History 433 Spring 2000

TR 9:00-10:15 Webster 104

WI/Medieval Cultures:
Warriors in Japan and Europe

Dr. Paul Varley and Dr. Karen Jolly

Doug Fuqua, T.A.

website: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kjolly/433s00.htm

Course Description:

This class examines warrior cultures in Japan circa 1185-1568 and Europe circa 1100-1500, comparing the origins and development of a warrior ethos in these two regions and its cultural manifestations in art and literature. The course focuses in particular on the Kamakura period in Japan and 12th century France in Europe. The syllabus is organized around the following three issues: definitions and origins of warrior societies; ideology and behavior of warrior cultures; literary and artistic representations of warrior values. Topics in these sections include discussions of feudalism, religion, women, codes of conduct, war tales, illustrations in scrolls and manuscripts, and warriors on film.

Class sessions are primarily lecture with some discussion. Thought papers encourage critical analysis of the readings, both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources include short xeroxed selections, two major literary texts (one from each region), and visual arts (slides of artifacts).


Grading (Writing Intensive):

10% participation; three papers, 6-9 pages each, 30% each

For each paper, a sequence of due dates:

Web Links to explore:

Outline of Topics

Part I: Concepts and Origins Weeks 1-5

1/11, 1/13; 1/18, 1/20; 1/25 1/27; 2/1, 2/3; 2/8, 2/10
  1. Comparative History
  2. Medieval Periodization
  3. Historical Background: economy, military, religion, government, society
  4. Feudalism Controversy
  5. Knight and Samurai
  6. Paper Workshop: bring complete first draft
    Paper 1: Compare the origins and development of
    warrior cultures in Japan and Europe
    and consider whether they constitute a common phenomenon.
    Are they both "medieval" or "feudal," and if so,
    what do those terms mean?
    • thesis and outline due: 2/1 returned 2/3
    • first draft due at Paper Workshop 2/10
    • paper due 2/17

    Part II: Warrior Values Weeks 6-10

    Note Date changes for Paper 2!

    Paper 2: Compare codes of conduct for warriors
    in Japan and Europe:
    how do such codes function in society?
    what do they reveal about warriors,
    their political, social, and religious ties?
    • thesis and outline due 3/7 and returned 3/9
    • 1st draft Paper Workshop 3/21
    • paper due Friday, 3/24, by 4 p.m. History office Sakamaki A203

    Part III: Representations Weeks 11-16

    reading: Varley, Warriors, chap. 3-5; Heike, Death of King Arthur
    Paper 3: Why is the warrior a popular figure
    in literature, drama, and the arts?
    What is the appeal, both then and now,
    of warrior tales?
    • thesis and outline due 4/25, returned 4/27
    • first draft paper workshop 5/2
    • final paper due 5/12 10 a.m.