• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies

This course is modern political history of Japan. It will introduce key political events and debates that were significant for modern Japanese society between the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the present. It will also introduce some important concepts and frameworks to analyse power dynamics surrounding these key events and debates. The course aims to question certain clichés and national stereotypes in understanding of modern Japanese history and society. It explores the mechanism of how these clichés emerged, when, and why. It also aims to understand actions and thoughts of people in modern Japan, by relating to them and appreciating what challenges confronted them. The course locates these Japanese developments in a broader international and comparative context, as it is the research strength of the convener.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the  requirements for this course, students will have knowledge of the key political developments of Japan between 1868 and the present. They will also have a critical approach to various cliches and stereotypes, and key frameworks and concepts to analyze these developments. They will also learn the skills to examine issues and argue the points based on evidence. The course locates modern Japanese development within a broader international and comparative context, which derives from the research strength of the convener.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial work (20%), Essay (40%), Final Assignment(40%). Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but may expect more rigorous assessment and additional assignment work, tailored to the graduate students’ interests.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


1.5 hour lecture and 1.5 hour seminar per week plus up to 7 hours non-contact work (reading, essay/assignment writing) per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ASIA2009.

Prescribed Texts

Allinson, G., 'The Structure and Transformation of Conservative Rule', in Gordon (ed) Postwar Japan as History, UC Press, 1993
Hane, M., Modern Japan: A Historical Survey, Westview Press, 1986
Gordon, A. ed., Postwar Japan as History, University of California Press, 1981


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4920 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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