- Code ASIA2009
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies, History, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
This course has been adjusted for remote participation in Semester 1 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. On-campus activities may also be available.
This course traces the history of Japan from the 17th century to the present, examining the dynamics of the early modern period (Tokugawa era), the Meiji revolution, the political, social and economic transformations of the early 20th century, the tumultuous 1930s and 1940s, and the dynamics of the post-1945 era. Thematic issues to be covered include nation- and empire-building, state-society relations, total war and defeat, the Allied Occupation, Japan in the Cold War, socio-economic and demographic change, intellectual developments, and Japan’s international relations. A key emphasis of the course will be to understand and to position Japan in wider regional and global processes. The course will focus closely on the approaches historians have employed in studying Japan’s modern history. In other words, what social and political theories have historians deployed and why? How have these approaches changed and/or enriched our understanding of modern Japan? The course will pay close attention to some of the ongoing controversies and debates in the historiography of modern Japan. Students will be expected to think critically about both the history of Japan and the approaches historians have adopted.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:On successful completion of this course, students will have the skills and knowledge to:
1. Display nuanced grasp of key processes, transformations, and themes in Japan's modern history.
2. Develop comprehensive understanding of key scholarly debates on Japan's modern history.
3. Develop ability to critically examine primary source documents from Japan's modern history (including vernacular sources for those with Japanese language capability).
4. Develop analytical reading skills through careful reading of relevant secondary literature in the field of Japanese history (including Japanese language scholarship for those with Japanese language capability).
5. Develop analytical writing skills in the field of Japanese history and historiography through completion of written assessment tasks.
This is a co-taught course. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.
Indicative AssessmentSeminar Participation: 10% (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
Historiography Analysis: 35% (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Research Presentation: 10% (1, 6)
Research Paper: 45% (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, )
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WorkloadThe course consists of a 1.5 hour lecture and 1.5 hour seminar per week. It demands seven hours of independent preparation, including assigned readings, review of lectures, and written assessment tasks. Some iterations of the course may incorporate group projects or other skills-based assignments.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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.
Gordon, A., A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2003.
The key books used for the readings for this course are:
- A. Gordon, A Modern History of Japan, Oxford University Press, 2013
- Andrew Gordon eds, Postwar Japan as History (PWJH), University of California Press, 1993.
- Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Re-Inventing Japan, ME Sharpe, 1998.
- Harry Wray and Hilary Conroy eds, Japan Examined (JE): Perspectives on Modern Japanese History, University of Hawaii Press, 1983.
- Peter Duus ed., The Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 6 (CHJ), Cambridge University Press, 1988.
- William M. Tsutsui ed., A Companion to Japanese History, Blackwell, 2009.
The reading also include translated primary sources from:
- David Lu ed., Japan: A Documentary History, vol. 2 (JDH), ME Sharpe, 1997.
- Ryusaku Tsunoda, WM Theodore de Bary, and Donald Keene eds, Sources of Japanese Tradition, vol. 2, Columbia University Press, 1958.
- Jon Livingston, Joe Moore, and Felicia Oldfather eds, The Japan Reader, Vol.1, 2, Pantheon Books, 1974.
More specialized important readings for the courses include:
- S. Vlastos, ‘Tradition: Past/Present Culture and Modern Japanese History,’ in S. Vlastos ed., Mirror of Modernity: Invented Tradition of Modern Japan, University of California Press, 1998.
- John Dower, 'Graphic others/graphic selves: Cartoons in war and peace', in Dower, Japan in War and Peace, New Press, 1993.
- Carol Gluck, Japan's Modern Myths, Princeton University Press, 1985, especially Chapter 4.
- Irokawa Daikichi, The Culture of the Meiji Period, Princeton University Press, 1985.
- E.P. Tsurumi, Factory Girls, Princeton University Press, 1990.
-Janet Hunter, 'Introduction', in J Hunter ed., Japanese Women Working, Routledge, 1996.
- Shumpei Okamoto, 'The emperor and the crowd: the historical significance of the Hibiya Riot', in T Najita and JV Koshmann eds., Conflict in Modern Japanese History, East Asia program, Cornell University, 2005.
- Sheldon Garon, The State and Labor in Modern Japan, University of California Press, 1987.
- Andrew Gordon, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan, University of California Press, 1991.
- Louise Young, Japan's Total Empire, University of California Press, 1998.
- John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, The New Press, 1999.
- Krauth, Kathleen and Lynn Parisi, ‘Teaching from Embracing Defeat: An interview with John Dower,’ Education from Asia, vol. 5, no.3 (winter 2000), pp.25-35.
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