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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 316
Course Title: Modern Japan
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Japanese history since 1800. Offered odd Spring. This courseĀ meets the Multicultural graduation requirement.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Modern Japan
By Duus, Peter (Houghton Mifflin)
The Modern History of Japan
By Gordon, Andrew (Oxford University Press)
The Making of Modern Japan
By Jensen, Marius (Harvard University Press)
Course Objectives
  • To understand crucial events taking place in modern Japanese history.
  • To identify trends in the recent development of Japan.
  • To identify individuals and their roles in modern Japanese history.
    Measurable Learning
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the issues and outcomes of Japanese contact with the West, 1500-1650.
  • Explain the origins and outcomes of the Tokugawa exclusion policy.
  • Define the issues that led to the Meiji Revolution.
  • Explain the role of nationalism and modernization in Japan from 1894 to the present.
    Topical Outline:

    Because the course represents an upper-level history elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. It must be distinguished as an advanced course by three structural components: extensive reading, intensive writing, and historiographical thinking. It must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (i.e., midterms, finals, team reports, quizzes, research papers). The reading load should be a
    minimum of 1000 pages; the course writing assignments should total c5000 words.

    The major topics include but are not limited to the following areas:

    • Tokugawa Shogunate • Japan and the West • Meiji Revolution • Taisho democracy • Militarism and war • American occupation • Japan 1951 – present


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Polley Date: July 10, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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