This class explores Japanese literature and, to some extent, culture from the Meiji Restoration of 1868 until the present. It surveys some of the major literary authors. We read about seven novels, a few short stories, a few poems and screen one film. Time permitting, there are audiovisual presentations on an array of cultural aspects of modern Japan. By the end of the class, the student will have read instances of some of the best writings of modern Japan, as well as consider some of the major social and cultural elements of the country. This class also provides specific training in writing an academic analytic essay. This class is designed to include students with no background in Japan or the Japanese language.