HIS2014 : Japan since 1868

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Martin Dusinberre
  • Owning School:
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module introduces the extraordinary story of Japan’s modernization, industrialization and post-war growth — a first among non-Western nations. This transformation will be studied in the context of domestic political, economic, social and cultural developments from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. A particular emphasis will be placed on understanding not only the motives and actions of Japan’s leaders, but also the everyday lives of so-called ‘ordinary people’ — farmers, village elites, factory workers, middle-class urban families, victims of change and so on. Questions to be discussed include: In what ways was Japan ‘opened’ by the Western powers? Why did Japan develop an empire and what were its characteristics? To what extent was there a post-war Japanese economic ‘miracle’?

This module aims:
1. To provide, through a range of genres, a sound general knowledge of modern Japanese history
2. To develop critical reading skills through a wide range of secondary materials
3. To nurture independent study and a critical approach to a number of in-depth problems

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline syllabus, intended as a guide only; week-by-week topics may be slightly different to the following.
The lectures will broadly cover the following topics:
Geographies of power in nineteenth-century Japan; the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate; the Iwakura Mission to the West; the 1870s reforms and popular opposition; the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars; cultural and gender politics in the inter-war years; the Great Depression; the Asia-Pacific war; the impact of the US occupation; the post-war economic ‘miracle’; environmental pollution and protest; constructions of post-war national identity; the ‘lost decade’ of the 1990s.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:0040% of guided indendent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Timetable surgery hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:0020% of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire. They also stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills.
Seminars provide students with an opportunity to participate in discussion and thus to improve their oral communication skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1352A60unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M402000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MShort essay plan exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes and develops key skills in research, reading and writing. Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. The exam tests acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided, and to write clearly and concisely.

ERASMUS students at Newcastle One 2,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all work required of domestic students. It remains the case that, if an ERASMUS student specifically requests that s/he be permitted to do the same assessments as the domestic students, that option remains open to them. No variation of the deadlines will be allowed except on production of medical or equivalent evidence

Reading Lists

Timetable

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.