Origins of Japanese Tradition (ASNS2631)


This unit explores the historical validity of key motifs of Japanese traditions. Through the liberal exploration of primary historical sources including texts, pictorial sources and material artifacts, students will learn of such diverse topics as early religion, imperial authority, the lives of the court and military elites (samurai), Zen monastic practice, medieval aesthetics, geisha, and the tea ceremony. By separating stereotype and cliche from history, we will attempt to construct a more sober yet ultimately more viable narrative of early Japanese history and culture.

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


1x1500wd Essay (30%), 1x1500wd Tutorial presentation (20%), 1x1.5hr exam (40%), participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

12 Junior credit points from (Asian Studies or Japanese Studies or Korean Studies or Chinese Studies or Indonesian Studies or Sanskrit or History or Ancient History or International and Global Studies)

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.