Home / Modern Japanese History graduate seminar


The course is taught in a three-year rotation. The first year covers basic modern Japanese history, from the mid-19th century to 1945. We examine the political, cultural and economic causes of the Meiji Restoration, the creation of the Meiji State, the impact of modernization on the common people, the move to militarization, and foreign policy. The second year focuses on Japan’s colonial empire. We examine early attempts at colonization in Okinawa and Hokkaido. We particularly focus on Japanese policies in Korea and Taiwan, in particular the question of the colonized people’s integration and assimilation into the Japanese empire and nation. The third year we examine Sino-Japanese relations from the 19th century to the end of World War II. This includes the impact on Chinese studying in Japan, Japanese connections with China’s 1911 revolutionaries, creation of the puppet state in Manchuria, and occupation policies during World War II. The seminar is taught using substantial weekly readings and student led discussions.


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