HST 482/582 Modern Japan since 1600


Spring 2006                                                                                        Classroom:  NICCOL 006

                                                                                                            Time: MWF, 11:30-12:20am


Instructor: Dr. Pingchao Zhu

Office: AD 315

Office Hour: MWF 1:30-3:20pm, or by appointment

Office Phone: 885-7166, 885-6253

Email: pzhu@uidaho.edu

Website: www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~pzhu


Course Description

Japanese history is unique in that it has transformed through centuries of struggle and survival to form a new culture of western style and Japanese traditions.  This course traces the transformation of Japan from a feudal state to an economic power.  It addresses five major historical periods of modern Japan: Tokugawa period, Meiji Restoration, early twentieth century, postwar reconstruction, and contemporary economic and social development.  Issues such as political institution, economic revitalization, war effort, impact of the West, social and cultural development, democracy, and industrialization will be discussed.  The course examines how Japan has achieved her economic prosperity and how Japan deals with questions of modernization and preservation of traditions.



1. Kenneth Henshall, A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower, 2nd edition, Palgrave, 2004

2. Yukio Mishima, Spring Snow, New York: Vintage International, 1972.



1. Three examinations                                                    120 points each

2.  One book report on Spring Snow                             100

3. Attendance & participation                                          40 


**Examinations consist of essays and identifications.  They are not cumulative.

**Book Report on Mishima’s novel Spring Snow.  Lectures will discuss major themes of the book.  Make sure to
nclude the following aspects in your review:

            --A brief review of the story;

            --How does the novel reflect Japan’s social reality and emotional frustration over the country’s transformation
               from a traditional society to modernization? Give a few examples.

            --What implications do you get from Mishima’s writing in terms of Japan's modernization and social changes
              discussed in this class? Give a few examples.

**Late papers without advanced permission from the instructor will result in 10 points deduction per day delayed.

**Granted absence from class attendance requires official documentfrom department (including ROTC units,
Athletic department, field trip, etc.) and instroctors concerned to show the dates needed to be missed and reason
of absence for school retated activities only.

Graduate Students must contact the instructor for separate assignments for graduate credits.


Grade Scale

            A=500-450   B=449-400   C=399-350   D=349-300   F=299 and below


Academic Honesty

This instructor requires the entire class to follow the Policy of Academic Honesty from the University of Idaho. 
Attached to the course syllabus is a copy of the UI policy on Academic Honesty.  Finding of violation of this policy
in student’s course assignment will result in “0” grade for the assignment, and possibly an “F” for the course.  Please
read the policy carefully and follow it to the letter.  The instructor will not negotiate this university policy in any way. 
Please refer to the UI policy on Academic Honesty attached to the end of this sylalbus.


Course Schedule

Week 1            Jan. 11-13 (Class begins on Wed.)


                        a. Land & people

                        b. Pre-Tokugawa society
                        Reading: Henshall, part 1


Week 2            Jan. 18-20 (No Class on Monday, Human Rights Day)

                        Culture and Tradition

                        a. The Emperor System

                        b. Shintoism & other religions

                        Reading: Henshall, part 2

Part I               The Tokugawa Period & Meiji Era, 1600-1912


Week 3            Jan. 23-27                

                        Establishing Tokugawa Bakufu

                        a. Political institutions

                        b. Life & society

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapters 3.1-3.2; Mishima, pp. 1-68


Week 4            Jan. 30-Feb. 3

                        The Tokugawa Rule in Crisis

                        a. Economy and culture

                        b. Western challenge

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapters 3.3-3.4; Mishima, pp. 68-150


Week 5            Feb. 6-10

                        The Meiji Reforms

                        a. End of the Tokugawa era

                        b. New government and policies

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapter 4.1; Mishima, pp. 150-214


Week 6            Feb. 13-17  

                        The Meiji Era

                        a. The Meiji Constitution

                        b. Cultural enlightenment

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapters 4.2-4.4; Mishima, pp. 214-258

                         ** 1st Midterm Examination on Friday

Part II            Japan in the Early Twentieth Century


Week 7            Feb. 22-24 (No Class on Monday, Presidents’ Day)

