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Early Modern Japan
/ HIST 217
Over a century of constant warfare came to an end in the late 1500s, ushering in more than two hundred years of relative peace in a Japan that was ruled by a military government. This course will take up the extraordinary changes and enduring continuities of the period between the establishment of the Tokugawa government in the early 1600s and its eventual collapse in 1868, an era characterized by societal order and tensions, economic growth and stagnation, the development of cities and towns, the flourishing of urban culture, the spread of new and different ideas, and the decline of the samurai. We will focus on the political, social, and cultural history of early modern Japan, including topics such as the establishment of the Tokugawa order, the nature of the political system, foreign relations, urbanization, popular culture, material culture, the quality of life, the legal order, gender and sexuality, and the fall of the Tokugawa government. Assigned materials will include government documents, intellectual treatises, autobiographies, literature, and films.
Format: lecture; discussion
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class participation, response papers, two short papers (5 pages), and a final paper (10 pages) or self-scheduled final exam
none; open to all
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST East Asian Studies Electives
HIST Group B Electives - Asia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern