Spring 2018 - HIST 206 D100

Japan Since 1868 (3)

Class Number: 3292

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 3 – Apr 10, 2018: Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2018
    Fri, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Instructor:

    Janice Matsumura
    1 778 782-5814
    Office: Aq #6008



A survey of Japanese history from 1868 until 1952 which will examine, among other topics, the establishment of the Japanese colonial empire, the wars with Russia, China and the United States, and the post-war Allied Occupation. Breadth-Humanities.


This course offers a broad survey of Japanese history from the late nineteenth century until 1945.  It covers the major political, social, economic and cultural developments. 

Japan in the twentieth-century has been described as “a nation that constantly tried to make peace with its changing identity and with the world around it, yet often ended up being at war with both.”  Attention will accordingly be given to the struggle among groups to construct a national identity in keeping with Japan’s transformation into a “rich country” with a “strong army,” an “illiberal democracy,” and a “total war state.”

Recommended: While it is not a prerequisite for this course, it is recommended that students take the course on pre-1868 Japan (HIST 236) prior to this one.


  • Six page (double-spaced) essay 35%
  • Tutorial: Presentation 5%, Participation 20% 25%
  • Three page (double-spaced) take-home test on the Tokugawa/Meiji periods 10%
  • Final Examination 30%



 Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the   Present.  Oxford University Press, 2008.

Simon Partner, The Mayor of Aihara: A Japanese Villager and His Community, 1863-1925.  University of California Press, 2008.

Simon Partner, Toshié: a Story of Village Life in Twentieth-century Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004

Registrar Notes:

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