History 433 Spring 2000
TR 9:00-10:15 Webster 104
Warriors in Japan and Europe
Dr. Paul Varley and Dr. Karen Jolly
Doug Fuqua, T.A.
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).
- H. Paul Varley, Warriors of Japan as Portrayed in the War Tales (Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 1994).
- Constance Brittain Bouchard, Strong of Body, Brave and Noble: Chivalry and Society in Medieval France (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell, 1998.)
- Tale of the Heike, trans. Helen C. McCullough (Stanford University Press, 1988).
- The Death of King Arthur, trans. James Cable (New York: Penguin, 1971).
- xeroxed and online secondary articles and primary sources
Grading (Writing Intensive):
10% participation; three papers, 6-9 pages each, 30% each
For each paper, a sequence of due dates:
- submit a working outline and thesis argument for feedback
- come prepared with complete first draft to discuss on "paper workshop" day
- submit the final draft on the specified due date
Web Links to explore:
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
- Comparative History
- Medieval Periodization
- H. Paul Varley, A Syllabus of Japanese Civilization, pp. 23-31
- Hollister, Medieval Europe, pp. 4-8, 156-160
- Historical Background: economy, military, religion, government, society
- Hollister, Medieval Europe, pp. 119-133, 136-46, 172-188
- Varley, Japanese Culture, pp. 72-123
- Warriors in Context: Europe (lecture outline and links)
- Feudalism Controversy
- IMS "Feudalism?"
- J. H. Hall, "Feudalism in Japan--A Reassessment" (Studies, pp. 3-51).
- Eiko Ikegami The Taming of the Samurai, pp. 1-43.
- Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals, pp. 1-17, 46-49, 73-74.
- Reviews of Reynolds: selections; two reviews by Cheyette and Hyams; Steven Lane (TMR)
- Feudalism: Europe (lecture outline and links)
- Knight and Samurai
- 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
- reading: Varley, Warriors, chapters1-3; Bouchard, chapters 2-5
- Heike excerpts:
- choose one: Beowulf, Song of Roland, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (web versions and translations linked below, library, bookstore, or borrow from Dr. Jolly)
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
- 3/23 Arthuriana: Camelot
- 3/24 paper 2 due
- [spring recess 3/27-31]
- 4/4 Literature discussion: Death of King Arthur
- 4/6 Literature discussion: Heike
- 4/11 late medieval Japan: Taiheiki, Kusunoki
- 4/13 Theater: Japanese Noh
- 4/18 late medieval Europe: Robin Hood, Joan of Arc
- 4/20 Shakespeare on film: Henry V, Throne of Blood
- 4/25 Modern pop culture heroes: from Arthur to Obi-Wan Kenobi (thesis and outline due)
- 4/27 Modern pop culture: samurai legacies (thesis and outline returned)
- 5/2 paper 3 workshop
- 5/12 final paper due 10 a.m.
|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.