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 explores the history of Japanese civilization during the early modern and modern periods. Using written records, archaeological relics, objects of material culture and art from roughly 1603 to the present, we will investigate topics including: technology (from swords and guns to cameras, microchips and robots), governance (generals, restoration of the emperor, constitutional monarchy), religion (Buddhism, Shinto, Christianity, and New Religions), systems of thought, food (sushi and western food like tenpura), language, daily life, social forms, identity, gender, the state, art, literature, architecture, and historiography. Some questions include: Where can we find connections or discontinuities? How can—and cannot—textual and archaeological sources help us understand people’s lives? How have Japanese thinkers, leaders, religious professionals, political leaders, and ordinary people understood the past?

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

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