Based on 57 Users
Professor Hirano is one of my favorite professors at UCLA. He's an expert in the field, gives interesting lectures, and is very open to helping understand material outside of class. He's all about giving you information that will get you thinking about the material yourself, rather than memorizing facts.
He does take attendance in class, so you will have to go, but you will enjoy his presentations, and he doesn't have any 8AMs (took two classes with him), so it is not that bad. He also bases your grade on three essays (he gives a choice of questions) and has no midterm or final. I think this is a much better way to go, because the essays are easy to write and you can get a good grade if you understand the readings and try a bit. The subject of your essays also stays with you longer - I still remember the topics I wrote on very well.
Overall, I highly recommend this class to History majors who need their distribution for non-Western history, and anyone who is interested in Japanese history.
This class is fairly easy. The class is out of 100 points. 40 points are weekly assignments and discussion, but you're practically guaranteed full points if you attend and just do the assignment, which is two paragraphs per week. There are three essays, about 4-5 pages each. Hirano discourages memorization, so there are no midterms or finals. They're not harsh graders, so it is fairly easy to get an A. If you really need help, go to the history writing center, but make sure to schedule an appointment early or else they get booked quickly.
Hirano is passionate about the subject, which makes it nice. He does take attendance each lecture and discussion. His syllabus states if you miss a discussion, you automatically get a F. Not sure how true that is. Overall, it's an easy GE and fulfills the diversity requirement.
Katsuya Hirano is amazing. He offers a refreshing perspective on studying history, through examination of the intellectuals who evince the sentiments and conflicts of the time period. I must commend the TA's for doing an amazing job and helping students pinpoint their ideas during the office hours. I really enjoyed Hirano's lectures, as I feel that he speaks in an ardent and engaging manner. He is really passionate about what he teaches, and he has a great personality. He is extremely kind, and willing to help you tremendously if you attend his office hours, which I recommend. One of my favorite classes at UCLA by far. You might feel lost in the first few lectures, but it will all come together by the end of the quarter, if you are persistent. Every lecture connects to the next, so missing lectures is not advised. I also enjoyed that we were inclined to attend lectures because of the assignments, which were simple and straightforward, but encouraged you to read thoroughly. Great professor, hope to take more of his classes.
I enrolled into this class during week 2 and Professor Hirano was very lenient about me making up missed assignments. Every week there are two assignments due based off of the readings. Some of the readings are from his course website and some are from the books he assigned. Professor Hirano is without a doubt a leader in his field, the sheer amount of knowledge he has with regards to Japanese History is astonishing. His lectures are extremely helpful and clear, if you go to lecture and take good notes, you will be more than prepared for the Midterm (paper), and the Final (paper). There are no in class exams. This class is not your typical history class, rather than just spewing historical facts, he takes the class through Japan's history through the lenses of various Japanese philosophers. Take this class if you like history, you will learn a lot.
You have to do the readings for this class because before each lecture you turn in a one page reading response but you only have to read enough to answer the prompt. They're very easy and he gives you an automatic 100% if you turn it in and answer the prompt. There are no exams just a midterm paper and final paper. The midterm paper draws directly from reading and lecture so it's important to keep up with the readings and go to lecture. DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES. They will take points off of your paper if you do this. I wasn't very interested in the subject but professor Hirano was really passionate about the subject and it ended up becoming one of the most interesting subjects I've taken at UCLA. Honestly it was a great class. 10/10 recommend. Also selling some of the books necessary for this class and my notes (I went to every lecture and got an A) text me at 559-287-9333.
This class is very easy if you do the assignments. It takes some time but is very worth it. I liked the assignments because they forced me to become acquainted with the readings, and the homework is a good percentage of your grade (maybe 30%?). Professor Hirano's lecture may not be the most compelling in the world, but I still found them to be pretty enjoyable.
I would advise students to go to this class on time. Do not leave early unless you tell him beforehand! He will ask you why in front of the entire class. This did not happen to me, but please be respectful in this class. You do not want the embarrassment of being called out.
I never personally talked to Professor Hirano and he didn't know my name, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this class.
I got a B on the midterm paper because I thought we were supposed to use material from the lectures to prove our points. They said my paper was well done, but I didn't input my own perspective in my paper and regurgitated the lecture material. This was due to my misunderstanding of the prompt. Remember to base your paper on the readings! I was able to get a high A for the final when I understood this.
I think this is a class where as long as you fulfill the requirements, Hirano leads you to success. He also has very a nuanced perspective on Japanese history and I thought the information he gave us was very valuable.
I highly recommend this for a GE! Professor Hirano is super nice, but lectures aren't mandatory so I never went. Your grade is basically based off discussion participation (basically just show up to discussion), weekly one page double spaced responses, and a midterm and final essay (no tests). All you really need to do for this class is go to discussion and skim the weekly readings to write a one page response since they're only graded for completion. Lectures aren't super important because you go over material in the discussion and you can write the papers solely off the readings. The TAs are also super nice and helpful. Take this class!!!
Maybe it was just me but this class was a lot harder than expected. Yes, it was good to have only a paper for the midterm and final but the prompts are convoluted. If you bomb one, then you kind of already bomb the class. Had a really good TA and he was incredibly nice and helpful so go to discussion to understand what's going on. He doesn't take attendance anymore in lecture but go to lecture to get the gist of the class for the essay.
This was an amazing class! Professor Hirano is such a great and engaging lecturer and I looked forward to his classes. He gave such great insight and though this is a rather unconventional history class, I enjoyed it. Grade is basically participation and 2 essays, so it is very heavily dependent on TA. Shoutout to Xiaowen, who was absolutely amazing!! Would definitely recommend this GE!
Kats is really cool and smart. However, this class isn't very well structured and you don't end up coming away with much. You jump around history constantly in a way that doesn't really make sense. You have to do weekly vocab write ups which are graded on completion so it's just busy work. If you're interested in Japanese history take the class, it can offer a lot if you want it to. Otherwise you just don't gain that much. There are easier GEs too.