Spring 2023 MEDREN 2211: Medieval Kyoto

October 24, 2022

Spring 2023 MEDREN 2211: Medieval Kyoto


Spring 2023 Offering

Professor Naomi Fukumori of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures will be teaching a course on medieval Kyoto through the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. This course explores the history and culture of the city that was the capital of Japan from 794-1868—a city considered by many to be quintessentially “Japanese.”

Course: MEDREN 2211: Medieval Kyoto

Class number: 34490
Meeting days/time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:20-3:40pm

Classroom: Mendenhall Lab 125

Kyoto was the capital of Japan from the eighth to the nineteenth centuries. Today it continues to be the site of many temples, shrines, gardens, and other cultural monuments that attest to Kyoto’s enduring cultural practices and values. UNESCO collectively recognizes seventeen “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” as World Heritage Sites.

This course specifically focuses on the city’s medieval period, from its founding in 794 to the late 16th century. This was a period in which Kyoto’s cultural identity emerged, and, in view of Kyoto as the site of national authority during this duration, the broader Japanese cultural identity. Studying this timespan in the life of Kyoto lets us follow transformations in the lived environments of the city as it moves from imperial to shōgun military rule. By examining literary and other works of art, we’ll also address similar cultural transformations involving aristocrats, warriors, Buddhist institutions, and merchants. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on practices of urban historical preservation through the contemporary efforts of Kyoto’s citizens to preserve the heritage of the city.

Course Fulfills

General Elective (New) Foundation: Historical and Cultural Studies

General Elective (Legacy) Cultures and Ideas; Diversity: Global Studies