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Topical Readings in Classical Japanese


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (60 EC, 120 EC or research) or another relevant MA programme and having successfully completed the BA3- course “Klassiek Japans 2” or comparable course. When in doubt, please contact the instructor.


This course consists of intensive reading of literary and/or historical texts in classical Japanese for MA students who have successfully completed their studies of Classical Japanese at BA level. In 2021-2022, we will be reading excerpts from 'The Tale of Genji' and medieval commentaries to it, and discuss academic literature on Genji interpretations.

Course objectives

  • Understand vocabulary in Japanese cultural history

  • Expand grammatical knowledge and refine reading skills

  • Refine translation skills

  • Use dictionaries and other relevant sources


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Attendance is compulsory for all sessions. Students must prepare well and contribute to in-class discussion. If a student cannot attend because of illness or misadventure, they should promptly inform the convener. Extra assignments may be set to make up for missed class time, at the convener’s discretion. Absence without notification may result in lower grades or exclusion from assessment components and a failing grade for the course.

Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
participation (including presentation) 50%
final written assignement, with translation/reading element (± 3,000 words) 50%

The final assignement is written in two stages: a first version, which will be commented on, and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the final version, will get a failing grade.

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average. In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. All categories must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Only if the total weighted average is 5.49 or lower and this is the result of the final assignement graded 5.49 or lower, a re-sit of that assignement is possible (50%). In that case the convener of the course may decide to assign a (new) topic. The deadline for this version will be determined by the course convener after consultation with the student.

A re-sit for other course component is not possible.

Inspection and feedback

Students may request an oral elucidation of the assessment within 30 days after publication of the grade.

Reading list

Will be posted in Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.