Japan in World History

Today in Japanese History
From the UCLA Center for East Asian Studies Teaching about Japan pages. This calendar, with links to important dates in Japanese history, is designed to encourage discussion and further research on historical events.

Ancient Japan
From Washington State University's World Civilizations: An Internet Classroom and Anthology. Ancient Japan by Richard Hooker is a "learning module in the form of a 'research textbook'." The site covers from the Yayoi period (400 B.C.E.-250 C.E.) through the Heian period (794-1185), including sections on early Japanese Buddhism and early Japanese culture. Other resources available from site are an art gallery, timeline, readings in Japanese culture, and a short glossary of Japanese terms and concepts.

History, 1800 to Present: Japan >> Teaching Units
From Columbia University's East Asian Curriculum Project Contemporary Japan: A Teaching Workbook. This site links to a timeline and overview of modern Japanese history and offers five separate curriculum units from the beginning of the Meiji Restoration (1868) to the Allied Occupation of Japan. Units are "Commodore Perry and Japan," "The Meiji Restoration and Modernization (1868-1930)," "Japan's Quest for Power and World War II in Asia," "The Atomic Bomb," and "The Occupation: Democratic Reform Under the Allies." Units include readings, primary source documents, and exercises. Teacher outlines are provided on "Japan and the West: The Meiji Restoration," "Imperialism, War, and Revolution in East Asia: 1900-1945," and "Introduction to Contemporary Japan: 1945-Present."

Japanese Feudalism

Knight/Samurai and Lord/Daimyo: Should We Compare European Feudalism to Japan?~AP World History, Foundations.
From the Curriculum Outlines collection of The Japan Studies Leadership Program at the Five College Center for East Asian Studies Web site. After a general introduction, this curriculum unit is divided into two parts. "Part One: Using Literature as a Window on Historic Japan" by Patience Berkman uses Katherine Paterson's historical novel Of Nightingales that Weep as a gateway to the Kamukura Era. "Part Two: Was There Feudalism in Japan? The Ako Incident within a World History Context" by Diana Marston Wood uses The 47 Ronin Story by John Allyn to explore "the meaning of feudalism in 18th century Japan."

Edo Japan, A Virtual Tour
From the Japan-America Society Web site. This virtual tour of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) uses woodblock prints from the era to illustrate Edo history, culture, and tradition.

The Seclusion of Japan~AP World History, 1450-1750.
From the Fall 2001 syllabus of Dr. Watts at the Wake Forest University Web site. Explores Japan's isolationist policies during the Tokugawa period through primary source documents. Provides text of the Closed Country Edict of 1635 and Exclusion of the Portuguese, 1639, after a brief introduction. Includes 5 "Questions for Analysis."

Meiji Japan

The Meiji Restoration and Modernization~AP World History, 1750-1914.
From Columbia University's East Asian Curriculum Project Contemporary Japan: A Teaching Workbook. Provides an introductory essay "Japan Answers the Challenge of the Western World" and two primary source documents: the Charter Oath of 1868 and the Meiji Constitution. Discussion questions are provided for each section.

The Meiji Restoration and the Emergence of Industrialized Japan~AP World History, 1750-1914.
From the Curriculum Outlines collection of The Japan Studies Leadership Program at the Five College Center for East Asian Studies Web site. This 4-day unit by William R. Dunnagan explores "Life Under Tokugawa Rule," "Japan's View of the West," "The Meiji Restoration," and "The Industrialization of Japan."

20th Century Japan

Compiled September 2002
Links verified June 2005

History As Literature, Literature As History: Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood by Richard Kim
From the Association of Asian Studies journal Education About Asia, Volume 4, Number 2, Fall 1999. This four part series focuses on Richard Kim's book about one Korean family's experience under Japanese colonial rule. Includes an interview with the author and essays by teachers of junior high school social studies, high school literature, and a university Japanese history course.

Dropping the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
From Nuclearfiles.org, "a project of the nuclear age peace foundation." This page offers a chronology of the decision to bomb Nagasaki and Hiroshima, audio recordings, responses to the bombing, an article on Korean survivors, photographs, and "The Last Act"–information about the controversial Smithsonian exhibit. Links to other resources are also provided.

History through Film

The Alan G. Chalk Guides to Japanese Films
From the Asian Educational Media Service has website. Part II of Alan Chalk's guide provides curriculum units "For Students of Asian, World, and United States History." Topics include "Geography: The Village, Farm, and Rice," "Imperial Japan: The Paths to War, Perspectives on Japanese Patriotism," "Pearl Harbor: American and Japanese Perspectives," "Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Japanese Experience," and "Women of Japan: Tradition and Change, A Historical Perspective.

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