This course treats the development of Japanese culture from earliest times to the early 19th century in the context of the major political and social forces that moulded the country's history. The course covers major periods and cultural epochs of Japanese history, but particular attention will be paid to samurai culture and systems of social control from the 12th century onwards. The themes to be covered include the formation and the evolving conceptions of Japan's identity, politics, economic development, social trends, and religion, as well as Japan's interaction with Asian and European civilizations. The course aims to provide students with a basic factual knowledge in Japanese history and to assist them in understanding modern Japanese society in its historical context to develop the ability to assess and think critically about historical issues.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Knowledge: Students will obtain significant empirical knowledge of the course of events constituting the rise and fall of Samurai society
Comprehension: Students will understand the basic historical and comparative context of Japanese pre-modern history.
Analysis: Historical analysis; students will undergo formative assessment in the form of essay and book review writing.
Synthesis: Students will obtain an understanding of the dynamics of social and political structure of pre-modern Japan.
Evaluation: Students will learn to apply this understanding to the analysis of Japanese society today.
One essay 3500 words (60%), short outline essay 400-500 words (10%), annotated bibliography (10%), class participation (20%)
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Students should expect to spend 32 hours in class and 98 hours of work outside class time in order to complete the course satisfactorily.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Morris ,I., The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan, New York, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston,1975
Collcutt, M., Jansen,M., Kumakura,I., A Short Cultural Atlas of Japan, Phaidon,1988
Hall, J.W., Japan from Prehistory to Modern Times, Delacore Press, 1994
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- 6 units
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