The Modern Ages of Privacy and Model Problems

Yoshitaka HIBI Associate Professor

Department: School of Letters / Graduate School of Letters

Class Time: 2009 Fall Thursday
Recommended for: School of Letters Third-year Students and upwards

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Course Overview

A "model problem" is the name of an incident which was caused by fiction that realistically depicts characters modeled on real persons who are the author's contemporaries. Since the Meiji era, a variety of "model problems" occurred with various reasons. What did novelists want to write? What did the models get angry at? What kinds of literary trend dominated at the time? What kind of "common sense" regulated people? Considering "model problems" chronologically, which resulted from complex factors, we can truly understand the relationship between literature and society, especially the conflict between representations of novels and the "private domain" of people, which changed through the ages.

In this lecture, I will begin by talking about a contemporary "model problem." Then, by looking back to the past retrospectively, I will deal with the origin of the "model problem" in the Meiji era. There are three topics: the first is Miri YU - "The Fish Swimming in the Stone (Ishi ni oyogu sakana)" and its trial, which shows the emergence of the current sense of Japanese people related to freedom of speech and the protection of "models" (1994-). The second is Toson SHIMAZAKI, who was one of the flag-bearers of Japanese realistic literature and had many troubles with "models" (1900-1910s). The third is Roan UCHIDA's "Broken Fence(Yaregaki)," which was banned from publication because of the "model problem" for the first time in Japan (1901).

Key Feature

There are various types of class in University to support your goals. For example, introduction to an academic field, lecture on developed thesis, and mastering useful intelligent skills in society. In this course, over the last half year, I lectured on the theme of my current research.

It might be difficult for undergraduate students to begin with the detailed analysis of novels and the social background of the Meiji and Taisho eras. Therefore, in this course, I decided to reverse the order, and started by talking about the topic of the "model problems" of a contemporary author. There is an imbroglio between novelists who wish to write in their own styles and the models who do not want their privacy described and published in novels. The social rules and common sense reflect the conflict between the two. You should be able to capture the outline of these issues easily through moving from the contemporary topic to the incidents that happened a century ago.

How does our society change, and how not? I would be glad if you would consider this topic trough specific literary expressions and real touches of the voices of authors, "models," and related people.

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Course Aims

You will understand the changes in the relationship between literature and society, and will learn about the development of modern literature, based on the topic of "model problems".

By textual analysis of literature, you will learn not only about authors and their works, but also the cultural contexts in that era.

Course Outline

In general, this course will be conducted as lectures from the teacher. You will need to read the texts suggested before the class. Sometimes you will have homework as well.

Course Schedule

Session Contents
1 Introduction
2 The contemporary "model problems"- Miri YU -"The Fish swimming in the Stone" and its trial (1)
3 The contemporary "model problems"-Miri YU -"The Fish swimming in the Stone" and its trial (2)
4 The contemporary "model problems"- Miri YU -"The Fish swimming in the Stone" and its trial (3)
5 Dilemma of realistic novel -Troublemaker, Toson SHIMAZAKI (1)
6 Dilemma of realistic novel -Troublemaker, Toson SHIMAZAKI (2)
7 Dilemma of realistic novel -Troublemaker, Toson SHIMAZAKI (3)
8 Dilemma of realistic novel -Troublemaker, Toson SHIMAZAKI (4)
9 Dilemma of realistic novel -Troublemaker, Toson SHIMAZAKI (5)
10 Dilemma of realistic novel -Troublemaker, Toson SHIMAZAKI (6)
11 Dilemma of realistic novel -Troublemaker, Toson SHIMAZAKI (7)
12 The emergence of "model problems"-Roan Uchida and his banned "Broken Fence"(1)
13 The emergence of "model problems"-Roan Uchida and his banned "Broken Fence"(2)
14 The emergence of "model problems"-Roan Uchida and his banned "Broken Fence"(3)
15 Conclusion

Grading

If you are absent for more than 20% altogether of the classes, you will not receive any credit. Your evaluation depends on the submission and performance in your reports and assignments. Although I do not particularly make my decision based on the marks allocation ratio, I will mainly focus on the performance of the final report.

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Page last updated October 11, 2011

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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