• The "I" Novels in the Context of Early 20th-Century Japan


    Focusing on developing students’ understanding of how a writer's background affects the way he or she writes about personal experience, this lesson utilizes the literary works of Shiga Naoya and Hayashi Fumiko to show how “I novels” provide insight into both the authors’ backgrounds as well as their reflections on problems of human existence and social life.

  • Akutagawa Ryunosuke and the Taisho Modernists


    The modernist literary movement is commonly characterized by experimental styles and themes. Literature produced in Japan during the Taisho Period shares many characteristics with this global movement, as students will discover by analyzing literature from this period such as Akutagawa Ryûnosuke’s short story "In a Grove," (1922) as well as Kurosawa's film Rashômon (1950), a later film based on Akutagawa’s works.

  • Bibliography of Secondary Sources about the Arts in Imperial Japan


    Contains references, many annotated, to secondary works and primary sources in translation related to the the arts, primarily film and performing, in Imperial Period Japan. Please suggest additional resources through the discussion.

  • Japan, 1945 to the Present


    These lessons deal with the broad changes--politically, economically, and socially--that occurred in Japan from the occupation through the "Lost Decade" during the 1990s. This trajectory is of particular interest in light of the current economic crisis facing the world.

  • Imperial Japan: 1894-1945


    Historian Jonathan Lipman provides an overview of Japanese political history during this period, situating it within the larger context of East Asia and Japan's views towards East Asia.

  • Doppo - Unforgettable People


    Translations by literary scholar Jay Rubin of five short stories by Kunikida Doppo, an important late 19th century fiction writer who played a key role in creating a "modern" language for literature.

  • EARLY JAPAN (50,000 BC - 710 AD)


    Historian Martin Colcutt of Princeton University provides an overview of Early Japanese history.

  • Japan's Medieval Age: The Kamakura & Muromachi Periods


    Historian Martin Colcutt outlines the turbulent period between the mid-12th & mid-16th centuries in Japan.

  • Nara and Heian Japan (710AD - 1185 AD)


    In this article, Martin Colcutt of Princeton University provides an introductory overview to the Nara and Heian periods of Japanese history.

  • The Epoch of Unification (1568-1615)


    J.S.A. Elisonas, Professor Emeritus of East Asian Languages and Cultures and of History at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, provides his interpretation of how Japan transformed from a divided land of constant warfare to a unified, relatively peaceful land during the years 1568-1615.

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