Dec 09, 2023  
2013-2014 Academic Catalog 
2013-2014 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HIS 295-03 - Special Topic: Early-Modern Japan, 1600-1868

4 credits (Spring)
Wikipedia tells us that “sakoku” was the policy “under which no foreigner could enter nor could any Japanese leave the country on penalty of death.” There is more “truthiness” to this statement than truth, and a careful reader will recognize numerous passages in the Wikipedia article that contradict the initial claim about the state’s capacity to seal its borders. Why is it so difficult to explain Japan’s foreign policies? In this class we will examine cultural encounters by residents of the Japanese archipelago with Portuguese, Spanish, British, Dutch, Chinese, Koreans, Americans, and others from 1600 to 1868. We will explore attitudes and behaviors exhibited in these interactions, the effect (or lack thereof) that these encounters had on society, and how Japan’s exclusionary policies affected the process of modernization at the end of the period.

Prerequisite: HIS 100  or second-year standing.
Instructor: Mayo