This course proposes a literary and visual exploration of mystery and detective fiction in Japan, examining representative literary works, film, and manga. The rise of detective and mystery fiction in Japan is connected to larger social, epistemological, and aesthetic questions about the nature of, and the ends of, modernity. We will reflect on the modernity of the detective in Japan and the reasons for its pervasive presence in contemporary culture. Students can expect to learn about the evolution of the detective novel in Japanese literature, refine their analysis of formal and contextual features of the genre, and consider the reasons for the popularity of detective fiction today. Themes under the microscope include the psychology of violent crime, crime and society, the procedures of crime detection, famous male and female detectives, analysis of the detective story form, and criticism of detective fiction.
Number of Credits