History | Early Modern Japan
G358 | 27168 | Rubinger


Above class carries culture studies credit
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only

This course looks at the period often referred to as “early modern”
Japan, from the late sixteenth century to the middle of the
nineteenth century.  Many of the forms, structures and habits of
life that come to be called “modern” are set in motion during this
period.  Roads are constructed, travel flourishes, and urban areas
are formed.  It is the period when basic literacy begins to spread
and popular culture is manifested in a variety of ways.  Art forms
directed at a general public appear, such as kabuki theater,
woodblock prints, popular fiction, and haiku poetry.  Considerable
time will be spent on the popular arts and pastimes of urban areas
through film and video presentations, as well as readings.  We will
also look at substantial changes in rural life and the growing
interconnections between urban and rural culture.  The rise of
science, expansion of popular literacy, spread of schooling, the
interaction of traditional thought with ideas imported from the
West, foreign policy, economic problems of the state, and the
changing roles of families and women will also be addressed.

There will be film and video showings of both samurai and popular
culture.  Regular readings will cover popular novels, poetry, and
dramas in translation.  Requirements will include two short papers,
a mid-term, and a final examination.