Summer 2022 - HIST 371 D100

The Asia-Pacific War in Modern Japanese History (4)

Class Number: 2425

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 10 – Aug 8, 2022: Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 13, 2022
    Sat, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: at least one course on modern Japan.



Covers the period in Japan from the 1930s to the 1950s and will introduce students to topics such as wartime atrocities, the dropping of the atomic bombs and the prosecution of war criminals. It will also attempt to explain why so much controversy surrounds interpretations of events arising from Japan's last war, the Asia-Pacific War.


This course focuses on the Asia-Pacific War and its very long postwar, which may have still not come to an end insofar as so many issues arising from the war have not been satisfactorily resolved for individuals both in Japan and in the countries that were subjected to colonization and wartime occupation.  It thus covers both events during the war as well as how the war has been remembered by inviting students to examine events of continuing controversy, many of which arose from the problematic handling of war crimes. 

This is not a course dedicated to specific battles or military strategy, and students are forewarned that the course addresses events that can only be described as cruel.

Recommended: While it is not a prerequisite for this course, students who have taken a course on Japan prior to this one will be at an advantage.


  • Two Page (double-spaced) Review of the film, Gojira/Godzilla 5%
  • Two Page (double-spaced) Essay Proposal 5%
  • Eight Page (double-spaced) Essay plus Bibliography 30%
  • Tutorial Work Perusall: collaboratively commenting on weekly readings (20%) / Presentation (5%) / Weekly in-class discussion (10%) 35%
  • Final Examination 25%


Virtual Office Hours: email instructor to schedule a Zoom/BlackBoard meeting



GORDON, Andrew.  A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

SFU Library available online 

Tutorial readings (available through CANVAS)

Registrar Notes:


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Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote, online, or blended courses study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.