We will examine how the consciousness (ideology and identity) of the modern Japanese individual was formed during the relatively recent establishment of Japan as a modern nation state. The unfamiliar term "formational history" is employed here to reflect the basic view of this course that Japanese identity is a continuously changing thing, formed through employing one's given cultural resources into a survival strategy.
The goal here is to distance ourselves from traditional theories of Japanese identity. Instead, we intend to use historical examples to demonstrate clearly the process by which Japanese identity is formed or restructured in individuals and groups.
Classes will be conducted in the form of a lecture, but as much time as possible will be given for a Q&A session at the end of each class. The last few classes of the semesterwill be more discussion-based. Students will be asked to report on a topic of their choice that is pertinent to the main subject of the course, which will then be discussed by the entire class. Therefore, students will be required to do more than passively listen to the lectures. They are encouraged to bring to class their personal interests in course-related issues, eventually selecting one of them to present ina report.