HIST 319J, EAST 319
Tokugawa Japan and the Human Condition
An exploration of what Tokugawa Japan can teach us about shared human challenges and the diverse solutions different societies have found for them. Topics include standards of physical beauty; loyalty; romantic love; naming and the power of words; animals, infants, and the boundaries of humanity; unspeakable truths and open secrets; concealed power and the power of concealment; permissible violence; acceptable disasters; and the relationship of the living with the dead. In their coursework, students are invited to draw on their knowledge of other times and places as they put Tokugawa Japan in comparative perspective.