Modernizing the Nation: From the Edo Period to the Meiji Period (JPN4120.01)

Ikuko Yoshida

During the Edo Period (1603-1868, Japan closed its doors to other countries for about two hundred fifty years, and this isolation helped Japan develop its own unique culture. It, however, ended in 1867 when Japanese culture was introduced to the Western world at an International Exposition in Paris. On the contrary to the Edo period, the next era, Meiji, brought rapid westernization to the Japanese society.

What caused Japan to close its doors to other countries in the Edo Period? What was going on in Japan during the isolation period? Which of the unique Japanese art forms were created during the Edo period? What caused Japanese leaders to change their minds to reopen the country? What types of westernization happened in Japan during the Meiji period?

In this low-intermediate course, students not only will practice linguistic skills, but also will obtain a deeper understanding of the Japanese history and society. Students will seek the answers to the questions above by studying the historical events of the Edo Period (1603-1868) and the Meiji Period (1868-1912). By examining various Japanese paintings and pictures in which historical events were depicted, students will analyze how one event in history can have reverberations both within Japan and throughout the world and will examine drastic social and cultural changes that formed the foundation of the modern Japanese society.

As the final project of this course, students will utilize historical paintings and pictures and create a virtual exhibition to demonstrate their understanding of the historical events that formed the modern Japanese society.

Delivery Method: Hybrid in-person and remote, with faculty in-person
Prerequisites: Two terms of Japanese or permission of the instructor.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 8:30AM-12:10PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 10
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Japanese
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