Summer 2021 - HIST 371 D100

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

Class Number: 3445

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • 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 period in Japan from the 1930s to the 1950s, introducing students to issues of continuing historical and political controversy, such the dropping of the atomic bombs and the Tokyo War Crimes Trial.  It thus covers the domestic and international impact of the Asia-Pacific War, which ended in 1945.  Students are forewarned that this is not a course on specific battles or military strategy.  They are also forewarned that the course addresses events involving tremendous physical and emotional suffering.


  • In-class Primary Source Analysis: the film, Gojira/Godzilla The purpose of this ungraded assignment is to provide practice in analysing a primary source. 0%
  • Essay (5 double-spaced pages MAXIMUM) 30%
  • PowerPoint presentation of a war-related topic (to be determined by the student): Proposal 5% | PowerPoint for instructor on Zoom or BlackBoard 15% 20%
  • Take-home final examination 20%
  • Class Participation 30%





Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008 SFU Library available online:

Registrar Notes:


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