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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST3252 Modern Japanese History

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Kweku Ampiah

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Consider the history of modern Japan from the mid-1800s and chart Japan'sdevelopment through to recent times.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- Have developed an awareness of the continuities and changes in Japanese history and society from the mid-1800s onwards;
- Be familiar with the principal issues and concerns raised by historians in their study of the development of modern Japan, and the academic body of work in which these debates are raised;
- Be able to demonstrate their skills of analysis and interpretation through seminar presentations and essay writing.


This module will introduce students to the core historical debates in the study of modern Japan. The module considers the history of modern Japan from the mid-1800s, when contact with the West was established on a more regularised and formal basis, and charts Japan's development through to recent times. Broadly speaking, the module considers the emergence of Japan as a super-state in terms of its progression from the early semi-colonial relationship with imperialist powers, to alliance and the conflict with Asian and Western powers in the Pacific War, and the subsequent post-war economic and political recovery.

The module adopts a thematic approach which includes: the emperor, the military, class struggle, mutual Western/Japanese perceptions, the economy and nationalism. The lectures serve to introduce themes which are then further developed by student-led seminars based on a set of core readings and primary documents.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading and preparation for lectures: 54 hours;
6 hours preparation per seminar: 24 hours;
Research and writing assignment: 50 hours;
Preparation for exam: 50 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar presentations and an in-class practice essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 02/09/2022


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