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Tufts University: JPN061 - Introduction to Japanese Culture - Japanese - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Hosea Hirata | JPN061 - Introduction to Japanese Culture | Japanese2006-05-14

Prof. Hirata was teaching the course for the first time, but nonetheless seemed a little unsure of how to present the material. His calling seems to be in literature, not teaching culture. He may have been enthusiastic, but it was hard to tell, because it was a very quiet class. He definitely encouraged participation.

The reading was totally unpredictable--some nights, only 30 pages of straightforward history, other nights, 200 pages of history, critical reading, and then the actual literature. Assignments were extremely vague. It helped to have writing fellows, but he was not clear with them either. Also, in his writing assignments, it was clear that he wanted a certain response to a specific question, making it difficult to write an interesting paper. He is also a harsh grader, considering the difficulty and vagueness of his assignments. There were also pop quizzes about once a week.

professor rating: | course rating: | major: English

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Tufts University: JPN061 - Introduction to Japanese Culture - Japanese - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Charles Inouye | JPN061 - Introduction to Japanese Culture | Japanese2005-07-18

Professor Inouye is an excellent teacher who is very enthusiastic about the material. You would think that if teachers themselves are interested in the topic and are making a career out of it, shouldn't they also be excited to teach others about their interests? Unfortunately that is not always the case, but luckily Professor Inouye approaches each class with a strong desire to share his passion for the subject matter. Whether a Japanese major or just someone wanting to learn a little about the country, don't pass up the chance to take a class with Inouye.

There is a fair amount of work for JPN 61: Intro to Japanese Culture. It is in no way impossible, but it isn't light either. The thing is that all the work in the class really ties together. There are weekly reading assigments as you move along chronologically through Japan's history. For the first half of the class, there are also short papers of about two pages due on each week's reading. Then, every couple weeks, you have a quiz on what you have read. The quizzes are easy though, and most people get above 90 at least. The second half of the class is a research paper of about 10-15 pages, but you have a really long time to do the research and write it, and there are lots of intermediate steps along the way to ask questions.

Finally, there are three things I would want to pass off to anyone thinking about taking the class:
1) There is absolutely no anime...take Intro to Popular Culture.
2) The class delves into philosophy and psychology a lot, and while you don't need a background in these areas whatsoever to do well, you should still know that a good portion of the class will be spent in trying to understand the Japanese mindset.
3) The class is not an easy A. But if you listen in class and pay attention, and then apply what you heard to your writing, you should be able to do really well. Inouye makes a lot of comments on each small paper, allowing you to really improve quickly instead of suffering through week after week of unsatisfactory grades.

You should be ready to work, but it is well worth it.

professor rating: | course rating: | major: Japanese

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Top Professors - Japanese

1. Shiori Koizumi (1.85)
2. Charles Inouye (1.85)
3. Melissa Wender (1.35)
4. Hosea Hirata (0.85)
5. William Burton (-0.15)

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