Empire and Alienation: The 20th Century in Japan

History 118C

Spring 2013
Day & Time: 
TuTh 11-1230P

The general theme of this course is Japan's emergence as a world power in its two phases, military and economic. Our chief concern will be with the experience within Japan of that emergence and its consequences: the impact on farming villages (including colonial villages sending labor migrants to Japan) of "late" industrialization; the emergence of a conflict, played out in actual lives, between notions of individuality vs. collective identity (based on class, nationality, and gender) and between different collective identities; the horror of total war; the transformation of values that came with defeat and occupation; the nature of postwar democracy and relation of society to state; the changing way(s) in which Japanese view and participate in the world outside Japan.

Course Books

Kitchen by Yoshimoto, Banana Grove Press. ISBN: 10: 0802142443 Required
Naomi by Tanizaki, Junichiro Vintage. ISBN: 13:978-0375724749 Required
In Praise of Shadows by Tanizaki, Junichiro Leete's Island Books. ISBN: 13: 9780918172020 Required
The Making of Modern Japan, 2nd ed. by Pyle, Kenneth D.C. Heath. ISBN: 13: 978-0669200201 Required
Kokoro by Natsume, Soseki Penguin. ISBN: 13: 978-0143106036 Required