History | Modern Japan
G369 | 2995 | O' Bryan

Above section carries culture studies credit
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

This course traces the history of modern Japan from the beginning of
the nineteenth century, through the Meiji Restoration to the
present. We will examine the decline during the nineteenth century
of the Tokugawa political order that had held sway since 1600 and
study the dramatic repudiation in 1868 of Tokugawa arrangements,
evaluating along the way arguments for marking this event as the
beginning point of modern Japanese history. The class will go on to
explore the creation of a constitutional monarchy, the building of a
Japanese empire, and the rise of industrial capitalism. There will
also be strong emphasis on the half-century of dramatic change after
the end of World War II and the loss of empire. Throughout the
course, we will proceed with an eye to understanding Japanese
experience as part of the larger history of modernity.  
There will be two take-home mid-term exams and an in-class final. In
addition to electronic reserve readings drawn from historical
documents, fiction, and secondary sources, required texts will
include: George Wilson, "Patriots and Redeemers in Japan:Motives in
the Meiji Restoration" ;  Mikiso Hane, "Reflections on the Way to
the Gallows: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan" ;  Oe Kenzaburo, "Hiroshima