JPN 153 E Themes in Early Japanese Literature: Supernatural Japan

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Choose two or more fictions that are adaptations of each other (movies, anime, tales, plays,

setsuwa) we have worked on in the class so far (or choose from among the ones that we will

work on in the upcoming weeks) to write an in-depth analysis of an adaptation and its adapted

text(s). In this 4-6 page paper (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margin), you should advance a

sustained argument about the adapted text and adaptation of your choice.

Your argument should be built through a consideration of the following points:

• First – what gets changed/what is preserved in the adaptation? While you can

consider content, you should go beyond to look at style, narrative structure,

characterization, beginnings and endings, etc.

• Second – what is the effect of those changes/those similarities?

• Third – why do you think these changes were made/the similarities were preserved?

IE: What’s the importance?

• Finally – what about the historical context of its production or reception, politics or

gender of its author/director or audience, choice of medium/genre, etc. influenced

these changes?

Be sure to support your analysis with concrete evidence from the works, including quotations

and close analysis (always citing the relevant page numbers from written works and specific

scenes from films by explaining them briefly).

You may use at least one of the scholarly texts we have read in class to support your analysis –

these texts may help you articulate the effects and importance of your argument.

Your paper should go beyond “compare and contrast” analysis where you list differences and

similarities between the texts you choose. Papers that stick to a compare/contrast structure

alone will earn no higher than a “B”.

Remember to state your argument, give evidence, and then elaborate on how you interpret

that evidence, and how it supports your point. For this paper, there is no need to do any

external research beyond what we’ve read/learned in class. Focus on your analysis of the

primary texts, advancing an argument, evidencing it well, and drawing a conclusion from that.

Your grade will be determined equally in terms of the following categories:

• strength of your argument and evidence

• analytical depth and creativity of your argument

• content and style (structure, prose style, grammar, spelling, etc) are inseparable and

weighted equally

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