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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST1265 Japan: History and International Politics

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Kweku Ampiah

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

Pre-requisite qualifications

None + no knowledge of Japanese language is required.

Module replaces

EAST1260 Japan Inside OutEAST1261 Japan in the WorldEAST1262 Inside Japan

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This is an introductory module to Japanese history and international politics and maps out the processes of the modernization (Westernization?) of Japan from the 1860s. The module considers the aims and ambitions of the modern Japanese state leading to its achievements in the pre-war era, the rise of Japanese nationalism, its failures, and the resurgence of the idea of Japan as a 'peace-loving' nation in the post-war era. It explores the trajectory and dynamics of Modern Japan.


On completion of the module students should be aware of:
- key events in Japan's modern history
- the reasons for the Meiji Restoration
- the development of the modern state
- the impetus for nation building
- the (internal) conflicts between the modernisers and moralists
- the resurgence of Nationalism
- the nature of post-colonial Japan

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module students should have developed a firm understanding of the reasons for the Meiji Restoration. They should be familiar with the ambitions of modern Japan as well as the problems these engendered.

Skills outcomes
Students will be expected to have:
- developed a fundament for critical analysis of the key debates in the field of Japanese history, politics, post-war socio-economy and culture;
- enhanced their skills of expression and communication in both written and oral form;
- developed their abilities to plan, organize, gather, comprehend and analyze materials relevant to Japanese studies.


- The Dawn of Modern Japan: The external and internal threats to Tokugawa rule
- The Meiji Restoration
- The Iwakura Mission
- Economic development
- Education and social mobilisation
- Gendering modern Japanese society
- Japan and its neighbours: Continental Imperialism
- Nationalism in pre-war Japan
- The post-war 'reinvention' of Japan
- The geo-politics of US-Japan relations: Japan and the Cold War.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours86.00
Total Contact hours14.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

1. Background reading in preparation for lectures
2. Reading and preparation of appropriate presentation material for seminars
3. Revision for exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Monitoring will take place in seminars, in which students give presentations on topics discussed in the lectures, and during lectures which include some in-class discussion.

Students also undertake a formative coursework essay of 1,500 words, to be submitted mid-way through the semester, on which feedback is provided and which also enables monitoring of progress.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/04/2016


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