History of Modern Japan
This course is designed to introduce students to the history of Japan from the Tokugawa period until the end of the twentieth century. As a survey course, the content will focus on major historical events such as the Meiji Restoration, the colonization of Korea, the rise of fascism, the fifteen-year war, the postwar economic recovery, and the bursting of the bubble in the 1990s. The use of translated primary sources and films will be used to supplement the readings.
The objective is to offer students a traditional historiography of Japan and to introduce them to prominent historical figures through readings of primary sources. Thus the structure of the course will follow the familiar narrative of western modernization, militarization and the postwar economic miracle so that students will have a strong foundation on which to later form a critique of this history in their senior courses.