JAPN/HIST 246: Early Modern Japanese History and Culture
This course focuses on Japan’s early modern period (1600-1868), also known as the Edo period (after the city of Edo, present-day Tokyo) or the Tokugawa period (after the ruling family). We will explore various topics in early modern history and culture, including the status system and village life; the writings of Matsuo Basho; dramatic culture and the life of the city; and the interplay between sex, gender, and commerce. Our objective is not only to develop expertise in a certain moment in the Japanese past, but to be empowered as historians. This course is therefore structured to equally emphasize content (the history of Japan’s early modern period) and method (critique of secondary sources, analysis of primary texts, and exploration of theoretical frameworks). HS, BN.