Session 10: Discussion of assigned Japanese premodern texts, second of three sessions
Topics for this session
❖ Japanese premodern texts: The Tale of Genji, second of three sessions
❖ Koi (孤悲、古非、恋、こひ, longing)
❖ Amae (甘え in modern Japanese, not used in premodern, "playing the child", evoking the nurturing response, being vulnerable, revealing dependency, etc.)
❖ Attention to private / public
Koi is the primary term, when a term is used, to express love (not to discuss love — we do not have a tradition at this time of inquiring into what love is except via poem content, poem anthology content and structure, and prose stories). Koi will be definted in class so as not to distill it down to a few English words here. Koi, however, is basically a "negative" discourse built around the feelings of longing when the lover is absent.
Amae will be briefly introduced but its primary presentation is just ahead of the Japanese film screened later. Amae may or may not be appropriate as a premodern construct.
By the way, it is amae, not amai. Amae is a noun derived from the verb amaeru. Amai is an adjective. They do not mean the same thing. This is a common confusion since, when we think in English, we say that Japanese girls who are being "sweet" and "cute" are doing this as a way to amaeru. But "sweet" in Japanese, amai when used for a person means "naive" — only iif used for food does it mean "sweet".
Irogonomi, koi, and amae should be considered culturally specific to Japan. There are near equivalents to some of these in China and Korea but it erases cultural differences that we want to notice if we simply treat these as the Japanese words for a pan-East Asian set of concepts.
Required—to be completed for today's session
✓ The reading of Genji should already have been completed in full by the first session of the sessions on premodern Japanese texts.
Reminder: You should be working on the Chinese premodern readings.
Texts, multimedia notes, links*
nothing yet ...
nothing yet ...
*THOUGHTS: Reading before class probably helps follow session content, reading afterwards might help consolidate notes, revisiting for tests is recommended. Content might be added before class or anytime up until about 24 hours ahead of a midterm.
*TEXTS, MULTIMEDIA NOTES, LINKS: If I have read from something, shown something or presented audio that is not elsewhere mentioned, I usually include that information here for the curious, sometime after the class (since I often make last-minute decisions about including something). It might take a while and sometimes I forget. You can email me.
*OTHER: When possible I note here names, places, and other details that I have mentioned in a lecture that would otherwise not be accessible in the assigned materials or easily located on your own. As with "TEXTS ..." this is usually sometime after class and, again, I might not be able to get around to doing it.