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2013-2014 Course Catalog

HIST 181 Introduction to Japanese History

4 hours


An overview of key themes in early modern and modern Japanese history with an emphasis on the period between the seventeenth and twenty-first centuries. The course concentrates on themes of change and continuity in Japan's political systems, social and economic institutions, and cultural forms. Specific themes include changing notions of samurai identity, the rise to modern nation-state, imperialism and inter-regional relations, postwar prosperity and Japan's "Lost Decade." Our sources include a combination of scondary scholarship by leading experts on Japanese history as well as primary historical and literary sources.