Educated classes in premodern Japan read and often wrote utilizing both kana (“vernacular”) and kanbun (“Chinese”) writing systems in recording their lives and creating art. Following in their footsteps, students will read and translate texts written in both kana and kanbun from Japan’s early and classical periods (710-1185). We will explore differences in form and content between the two writing styles along with linguistic quirks featured in our readings. We will also consider the conception of gendered writing and cross-cultural comparisons with other East Asian literatures, including poetic treatises and histories. At the end of this course, students will be able to not only read and translate texts written in multiple linguistic forms, but also discuss such texts side-by-side in a comprehensive manner.