professor
Hikari Hori

Dec 2010

On the first day of class, Prof. Hori announced that this was not an easy class, even though the midterm paper and final paper were not exactly lengthy (5 pgs, and 7-8 pgs respectively). And thus, Japanese Cinema was pretty much a very easy class. The lectures were somewhat stilted, and I think she showed too many clips. She kind of jumped around and was disorganized. The discussions we had about the movies (it was a seminar, though in a lecture hall—not her fault) were a lot more interesting and fruitful. The movies themselves were what you would expect for J-Cinema: Ozu, Kurosawa, Oshima. She did have some good curveball films—an experimental one from the 20s, an animated propaganda film, and a yakuza gangster flick from the director of Battle Royale.

Dec 2010

I would like to begin this review by saying: Do not take this class with Hori. And especially, if you are an EALAC major. The majority of the class was taught by the TA S. Kile, who was pretty good and knew her stuff. But she taught the entire Chinese portion, which is a good 80% of the semester. Make sure you participate actively in class. Talk as much as possible. And do the reading thoroughly. Which is expected from all the sections of this class, no matter who you take it with. But keep in mind that this is a classic course at Columbia, and many able, personable people teach it. The class has potential with the right instructor. Really my review of the course should be for the TA, but this is the best way to get a recent review out for Professor Hori and the class. Shop around before you register.

Apr 2007

Don't be fooled by the wonders of gaining 4 points for meeting less than 2 hours each week. There is a huge amount of reading to be complete each week. The class begins with a huge section of Chinese classics, directed by Hori's partner, Professor Hsu. Hsu is a somewhat aggravating man, that has a very limited understanding of the meaning of "colloquium" and tends to present the class as a lecture. Once Chinese classics are completed, the class improves because (1) the reading becomes more interesting and (2) Hori takes over. Hori is a very sweet little Japanese woman, with a somewhat halting accent.