Subject: History
Credit units: 3
Offered: Either Term 1 or Term 2
Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
College: Arts and Science
Department: History


This course introduces students to the history of Japanese civilization from prehistory to the beginning of the 17th century. Using written records, archaeological relics or objects of material culture and works of art from the Paleolithic period to the beginning of the Edo era in 1603, we will investigate several key topics, issues, and moments in time that significantly affected the lives of the people who lived on the Japanese archipelago. These topics include, technology (metallurgy, wet rice cultivation, paper making), governance (indigenous versus continental East Asian models), religion (Buddhism, Shintō, Christianity), systems of thought, food, language, daily life, social forms, identity, gender, the state, art, literature, architecture, and historiography. Some of the questions include: Where can we find connections or discontinuities? How can—and cannot—textual and archaeological sources help us understand people and their lives? How did Japanese thinkers, leaders, religious professionals, and ordinary people understand the past?

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units HIST at the 100 level; or 30 credit units of University level courses.

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