• Class Number 7322
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In-Person and Online
    • Prof Li Narangoa
    • Prof Li Narangoa
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

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.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Obtain an understanding of the dynamics of social and political structure of pre-modern Japan.
  2. Enhance their empirical knowledge of pre-modern Japanese history that will help them develop informed views on Japan in world history.
  3. Learn to apply this understanding and knowledge to the analysis of Japanese society today.
  4. Apply historical analyses to produce extended arguments.
  5. Develop academic communication skills, through discussions, oral presentations and written assignments.
  6. Obtain critical skills in the identification and use of historical sources

Research-Led Teaching

This is an upper level undergraduate course. Lectures followed by intensive Seminar discussions. Lectures will be delivered online, but seminar discussion will be face to face on campus.

Adolphson, Mikael S., The gates of power : monks, courtiers, and warriors in premodern Japan, Honolulu : University of Hawai?i Press, c2000

Batten, Bruce L., To the ends of Japan : premodern frontiers, boundaries, and interactions, Honolulu : University of Hawai`i Press, c2003

Bettina Gramlich-Oka, Gregory Smits, Economic thought in early modern Japan, Leiden, The Netherlands ; Boston : Brill, 2010

Bix, Herbert P., Peasant protest in Japan, 1590-188, New Haven, [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c1986

Charles L , Saigo Takamori : the man behind the myth Yates, London ; New York : Kegan Paul International ; New York : Distributed by Columbia University Press, 1995

D'Etcheverry, Charo B,   Love after the tale of genji : rewriting the world of the shining prince Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Asia Center : distributed by Harvard University Press, 2007

Edmonds, Richard Louis, Northern frontiers of Qing China and Tokugawa Japan : a comparative study of frontier policy, Chicago : University of Chicago, Dept. of Geography, 1985

Farris, William Wayne, Japan to 1600 : a social and economic history, Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c2009

Farris, William Wayne, Japan's medieval population : famine, fertility, and warfare in a transformative age, Honolulu : University of Hawai'i Press, c2006

Friday, Karl F., Japan emerging : premodern history to 1850, Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, c2012

Fukasawa, Yuriko, Ainu archaeology as ethnohistory : iron technology among the Saru Ainu of Hokkaido, Japan, in the 17th century, Oxford, England : John and Erica Hedges, 1998

Goble, Andrew Edmund, Kenneth R. Robinson, and Haruko Wakabayashi, Tools of culture : Japan's cultural, intellectual, medical, and technological contacts in East Asia, 1000-1500s, Ann Arbor, Mich. : Association for Asian Studies, c2009

Gordon, Andrew, A modern history of Japan : from Tokugawa times to the present , 1952- New York : Oxford University Press, 2009

Hanley, Susan B., Everyday things in premodern Japan : the hidden legacy of material culture, Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1997

Japan's first bureaucracy : a study of eighth-century government, Ithaca, N.Y : Cornell University, 1978

Kaiten Nukariya, The religion of the Samurai : a study of Zen philosophy and discipline in China and Japan, Wellington : Floating Press, The Jan. 2009

Kang, Etsuko Hae-jin, Diplomacy and ideology in Japanese-Korean relations : from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Macmillan Press ; New York, NY : St. Martin's Press, 1997

Khanh Trinh ed., Genji : the world of the Shining Prince, Sydney : Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2008

Mass, Jeffrey P, Warrior government in early medieval Japan : a study of the Kamakura Bakufu, shugo and jito , New Haven : Yale University Press, 1974.

