History of Modern Japan
Syllabus: Fall 2006
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
John A. Tucker, Ph.D.
Office Hours TTh 12:30-1:30
or by appointment
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:
Peter. Modern Japan. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.
John. War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. New
York: Pantheon, 1986.
Norma. In the Realm of a Dying Emperor. New York: Vintage Books,
T. Splendid Monarchy. Berkeley: University of California Press,
Fumiko. The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman. Armonk, NY: M. E.
Eiichi, trans. Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa. New York: Columbia
University Press, 1999.
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,
(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
|August 24: Introduction to the course
29/31: Politics and Society in Tokugawa Japan
Bibliography on Tokugawa Japan
5/7: Collapse of the Old Regime
Bibliography on the Meiji Restoration
Treaty of Kanagawa
12/14: Redefining Political Ideals and Order
Political Ideals and Order (2)
Bibliography on Meiji Politics
Notes on Meiji Restoration
Text of the Meiji Constitution
Period Imperial Household Law
chs. 6, 7 & 9
19/21: Meiji Imperialism
26/28: Paradoxes of Taisho Japan
3/5: The "Dark Valley" of Militarism
|October 10/12: Review
and First Exam
|October 14-17 Fall Break
Pacific War War
31/November 2: American
7/9: Japanís Cold War Reverse Course
Field, In the Realm
& the Bubble Economy
| Duus, ch. 20.
|November 23-24: Thanksgiving
|November 28/30: Comprehensive Review
5: Last Exam