HIS2013 : Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate, 1600-1868 (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module studies the early modern period of Japanese history, starting with the political reunification of the country by the Tokugawa clan in 1600. Within a few decades, Japan had been effectively ‘closed’ to the outside world, and what followed was two centuries of unprecedented peace coupled with extraordinary economic and cultural growth. Key readings will give a flavour of the diversity of historical experience in this period, from village peasant to city merchant to samurai bureaucrat. Questions to be addressed include: What were the underlying strengths and weaknesses of the Tokugawa shogunate? What were the factors that led to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) becoming the biggest city in the world? To what extent were the seeds of modern Japanese growth planted in this period?

The aims of this module are:
1.To provide, through a range of genres, a sound general knowledge of early 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
4.To provide an opportunity of investigating in some depth selected problems, including the appraisal of selected source material and the critical examination of current historiography.

Original Summary:

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:
The reunification of Japan after the ‘Warring States’ period; the threat of Christianity; relations with the West and East Asia during the ‘closed country’ policy; the nature of shogunal rule; the class system; the growth of Edo and the cities; popular culture and the floating world; village life and peasant protest; the significance of neo-Confucianism and Japanese nativism; pre-modern Japanese national identity; proto-industrialization and economic growth; the collapse of the Tokugawa.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M100N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research, reading and writing.

The form of the resit is no different from the above, i.e. no marks are carried over from the sit to the resit.
ERASMUS students at Newcastle
One 2,000 word essay to be handed in by 4.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period of Semester two, said essay to replace all course work that the module requires 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