Mass Jeffrey P. ed. Court and Bakufu in Japan : essays in Kamakura history,New Haven : Yale University Press, c1982

Mark Ravina, The last samurai : the life and battles of Saigo Takamori , Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., c2004

Meeks, Lori , Hokkeji and the reemergence of female monastic orders in premodern Japan , Honolulu : University of Hawai'i Press, c2010

Moerman, D. Max, Localizing paradise : Kumano pilgrimage and the religious landscape of premodern Japan, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Asia Center : Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2005

Morris, Ivan I, The world of the shining prince : court life in ancient Japan,Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England : Penguin Books, 1979

Peng, Hao, Trade relations between Qing China and Tokugawa Japan : 1685-1859, Singapore : Springer, [2019]

Polenghi, Cesare, Samurai of Ayutthaya : Yamada Nagamasa, Japanese warrior and merchant in early seventeenth-century Siam, Bangkok : White Lotus Press, 2009

Samuel, Robert T,  The Samurai : the philosophy of victory, Hod Hasharon: Astrolog Pub. House, c2004

Silver, Alain, The samurai film, South Brunswick [N.J.] : A. S. Barnes, c1977

Smith, Thomas C., Native sources of Japanese industrialization, 1750-1920 [electronic resource]. Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1988.

Steenstrup, Carl, A history of law in Japan until 1868. 2nd impression with corrections, New York : E.J. Brill, 1996

Sugihara, Kaoru, Japan, China, and the growth of the Asian international economy, 1850-1949 [electronic resource], Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2005

The laws of the Muromachi Bakufu : Kemmu Shikimoku (1336) & Muromachi Bakufu Tsuikaho ,  Tokyo : Monumenta Nipponica, Sophia University, 1981

Tsutsui, William M. A, Companion to Japanese history, Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2007

Vaporis, Constantine Nomikos, Breaking barriers : travel and the state in early modern Japan, Cambridge, Mass. : Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1994

Wachutka, Michael, Kokugaku in Meiji-period Japan : the modern transformation of 'national learning' and the formation of scholarly societies, Leiden ; Boston : Global Oriental, 2013.

Walker, Brett, The conquest of Ainu lands : ecology and culture in Japanese expansion, 1590-1800, Berkeley : University of California Press, c2001

Walthall, Anne, Social protest and popular culture in eighteenth-century Japan, Tucson, Ariz. : Published for the Association for Asian Studies by the University of Arizona Press, c1986.

White, James, The demography of sociopolitical conflict in Japan, 1721-1846, W Berkeley, Calif. : Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Center for Japanese Studies, c1992

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: The rise of samurai For assessment deadlines see Assessment Section.
2 Forms of social control
3 The governing system of Kamakura Bakufu
4 The dual governmental system
5 Culture and Ashikaga Bakufu
6 Fear as a control mechanism: External Relations
7 Managing the chaos of the Warring States Period and social mobility
8 The social control in Tokugawa Bakufu
9 Samurai and Sex
10 Samurai and Loyalty
11 Samurai and the Meiji Restouration
12 Legacies of Samurai

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Essay 55% 55 % 30/10/2022 21/11/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Essay Outline and bibliography 10% 10 % 15/09/2022 07/10/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Oral Project 20% 20 % 27/07/2022 30/10/2022 1,2,4,5
Class participation 15% 15 % 30/07/2022 10/09/2022 2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 55 %
Due Date: 30/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 21/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Essay 55%

Write an essay of 3500 words on a chosen topic related to the course. Deadline 30 October.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 15/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 07/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Essay Outline and bibliography 10%

Write an outline (400 words) of your planned essay with relevant bibliography. Deadline 15 September.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 27/07/2022
Return of Assessment: 30/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Oral Project 20%

More details will be provided in Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 30/07/2022
Return of Assessment: 10/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Class participation 15%

This course consists of lecture and a seminar format discussion. Class discussion is important part of the course. Students are asked to actively participate in the discussion.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date,.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Re-submission is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Li Narangoa
02 6125 3207

Research Interests

Northeast Asian History, Japanese and Mongolian history in particular

Prof Li Narangoa

Tuesday 12:00 13:00
By Appointment
Prof Li Narangoa

Research Interests

Prof Li Narangoa

Tuesday 12:00 13:00
By Appointment

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