21H.155 | Spring 2017 | Undergraduate

Modern Japan: 1868 to Present


Week 1
1 Introduction  
2 Japanese Business History  
Part I: From Samurai Government to a Modern Revolution
Week 2: Samurai Order and Disorder
3 Building Pax Tokugawa  
4 Samurai Disorder  
Week 3: The Decline of Tokugawa Shogunate
5 Troubles at Home, Dangers from Abroad  
Week 4: Japan’s Modern Revolution?
6 Overthrowing the Shogunate  
7 From “Restoration” to “Revolution” Essay 1 due
Part II: Competing Modernities
Week 5: Building a Civilized Nation
8 The Politics of “Civilization and Enlightenment”  
9 The Culture of Enlightenment  
Week 6: Democracy and Empire I
10 Democracy and Constitutional Government  
11 Meiji Imperialism  
Week 7: Democracy and Empire II
12 Japan’s “Imperial Democracy”  
Part III: Modernity’s Crisis and its Aftermath
Week 8: Japan’s Jazz Age and its Discontents
13 Sounds and Visions of Modernity  
14 Ideologies of Crises Essay 2 due
Week 9: War on Multiple Fronts
15 Japan’s “World War II”  
16 War Abroad and at Home  
Week 10: Occupation and Beyond
17 The Allied Occupation  
Part IV: History, Memory, and Media in Postwar Japan
Week 11: Monsters, Imaginary and Real, in Postwar Japan
18 In-class Viewing: Gojira. Directed by Ishirô Honda. Color, 96 min. 1954.  
19 Contextualizing “Gojira”  
Week 12: Geopolitics and Democracy in Contemporary Japan
20 Japan as “No. 1”?  
21 Democracy in Theory and Practice  
Week 13: History and Memory in Contemporary Japan
22 In-class Viewing: The Wind Rises. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.  Color, 126 min. 2013.  
23 The Wind Rises, cont.  
Week 14: Presentations on Essay 3
24 Student Presentations  
25 Student Presentations Essay 3 due

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2017
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Lecture Notes