AP/JP4010 6.0 CLASSICAL JAPANESE: A New Approach



This course introduces a new approach to Kobun 'Classical Japanese'. It adopts TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) in addition to the traditional text reading through learning the classical Japanese grammar and vocabulary. Students will view Kyogen and Noh plays on DVDs, so that they develop knowledge of classical Japanese audio-visually as well. One or two external lectures are scheduled via video-conferencing. Self-study materials are available on the web to assist students in more effective preparation and review. In order to gradually orient students into classical Japanese text, the course starts with gikobun 'semi-classical text' written in the Meiji Era. Students will also learn to play a traditional game by learning Ogura Hyakunin Isshu '100 poems by 100 poets'. Students also learn haiku poetry and experiment on creating their own poems. This course touches on kanbun 'Transiteration from Chinese to Japanese'. Students will take advantage of materials and information available on the Internet. The main objective of this course is to familiarize students with classical Japanese, kanbun, semi-classical Japanese text, and to understand traditional Japanese culture transcended through its history. This course also helps students understand modern Japanese further.


A grade of at least "B" in AP/JP3000 6.0 or an equivalent background is strongly recommended, although "C" is the minimum requirement. Students who have not taken AP/JP3000.06 but have studied Japanese elsewhere must arrange an interview with the staff before registration. [Call 736-5016] Students may take this course while taking AP/JP3000 6.0 with the instructor's permission.


The course is semi-intensive in nature and rather demanding. In addition to the main reading materials, supplementary reading, translation, presentation and discussion sessions are scheduled.


Two major written tests are scheduled. Translation assignments are scheduled ona regular basis. One major assignment involves translation and web presentation.

No make-ups except in case of emergency such as severe illness [supported by a medical certificate], automobile accidents, death in the family [a letter is required from an appropriate person], and other similar situations. If you miss a test or quiz without any reasonable explanation, you will receive a grade of zero. Written assignments must be handed in by the due day. No late assignments will be accepted except in case of emergency stated above. If you come in too late for the test or quiz, you may be asked by the instructor to leave. These policies are observed stringently.


Each class will be conducted in a seminar style in order to enhance students' active and creative participation and involvement. Students are strongly encouraged to take the initiative in communicative interactions in class. Use of the Internet and other IT-based materials and facilities is strongly encouraged to enhance learning about culture and society of Japan. External lectures are scheduled via video-conferencing.


No textbook is used. Please purchase a dictionary of classical Japanese. All other materials are either provided or printed from the Japanese web site. The amount of $10 is included in the tuition to cover the cost of the supplementary reading materials and of other copied materials.


Classical Japanese is quite different from the modern standard Japanese in grammar and vocabulary. Although most courses on calssical Japanese focus on grammar, but in this course a more holistic approach is desirable. Classical Japanese gives us a tool to communicate with people in the past. Hence, it is very important to learn about social and cultural background of the time when the text was written. Take advantage of TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning] facilities, the Internet and multimedia software available on campus.




100 - 95         A+               9            EXCEPTIONAL

  94 - 89         A                 8            EXCELLENT

  88 - 83         B+               7            VERY GOOD

  82 - 77         B                 6            GOOD

  76 - 71         C+               5            COMPETENT

  70 - 65         C                 4            FAIRLY COMPETENT

  64 - 59         D+               3            PASSING

  58 - 53         D                 2            BARELY PASSING

  52 - 47         E                 1            MARGINALLY FAILING

  46 - 0           F                 0            FAILING

Your final grade will be given based on the above grading scheme. A grade of "B" or above is strongly recommended to advance to the next level, although "C" is the minimum requirement.
Please note that the grading percentages are set higher than in the standard grading scheme because 10% of the total grade is allocated for class attendance and participation.
Fractions are not rounded up. [e.g. 70.99% is C, and 71.00% is C+.]

Students who missed the class three times consecutively without any reasonable explanation to the instructor may receive a warning, and if attendance does not improve immediately, further action may be taken by the course director.

Academic dishonesty such as cheating and plagiarism will be penalized severely according to university regulations. Those who are accepted to this course provisionally may receive a recommendation from the instructor as to whether or not s/he should continue the course.

* Any form of abuse, physical, psychological, or verbal, will not be tolerated.
* 'Political Correctness' should be adhered to as a guiding principle.
* Private talking should be kept minimal.
* Cellular phones and pagers must be turned off except for emergency situations.
*Only drinks are allowed, no eating or chewing gum.

As for general questions and problems please feel free to consult your instructor. However, please observe office hours; otherwise make an appointment. Time-consuming questions and individual questions should be addressed during office hours. <>

Your interim grade will be provided by the end of Janauary, 2006. If you should decide to drop the course, the deadline is February 3, 2006.

CALL [Computer-Assisted Language Learning]

Multimedia Language Centre[MLC: S117 Ross] - PC based
MLC provides a walk-in PC lab.You need an E-mail account to log in.

Arts Multimedia Labs [AML: S403 Ross] - Mac/PC based
Drop-in Mac lab is available for Mac users. The schedule will be posted beside the door of the lab. Authorized York cards are required to enter the lab.

E-mail account

Every student must activate his/her E-mail account as soon as possible in order to log in at MLC and Mac Lab. Please refer to the following Web site to find out how to get an E-mail account. [Manage My Services]


Any inquiry should be addressed to the helpdesk at T128 Steacie.

jp4010 list

Jp4010 list has been set up to improve communication among students and instructors by exchanging ideas and information, posting questions, announcing special events, and discussing issues. Every student must be on the lists. To subscribe to the lists, send the following messages:

subscribe jp4010 (E-mail address) [E-mail address is necessary only when you use a non-York account.]

separately to: majordomo@dlll.yorku.ca

Web Sites  (mirror sites)


Norio Ota
Coordinator/Course Director
Japanese Section
phone: (416)736-2100 x88750
fax: (416)736-5483
e-mail: nota@yorku.ca



Kyogen 'crazy talk' or 'nutty talk' is one of the oldest traditional Japanese theatre forms. For 700 years, kyogen performers have been entertaining audiences of all ages with their hilarious art. The essence of kyogen is laughter in its physical and vocal comedy. This photo is of one of Japan's renowned kyogen performers, Mr. Kaoru Matsumoto assisted by his master Mr. Sensaku Shigeyama (Okura School, Kyoto).