• Rights and Responsibilities: Looking at the Meiji Constitution


    The Meiji Constitution serves as a starting point for an analysis and debate of the distinctions between rights and responsibilities, as well as the role of the populace in influencing government.

  • Japan's Rapid Rise and Fall, 1868-1945


    Japan “modernized” in the late 19th century, but “modernization” meant empires and colonies as well as industrialization and representative government, leading ultimately to destruction on a scale never before experienced on the archipelago. In five lessons using a wide variety of sources, ranging from the visual arts to political documents, this unit examines the reasons behind these rapid changes and how these changes affected the fabric of life in Japan.

  • Changing Times, Changing Styles: New Japanese Literary Styles of the Late 19th Century


    Kunikida Doppo’s story, "Unforgettable People," provides an example of a style of Japanese literature that developed in the 1880s and 90s as a result of encounters with European literature and other changes in the Japanese lifestyle related to the Meiji Restoration. The author(s) of this lesson suggest ways in which a discussion of the impact of this type of cultural contact may be introduced into the classroom.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Review of Through Japanese Eyes, 4th Revised and Expanded Edition


    Robert Fish, Director of Education and Lecture Programs at Japan Society, reviews this anthology of source readings about Japan. He focuses in particular on its usefulness for educators.

  • Japan's Encounter with the World: A Basic Reading List


    Michael Auslin, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, compiles a useful and informative reading list for the secondary school teacher of important historical writings on Japan's encounter with the world, from about 1600-present.

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