Introduction to the History of Japan

History 14

Fall 2013
180 Tan
Day & Time: 
TuTh 3:30-5

This course is a brisk introduction to the nearly two millennia of recorded Japanese history. As a survey, the course gives attention to broad themes and problems in Japan's political, social, religious, and cultural/intellectual history. Topics include the dialectic of national and local identities in shaping Japanese politics, Japan's interaction with the Asian continent and the Western world, and the relation of past to present in modern times. Readings include translations from many types of sources in Japanese, supplemented by selections from the cream of recent scholarship in English, plus a number of films. Writing requirements include exams, short reading reports and a term paper.


Course Books

Kokoro by Natsume Penguin Classics. ISBN: 13: 978-0143106036 Required
Native Sources of Japanese Industrialization by Smith, Thomas C. UC Press. ISBN: 13: 978-0520062931 Required
The Japanese Experience by Beasley, W. G. UC Press. ISBN: 13: 978-0520225602 Required