Week 10: Traditional Japanese aesthetics

Needless to say: I’m flexible with due dates if you get hit by whatever personal stuff that may come your way during this time. Just contact me with a suggestion for a new reasonable due date that fits your schedule.

Note: The Canvas Homepage is used to gather sensitive information: links to our Zoom sessions, passwords for accessing PDFs and the shared password for protecting your posts are all there. I share a lot of my course information with the wider world, but we don’t need anyone to crash the party!

Here’s the schedule for the week: tasks, assignments and reading all gathered on one handy webpage. (Scroll down for the materials we will cover this week). I have also made a brief video because this week is a bit different.

Schedule (Week Mon March 23- Sunday March 29)

Monday (anytime before midnight): reflection on the past two weeks of upheaval. This first week will not be entirely representative of what the rest of the semester will look like, but I still would like you to write a reflection based on your cumulative experience in all classes during this week, not just this one. I offer some questions for guidance, but you can take a different perspective.

        • What have you learned about yourself, and about your learning process during this first (short) week of remote learning and the run up? (i.e from March 9 to March 20)
        • What surprised you? (Positive and negative)?
        • What are the challenges you faced, and what strategies or assistance will you need to overcome them?
        • What has this experience taught you about face-to-face class time?
        • What are you proud of achieving this week? From “not freaking out” to “figuring out how to share my screen in Zoom”, nothing is too small to celebrate at this point.
        • Write approx. 300 words. As always: you can go longer if you have more to say, but I prefer substance over quantity.
        • Post on your website as a blog post in the category HST267
        • You can password-protect your post if you choose, please use the one on the Canvas Homepage right above the cat picture.
  • Tuesday Zoom session 1pm (link on Canvas Homepage): check in with your classmates, talk about the course materials/readings, or about any of the assignments for this week.
  • Tuesday (anytime before midnight): First post on the Canvas discussion board due.
  • Wednesday (anytime before midnight) : Two responses to other students’ posts due, on the Canvas discussion board.
  • Thursday Zoom session 1pm (link on Canvas Homepage): “regular class”: we will go into more detail about the course materials for the week, based on the discussions.
  • Monday next week (March 31): reflection on the week’s course materials (back to the good old days)
Readings/course contents: Traditional Japanese culture and aesthetics

Look through the following materials before we meet for class, and to discuss in the Canvas discussion board:

  • Video lecturette on Zen Buddhism basics
  • Japanese aesthetics: concepts and terminology (Google doc)
  • Slides (Gdrive link) with objects/spaces representative of Momoyama/early Tokugawa aesthetics.
        • There are three “sets” of objects/spaces. Go through all three sets, and pick TWO sets to give your comments in your first discussion post (due Tue)
            • Describe what you see on the pictures for your two chosen sets. You may limit yourself to one single picture, or show connections and contrasts between pictures in the same set.
            • Can you apply any of the aesthetic terms to the object or picture? Which ones, and why?
            • Do you see connections with the ideas of Zen Buddhism? Explain.
  • Video: Satō Shōzō. Sumi-E: The Art of Japanese Ink Painting. Tokyo: Tuttle Pub., 2010. (link to Trexler e-book)
    • Watch video 1 (If you are into painting, you can of course look in the book as well)
  • Textbook background: 119-139.
        • Use this information to help you understand what you’re looking at in the Slides.
  • Videos with recordings from both sessions (Canvas page)