1. (The impact of narration)
Discuss the impact of the narrative style in each work listed below. Consider the point of
view of the narration and its effect on the reader.
• The novel Kokoro by Sōseki Natsume
• The novel Naomi by Junichirō Tanizaki
• The film Tony Takitani by Jun Ichikawa
• The novel Convenience Store Woman
2. (Literature and film)
Discuss how the following directors alter the plots of the original stories on which their
films are based. What effects do such alterations bring to the audience?
• Kon Ichikawa, Kokoro
• Yasuzō Masumura, Love for an Idiot
• Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises
• Jun Ichikawa, Tony Takitani
3. (Human isolation)
Analyze the nature and causes of the isolation of the following characters:
• Sensei and K in the novel Kokoro
• Joji in the novel Naomi
• Naoko in the film The Wind Rises
• Tony in the short story “Tony Takitani”
• Keiko Furukura in the novel Convenience Store Woman
4. (Obsession)
Discuss what kinds of obsessions can be found in the following characters. What are
the outcomes of each character’s obsession(s)?
• K in the novel Kokoro
• Joji in the novel Naomi
• Naomi in the film Love for an Idiot
• Jiro in the film The Wind Rises
• Tony’s wife in the film Tony Takitani
Fall 2021 Asia 31104 (Kudo) Final Paper Topics 11/30/21 2 of 3
5. (Transience)
Analyze how a sense of transience is expressed in the following works:
• The novella The Wind Has Risen
• The short story “Tony Takitani”
• The film Tony Takitani
• The film Departures
6. (Couple relationship)
For each pair of characters listed below, discuss how the development of their
relationship impacts the theme of the corresponding work:
• Sensei and Okusan in the novel and film Kokoro
• Joji and Naomi in the novel Naomi
• Jiro and Naoko in the film The Wind Rises
• Tony and his wife in the short story “Tony Takitani”
• Daigo and Mika in the film Departures
• Keiko and Shiraha in the novel Convenience Store Woman
7. (Visual and sound effects/music)
Discuss how the visual /sound effects or music mentioned below relate to the themes of
each film.
• The views of the industrial complex where Joji works [e.g.(0:12 – 0:45) (23:05 –
23:12)(46:29 – 46:37) (1:08:33 – 1:08:42)(1:21:04 – 1:21:12)] in Love for an Idiot
• The song “Vapor Trail” by Yumi Arai in The Wind Rises (2:03:03 – 2:06:23)
• Spatial composition, color tones, and use of superimposition in Tony Takitani
• The cello music in the film Departures
8. (Familial relationship)
For each of the relationship listed below, explain how the relationship is depicted in the
corresponding work and what aspects drive the plot development:
• Sensei and his uncle in Part I of the novel Kokoro
• “I” and his father in Part II of the novel Kokoro
• K and his fathers in Part III of the novel Kokoro
• Joji and his mother in the novel Naomi
• Naomi and her parents in the novel Naomi
• Tony and Shozaburo in the short story “Tony Takitani”
• Daigo and his father in the film Departures
• Keiko and her sister in the novel Convenience Store Woman
9. (Role of supporting characters)
Analyze the roles the following characters play in each narrative.
• Hamada in the novel Naomi
• Caproni in the film The Wind Rises
• Eiko’s ex-boyfriend in the film Tony Takitani
• The man who works for the crematorium in the film Departures
• Shiraha in the novel Convenience Store Woman
Fall 2021 Asia 31104 (Kudo) Final Paper Topics 11/30/21 3 of 3
10. (Female characters)
Analyze the following female characters. When applicable, compare and contrast the
depictions of the characters by the author and by the director of the film adaptation.
• Shizu in the novel and film Kokoro
• Setsuko in The Wind Has Risen and Naoko in The Wind Rises
• Tony’s assistant in “Tony Takitani” and Tony Takitani
• Mika in the film Departures
• Keiko in the novel Convenience Store Woman
11. (Leitmotifs)
Discuss the symbolic meanings of the following leitmotifs in each work.
• The sliding door in the novel Kokoro
• Playing horse in the novel Naomi
• Wind in the film The Wind Rises
• The closet in the short story “Tony Takitani”
• Flying birds in the film Departures
• Sounds/noises that Keiko hears in the novel Convenience Store Woman

 

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