                        Early Industrialization

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapters 4.6-4.7; Mishima, pp. 258-316


Week 8            Feb. 27-Mar. 3

                        Early Japanese Imperialism

                        a. Expansion

                        b. Japan’s foreign policy     

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapter 4.5, Mishima, pp. 316-357


Week 9            Mar.  6-10

                    Japan at Crossroads

                    Tradition vs. modernity

                        Mishima & his ideology

                        Reading:  Mishima, pp. 357-389


 Week 10          Mar. 13-17, Spring Recess, No Class


Week 11          Mar. 20-24

                        Japan’s Road to War

                        a. Japan’s power in Asia

                        b. The rise of militarism

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapters 5.1-5.3


Week 12          Mar.  27-31

                        An Empire Lost

                        a. Japan in WWII

                        b. Surrender

                        c. The bombs & debates
Reading: Henshall, Chapters 5.4-5.5


Part III            Contemporary Japan


Week 13          Apr.  3-7

                        Rebirth of A New Japan

                        a. The SCAP occupation

                        b. Reconstruction

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapter 6.1
**2nd Midterm Examination on Monday


 Week 14          Apr.  10-14

                        Postwar Culture

a. U.S.-Japan alliance

b. Political development

Reading: Henshall, Chapter. 6.2
**Paper on Spring Snow Due on Friday

Week 15          Apr.  17-21

Japan’s Economic Miracles

Economic developments

                        Life and society

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapter 6.3

Week 16          Apr.  24-28

                        Japan and the World

                        a. Japan’s role in international affairs

                        b. Japan & the world

                        Reading: Henshall, Chapter 6.4


Week 17          May  1-5

                        Japan & Globalization

                        The new challenges

                        The Pacific Rim   
Reading: Henshall, Chapter 6.5
                        **3rdExamination on Friday


**This course schedule is subject to changes by the instructor when necessary.

Pronunciations in Japanese

1. The consonants in Japanese are pronounced roughly as they are in English. 


2. There are five vowels in Japanese, corresponding to the five vowels of the Latin alphabet, and

    two diphthongs, as follows:


a as in father                 i as in be          u as in rude                  e as in led                     o as in old        

ai as in tie                    ei as in way


3. Here are some examples:


samurai (sah-moo-rye)              Meiji (may-gee)                        Taisho (tie-show)         

daimyo (die-myow)                  Tanaka (ta-na-ka)                    Tokugawa (to-ku-ga-wa) 

University of Idaho

Student Code of Conduct


1.  Cheating on classroom or outside assignments, examinations, or tests is a violation of this code.  Plagiarism, falsification of academic records, and the acquisition or use of test materials without
faculty authorization are considered forms of academic dishonesty and, as such, are violations of
this code.  Because academic honesty and integrity are core values at a university, the faculty finds
that even one incident of academic dishonesty seriously and critically endangers the essential
operation of the university and may merit expulsion.  [rev. 7-98]

2.  The operation of UI requires the accuracy and protection of its records and documents.  To use,
make, forge, print, reproduce, copy, alter, remove, or destroy any record, document, or identification
used or maintained by UI violates this code when done with intent to defraud or misinform.  Entrance without proper authority into any private office or space of a member of the faculty, staff, or student
body is a violation of this code.

3.  Instructors and students are responsible for maintaining academic standards and integrity in
their classes.  Consequences for academic dishonesty may be imposed by the course instructor. 
Such consequences may include but cannot exceed a grade of “F” in the course.  The instructor
should attempt to notify the student of the suspected academic dishonesty and give the student an opportunity to respond.  The notice and the opportunity may be informal and need not be in writing. Penalties for any disciplinary infraction must be judicially imposed.  [See 1640.02 C-5[rev. 7-98]

4. Instructors may report incidents of academic dishonesty to the dean of students.  Upon receiving
such a report, the dean of students shall provide the student with written notice that a report has
been made and an opportunity to meet with the dean to discuss the report.  The dean of students
shall maintain the report and any record of the meeting for a period of time deemed appropriate by
the dean.  The dean of students may file a complaint against the student after the meeting has taken
place or the student has elected, either affirmatively or through inaction, not to meet with the dean. 
[add. 7-98]