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EAST4530 - Topics in East Asian Culture and History - University of Oslo

  • This course focuses on one or more central topics in the field of East Asian culture and history.

    Such topics may include literature, film, cartoons and other artistic expressions, history and historiography, thought, philosophy and religion.
    Essays in Idleness was written around 1330 by Yoshida Kenkô. Buddhist beliefs were spreading in Japan at this time and are reflected in the literature—such as this work by Kenkô—written during this period of Medieval Japanese history.

    East Asia is a region with strong historical and cultural links but also with many historical and cultural traits particular to each of the East Asian cultures and regions (Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Tibetan).

    You are encouraged to approach the study of East Asia comparatively across Japan, Korea, China and/or Tibet.
    Asian Studies is an interdepartmental program that introduces students to the history, cultures, and societies of Asia. Students in this field are required to write essay on Asian studies. Writing such essay requires a lot of research material. This section of Researchomatic has incorporated research material on Asian studies that is more than sufficient to write a quality essay on Asian studies.

    During the course, you will study topics in the context of major theoretical approaches relevant to the analysis of East Asian culture and history. The course includes reading, analysis and discussion of East Asian sources in English translations. Training in essay writing and oral presentation is an integrated part of the course.

    Robert Oxnam :: Kenkô, another author writing a century later [than Kamo no Chômei], took a different perspective. A former court poet who became a priest, Kenkô agreed that one had to renounce the world to seek salvation. But instead of finding only sorrow in life\'s impermanence, he found beauty as expressed in his Essays in Idleness.

  • You will learn to identify, summarize, and analyze sources directly relevant to the study of key topics in the field of East Asian culture and history.
  • Through teacher guided writing of an essay you will learn to present academic knowledge in a written form.
  • Through class presentations and discussions you will learn to present and debate academic knowledge.
  • Admission

    Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

    If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


    Formal prerequisite knowledge

    Please see the admission requirements defined by one of the relevant programme options, East Asian Culture and History, Chinese Society and Politics or Modern Japan.


    The course is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars organised as 10 classes of 2 hours each throughout the semester.

    Active participation and at least 80 % attendance in class is required.
    And it has worked, in a curious sense, because since the seventeenth century when his book became widely known to all classes of society, the prevailing Japanese aesthetics derive a great deal from this book. You can talk about Japanese aesthetics in terms of this one particular book, what he preferred.

    All students must do a presentation related to their final essay in order to take the exam. Within a given deadline before their presentation the students need to submit an outline of their paper including a bibliography.

    Note: In most cases, Japanese writers are referenced by their family names, but Yoshida (family name) Kenkô (personal name) is commonly referred to by personal name only.

    The draft is to be submitted in Fronter within a given deadline.

    An approved draft is only valid for one semester.

    A preliminary draft of the final essay must be approved by the teacher in order to take the exam (see "Teaching").

    The exam consists of an essay of 10 pages (2300 characters per page (excluding spaces), plus bibliography) on a subject approved by the teacher.

    The essay is to be submitted in Fronter within the given deadline.

    The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

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