Yokohama Boomtown Curriculum
Table of Contents
Every Picture Tells a Story:
Conducting a Detailed
Analysis of a Yokohama-Era Woodblock Print
Students work in groups to conduct close analysis of woodblock prints from Yokohama Boomtown. They then construct narratives that tell the stories of the prints they studied.
Amity and Commerce?
Students consider specific terms of the Harris Treaty, analyzing the degree to which the treaty promoted amity and commerce for both the U.S. and Japan. They then analyze visual sources within Yokohama Boomtown to defend their position on the equity of the treaty.
Yokohama, Crossroads of Culture:
A Look at Cultural Transmission
Students scan Yokohama Boomtown to select images that depict evidence of contact, communication, and exchange between Japan and Western nations. They then document the forms and dimensions of cultural transmission in both directions—East and West.
Site Quest: Creating a Guide to the “Foreigners”
Students work in groups, taking the roles of either Americans or Japanese charged with creating a Cross-Cultural Training Guide to help educate their countrymen and women about the customs and habits of the other culture.
What Did It Mean to Be “Western”?
The students’ task in this lesson is to define what “Western” meant to Japanese at this time, as reflected in data from the woodblock prints. This lesson provides an alternate approach to developing content understandings similar to those targeted in Lesson Four.
An Investigation into the Historiography of Yokohama Boomtown:
How Does History Change When New Perspectives Are Discovered?
Students consider the nature of history and historiography (the study of historical writing). They examine the Yokohama Boomtown data and consider how different observers of events captured and recorded different pieces of the event and, in the process, affected the story that was ultimately told.
DBQ: The Changing Relationship between Japan and the West
This lesson is provided as a culminating lesson for the Yokohama Boomtown curriculum. It assumes that students have become acquainted with the unit, its historic content, and the art within it by having completed at least one lesson in the curriculum. The DBQ focuses on the changing relationship between Japan and the West as reflected in Japanese art between 1853 (the arrival of Commodore Perry) and the 1870s (the boom period of the Yokohama treaty port).
National History Standards
Lessons 01, 03, 04, 05, and 07 were developed by Lynn Parisi.
Lessons 02 and 06 were developed by Meredith Melzer.
Click here for the students’ edition
Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2008 Visualizing Cultures