Week 6: Late Heian, and the Tale of Heike

Check you have completed your end of week 5 assignments by the start of Tuesday’s class!



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Remember you can use the Pad for all your anonymous questions and concerns
Tue Feb. 18: Late Heian, and the rise of the warrior aristocracy
  • Slides (Gdrive link)
  • Textbook: Varley, Chapter 4,  but skim the section about Tale of Heike (p. 80-middle of p. 82)
  • Primary sources:
    • “Rise of the Warrior Class.” In The Dawn of History to the Late Tokugawa Period, Volume 1 in Japan: A Documentary History, edited by David John Lu, pp. 101-106. London: Routledge, 2015. https://muhlenberg-on-worldcat-org.muhlenberg.idm.oclc.org/oclc/904546969.
          • Cross-reference between the developments described in Varley (Chapter 4) and these documents: where can you make explicit connections between the textbook, and this set of documents? Where do you have to interpret the documents at a deeper level? Remember you can use the “How to read a text” questions to help you get the most out of primary sources.
          • What do you find interesting, remarkable, strange? Why?
          • Note: download the chapter through Trexler Library. It helps the library with usage statistics for collection development (as opposed to me providing you with a PDF = “1 reader”).
    • “Scrolls of the Frolicking Animals”, attributed to Toba (1053–1140).
  • Encyclopedia article: Emaki during the Heian period.
  • Optional extras: Literature from this time period (can be used for Primary Source analysis 2)
    • “The Lady Who Preferred Insects”. In Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology. Beginnings to 1600, edited by Haruo Shirane, 498-499. Columbia Univ. Press, 2007. (PDF)
            • How does this story differ from what you read about elite women in The Tale of Genji or either of the two texts for the response paper?
    • Collection of Tales Now Past.” In Sources of Japanese Tradition, Volume One: From Earliest Times to 1600 2nd edition, edited by de Bary, William Th. et al, 529-555. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. (PDF)
            • More popular tales! What similarities and differences do you see with earlier popular tales, ranging from the origin myths to “Minister Kibi’s Adventures” or the “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”?
    • Chapters 15, 16, and 17 in Friday, Karl F, ed. Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2012.
            • These brief chapters provide additional background where Varley’s text may be a bit too brief.
Thu Feb. 20: The Tale of Heike
  • The Tale of the Heike, translated by Royall Tyler. New York: Viking, 2012.
    • This is from a recent full translation of the text, which shows much more clearly the origin of the Tale as an epic poem. (PDF)
  • Genji & Heike: Selections from The Tale of Genji and The Tale of Heike, translated by Helen Craig McCullough. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994.
    • Selections from the Tale of Heike (PDF)
    • Glossary (useful if you want to keep track of the details) (PDF)
    • Questions for reading:
            • What is the role of Buddhism, and in particular the idea of mappō in the Tale of Heike?
            • What is a good death, in the view of the twelfth-century Japanese warriors?
            • Which of the characters dies “a good death”? Why?
            • There is not yet a written bushido (“warrior code”), but the basic elements are already present. Based on what you read here, what do the warriors value?
            • How does the text make sure that Taira no Kiyomori is from the start seen as a negative figure?
  • Slides (Gdrive link)
Friday Feb. 21: Share google doc with draft of first primary source analysis