Week 1
Due: 5pm, Friday, August 29, into your dropbox folder on Collab.

I imagine that students who take this course have various previous experiences with Japan, ranging from those with little or no exposure at all and those who have interests in something Japanese (e.g., anime, martial arts) to those who have studied Japanese or lived in Japan. In this first assignment, I would like to get a sense of the range of motivations, experiences, and expectations that you are bringing to the course. Please write a brief statement of your own previous encounters with Japan or topics relevant to a study of Japan and reflect on images of the society that you may have developed through this. We are talking in these first weeks about the pervasiveness of "national character" stereotyping of Japan, so try to analyze the extent to which your images of Japan may have been shaped by common stereotypes of the society and the people.

You can complete this assignment in one page of double-spaced writing. Never feel like more writing will make stronger writing. Make your points clearly and give illustrating examples when you think it will help.