East Asian Languages and Cultures | History and Culture of Postwar Japan
E350 | 28591 | O'Bryan


**This is a second 8-weeks course.**

The history of modern Japan has featured some of the most dynamic
change and fascinating tensions seen in national experience anywhere
around the world. This course takes up the story of Japanese history
at a moment, not of the success we associate with contemporary
Japanese strength, but rather of devastating defeat:  Japan’s 1945
surrender to the Allies in the Second World War. How did Japanese
recover from such defeat and the dramatic end of their empire to
become so economically powerful and culturally influential in East
Asia and around the world today? What relationship do the many
aspects of contemporary Japanese society, culture, and power have to
earlier Japanese experience before 1945 -- or even to the samurai
ages of centuries past? We will examine these questions and look in
detail at a postwar half-century that we will discover was
characterized by as much change and fascinating cultural expression
as any period in the past. Topics to include the military occupation
of Japan by the United States, the rise of the ‘electronic
lifestyle,’ the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Japanese art and film,
architectural innovation, and the Japanese role in contemporary
environmentalism. Assignments include independent report on a
cultural or political aspect of postwar Japan, mini-biographies of
postwar individuals, short reflections on Japan in the media, take-
home final.