Hist 532: Japanese Women
20% of the course grade
Choose 2 of the following essays
- Is there any evidence of the romantic tradition of Murasaki and Nijo in the relationship goals and standards of late 20th century women (Okano)?
- Is there any evidence of the samurai values of Mito women (Yamakawa) in the political activists of early 20th century Japan (Hane)?
- What does “tradition” mean to the women in Suyemura (Smith and Wiswell)? Is it something they value, and how do they observe it?
- What does “family” mean to the activist radical women in Hane’s collection? Is it something they value?
- Are the young women of modern Kobe (Okano) aware of or active in politics? Why, or why not?
- Which women are more financially independent, the aristocrats of Kyoto (Murasaki and Nijo) or the young women of Kobe (Okano)?
- Which women are more financially independent, the women of Suyemura (Smith and Wiswell) or the samurai women of Mito (Yamakawa)?
- Do the 1947 Constitution’s rights for women actually affect the choices or opportunties available to the young women of Kobe?
- Do the 1947 Constitution’s rights for women actually answer the social and cultural critiques made by the pre-war radical activists (Hane)? If not, what were they trying to accomplish?
Both essays are due in my office no later than noon on Tuesday May 8th
There will be no extensions or late papers accepted
except in cases of documented medical emergency.
Instructions and Guidance
- This is a take-home assignment, so I am expecting two real essays, with introductions, thesis statements, paragraphs, conclusions, etc.
- Don’t assume that “an answer” will be easily found in one section of one book. These essays require careful reading, analytical thinking, and integration of textbook, lecture, and supplemental materials.
- Be concrete: evidence is always more convincing than generalization or simple logic. In fact, it’s the entire point of the assignment: using evidence to generate an answer to a real historical question.
- Don’t summarize the reading materials: describe or quote the evidence you need to answer the question, with proper citations so your reader can find your source, but don’t waste your time and your reader’s by repeating easy-to-find and irrelevant material.
- You may think of it as two essays each worth 10% of your course grade; that’s certainly how I calculate it.
- The grade is based primarily on the strength of your argument as an answer to the question: thesis, evidence (completeness and handling), logic.
- Polished prose is not required, but basic courtesies like correct spelling and writing in grammatical standard English will be expected.
- Clarity is crucial; structure is essential to a clear and effective argument.
- Citations and Plagiarism
- failure to acknowledge the source of your ideas or information is unacceptable. Plagiarism will result in no credit for the exam. Poor paraphrasing and poor citation will be penalized.
- These questions can be answered more than adequately with reference to assigned readings and lectures. You are welcome to do more research and include outside sources if necessary, but you must be sure that they are relevant and of sufficient quality to enhance your argument. Using outside sources instead of course materials will result in penalties.
- A Works Cited or Bibliography page is not required unless you use sources outside of the course readings and lectures. You must cite the source of information and ideas that are outside of “general knowledge,” including information from your course texts. Format of the notes is up to you: any format will be fine as long as it is used consistently and it clearly identifies the source and page of your information.
- Technical Details
- Both Essays are due in the History office (RH 406) no later than noon, Tuesday May 8th. There will be no extensions or late papers accepted except in cases of documented medical emergency. Essays must be printed, paper, hard copies. Emailed files will only be accepted as proof of completion, but will not be graded; printed essays must be delivered no later than 4pm Friday, and must be identical to the emailed files.
- Make sure that your name, section, e-mail address and the question are clearly indicated at the beginning of each essay, and that each essay begins on a fresh page.
- There is neither a minimum nor a maximum length for these essays, but I would be surprised if you could answer either of them in less than 500 words or needed more than 2000. That’s for each essay, by the way, not total.
- Double-spacing and title pages are not required, but readable type and font are.