc. in everyday life. Students learn the tools and methods of Conversation Analysis (CA) to analyze micro-level human interactions and everyday talk-in-interactions. Placing conversation as the primordial site of human society, CA uses naturalistic conversational data as empirical evidence to discover how people negotiate, construct and perpetuate societal norms through everyday conversation, and how even routine interaction is meaningful and achieved collaboratively with others.


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