Korea and the Japanese Empire in Critical Contexts
This course addresses critical moments of contact, conflict, and connection in the modern histories of Korea and Japan. Each week our discussion and readings focus on a specific event, before looking at the wider contexts involved and historical debates they have produced. This is not a comparative study of the histories of the different countries, but a chance to focus on themes—nationalism, colonial oppression, collaboration, war, identity—which continue to shape both relations between Japan, South Korea and North Korea, and the work of historians today.
20th Century Japan: Empire & Aftermath
In 1905, in a victory which shocked the world, Japan defeated Imperial Russia in a regional conflict over control of Korea. To many in Asia and the non-Western world, Japan looked like a new model of anti-Western, anti-imperial modernity. However, the ensuing decades would see this image contested. The expansion of Japan’s political and economic power into East Asia over the first half of the twentieth century has shaped the region in ways still visible today. This course is split into three parts, each covering roughly two decades. First, we look at the legacies of Japan’s Meiji Restoration and the development of what has been called an “Imperial Democracy” in early 20th century Japan. Next, we look at the crises which rocked Japan in the 1930s and marked a new era. Finally, we deal with the aftermath of empire—both in the immediate “postwar” era for Japan, and in the debates over imperial legacies and history which still reverberate in Japan and many of its former colonies today.
HIST 889, EAST 889
Research in Japanese History
After a general introduction to the broad array of sources and reference materials available for conducting research related to the history of Japan since ca. 1600, students prepare original research papers on topics of their own choosing in a collaborative workshop environment.