History of Modern Japan
Syllabus: Fall 2006

Hist 3620 
TTh 9:30-10:45
Brewster B-205

John A. Tucker, Ph.D.
History Department
Brewster A-304
Office Hours TTh 12:30-1:30
or by appointment
Email: Tuckerjo@mail.ecu.edu
Office: 328-1028
Home: 756-4126

A. Course Description: This course traces the rise of modern Japan from the Tokugawa period (1600-1867) through the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and into the contemporary "modern" world of the Shôwa (1926-1989) and Heisei (1989- ) eras. Interpretive issues related to Japanís historical developments in "feudalism," confucianism, constitutionalism, imperialism, liberalism, socialism, communism, fascism, totalitarianism, militarism, democracy, capitalism, and post-modernism will be explored, since the latter were the supposed forces which most significantly informed the vicissitudes of Japan over the last three centuries. Our survey of modern Japanese history concludes with a discussion of postwar Japan and its impressive economic accomplishments, as well as its efforts to create a more liberal, egalitarian polity even while maintaining its imperial house. Contemporary issues related to war, peace, and Japan's international role in the future will also be discussed. Students who complete the course can expect to have a comprehesive yet detailed grasp of the often contorted and seemingly contradictory logic of Japanís modern historical development.

B. Grading: Grading will be based on regular quizzes (20%), two exams (30% each), and a brief paper reviewing one of the assigned readings (20%). The first exam will be given on Thursday, October 12; the last on Tuesday, December 5. Exams will include objective (true/false, multiple choice) and essay questions. At least 60% of the exam will consist of essay questions. Perfect attendance is expected. Repeated unexcused absences may result in a reduction of the final grade. While the instructor will lecture regularly, class participation in the form of insightful questions and comments, are welcomed. Readings will be discussed weekly.

East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a covered disability must go to the Department for Disability Support Services, located in Slay 138, to verify the disability before any accommodations can occur.  The telephone number is 252-737-1016.

C. Required Readings:

Duus, Peter. Modern Japan. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

Dower, John. War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. New York: Pantheon, 1986.

Field, Norma. In the Realm of a Dying Emperor. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

Fujitani, T. Splendid Monarchy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. 

Kaneko, Fumiko. The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1991.

Kiyooka, Eiichi, trans. Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Soseki, Natsume. Kokoro. New York: Gateway, 1957.

Articles in the News and Observer and The New York Times related to Japan. Newspapers will be provided through the Student Newspaper Readership Program.

D. Recommended General Readings: (1) Edwin O. Reischauer. Japan: The Story of a Nation. New York: Knopf, 1981.

(2) George Sansom. History of Japan, 3 vols. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1963.

(3) John W. Hall. Japan: From Prehistory to Modern Times. New York: Delacorte, 1970.

(4) Conrad Totman. Japan Before Perry: A Short History Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.

(5) Janet E. Hunter. The Emergence of Modern Japan. New York: Longman Group, 1989.

(6) Mikiso Hane. Modern Japan: A Historical Survey. Boulder: Westview Press, 1986.

(7) Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. 9 vols. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1981.

(8) Martin Collcutt, Marius Jansen, and Isao Kumakura, compilers. Cultural Atlas of Japan. New York: Facts on File, 1988.

(9) Peter Duus, ed. The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 6: The Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

(10) Marius Jansen B., ed. The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 5: The Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

(11) John Boyle. Modern Japan: The American Nexus. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993.

(12) Andrew Gordon. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

(13) James L. McClain. Japan: A Modern History. New York: W. W. Norton Co., 2001.

(14) Marius B. Jansen. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.

JAPANESE NEWSPAPERS ONLINE: Japan Times   Asahi shinbun   Daily Yomiuri    Mainichi Daily News 

E. Weekly Lecture and Reading Schedule
August 24: Introduction to the course
August 29/31: Politics and Society in Tokugawa Japan
Supplementary Bibliography on Tokugawa Japan
Duus, chs. 1-4.
September 5/7: Collapse of the Old Regime
Supplementary Bibliography on the Meiji Restoration

The Treaty of Kanagawa

Harris Treaty

Duus, ch. 5
Fukuzawa Yukichi
September 12/14: Redefining Political Ideals and Order
Redefining Political Ideals and Order (2)

Supplementary Bibliography on Meiji Politics

Alternative Notes on Meiji Restoration

Translated Text of the Meiji Constitution

Meiji Period Imperial Household Law

Duus, chs. 6, 7 & 9
Splendid Monarchy
September 19/21: Meiji Imperialism
Treaty of Shimonoseki
Duus, ch. 8
Soseki, Kokoro
September 26/28: Paradoxes of Taisho Japan Duus, chs. 10-11
October 3/5: The "Dark Valley" of Militarism Kaneko, Memoirs
October 10/12: Review and First Exam
October  14-17 Fall Break
October 19/24/26: The Pacific War  War Without Mercy
                   Fifteen Year War
Duus,chs. 12-14, WWM
October 31/November 2: American Occupation The Peace Constitution Duus, chs. 15-18
November 7/9:  Japanís Cold War Reverse Course Duus, ch. 19.
Field, In the Realm
November 14/16/21:  Neo-Conservatism & the Bubble Economy
                    Neo-Conservatism (cont.)
 Duus, ch. 20. 
November 23-24: Thanksgiving
November 28/30: Comprehensive Review
December 5: Last Exam