Winter 2016 - Professor Carter is a wonderful professor for this course and always has well-organized lecture slides. If you take this class you cannot expect to not do any reading and get an A. It is basically a history course so the textbook becomes your best friend. Carter's exams were not extremely difficult but there is no curve in the class so you just have to do your best. Participation is important in discussion and made up at least 20% of your grade. There were also weekly "write abouts" where students would have to answer a question about the weekly readings in a kind of brain storm way. Overall, not a hard course but don't slack off on reading
Fall 2020 - I took this class during remote learning so the structure could be different from the class in real time. All I have to say is please take this GE!! It's literally amazing. Professor Duthie is a great lecturer with good humor and clear presentation structure. He expanded the content on the textbook and I've learned so much about Japan and its history in this class. The assignments are fairly graded, and you will get a good score as long as you write them carefully and integrate the class materials. Huge shoutout to my TA Kristin for teaching us how to write effective responses!!
Spring 2018 - Overall an interesting and easy GE. Midterm- 40% Final-40% Discussion Participation- 10% Weekly Discussion Prompts- 10% There was also a 3 pt extra credit opportunity towards the end of the quarter as well. The exams are pretty simple because the long/short responses are based on the weekly discussion questions and the rest of the exam is matching quotes with readings. No textbooks required, just do the readings diligently and make sure you can answer all the discussion questions. There are no essays or long writing assignments, so this class is ideal for people like me who dislike writing. Lectures are powerpoint and the slides go by too fast to even take a picture. No worries-- the lectures are useful, but more like supplements to the readings. I think that it's totally possible to not attend a single lecture and get a 100% in the class. Professor Ishida did take attendance once though. Best part of the class is the entertaining and relevant films.
Fall 2019 - This class was not the easiest GE but it was still fairly easy. We had a reading response every week, graded on content. There were no papers, but this was made up for with the essay section and short answer portions of the midterm and final. The final luckily was not cumulative, it just contained material after the midterm to the end of week 10, which was good because there is a lot of content in the textbook which made this not the easiest GE. The slides were not posted, so you have to take your own thorough notes. Professor Kanesaka was passionate about the material and delivered decent lectures. We also got to watch a few snippets of anime if you're into that.
I was informed about how easy Japanese 50 was. It has definitely changed when compared to the class 2 years ago. It's not as easy, but there is only 3 short papers instead of one long essay. The quizzes are longer and more difficult. You have to pay close attention in class and write down every word the professor says otherwise you'll miss questions on the quizzes.
I took Prichard's Japanese 60 class thinking it would be cool to learn about samurai and stuff. It isn't what you expect, but it's not that bad. This class is an easy A, but not an automatic A. There is still a lot of reading and weekly forum journals, but if you put the effort, its easy to ace. The course has more of a overall understanding feel, rather than specific facts. You'll learn about the politics, social life, and culture of every japanese period. If you want a quick overview, just search "japan periods" on google. There is a lot of reading for the class, but you don't really have to memorize it. Each week is usually 1 or 2 chapter pdf's that have about 30 book pages each. Along with that, there are anywhere from 4 to 9 article pdfs, ranging from 3 to 13 pages long. But the articles are only expected to be identifiable on the tests, as in a "here's an excerpt, which article is it(multiple choice)." and the questions for the chapter are short answer (5 sentences) that will be like "explain how the blah blah political system affected the social aspects of japanese life in this period." very broad, so you have to understand the overall feel of each period, rather than specific facts. the tests also have ids. But with all this, the class isn't bad at all, because he gives you a study guide with the exact questions on the test, only thing is there is a lot on the study guide and he'll only ask you about half of it on the test. As a lecturer, Prichard is AWESOME! always manages to keep things interesting and casual, and is very cool. a lot of quirky and interesting comments. Will often threaten a quiz or actually give out a quiz to enforce reading, but they don't go on your grade, so it's actually just a really great strategy to keep kids on track. This class is pretty awesome, but you learn more about japanese histories as a whole, and not just wars and samurai. So if you're an "otaku" don't expect to be amazed, but it's still very interesting. To be honest, I barely read anything weeks 5 to 9, and crammed for the final. Oh, and the final is not cumulative. midterm on first half of info and final on second half. Anyway, this class is awesome, but a lot of reading if you actually read it all.