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HIST242: Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 1: The Early Modern Era   In this unit, we will first ask some important questions about the origins of the modern period and the very concept of ‘modern’ itself. We will then survey the histories of Tokugawa Japan, Qing China and Chos?n (Joseon) Korea during the time-frame variously known as the ‘late imperial’, ‘early modern’, or ‘late traditional’ period; that is, the eighteenth-mid-nineteenth centuries. Examining broad economic, political, intellectual and social trends during this period, we will evaluate the extent to which they can be considered ‘traditional’, ‘modern’ or precursors of modern developments. Last, but by no means least, we will assess the degree to which Japan, Korea and China were isolated from the outside world by ‘closed door’ or ‘seclusion’ policies designed to keep the local population in and foreigners out.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
☐    Subunit 1.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 1.75 +1 hour for optional content

☐    Subunit 1.3: 1.75 hours + 30 minutes for optional content

☐    Subunit 1.4: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 3 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Describe and explain the major political, social and cultural changes that took place in the mid-late Qing, Joseon and Tokugawa periods - Identify and compare ‘modern’ features of government, economy and society in Tokugawa Japan, Qing China and Joseon Korea. - Analyze the extent to which ‘seclusion’ policies closed China, Japan and Korea to the outside world

1.1 Introduction: Locating the Modern Era   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “China and Europe 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is Modern?” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “China and Europe 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is Modern?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This reading covers subunits 1.1 and parts of 1.3 as well. For this subunit, read the introduction and the sections through “China and Europe: New Units of Analysis.” Be sure to watch the video clips or read the transcripts as well as the main text. What argument are the authors making about the concept of “modern” in economic and political terms?
 
This reading and note-taking should take approximately 1.5 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

1.2 Tokugawa Japan   - Web Media: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Tokugawa Japan” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Tokugawa Japan”(Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch each short video listed under the headings and sub-headings on the left of the screen. These videos cover all the topics in unit 1.2 as well as some of the issues addressed in 1.5. The accompanying text (below the videos) are transcripts of the videos. You may read the texts if you prefer.
 
Watching the videos and note-taking should take approximately 1.25 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: George Mason University: Ekiken Kaibara’s “Onna daigaku (Greater Learning for Women)” Link: George Mason University: Ekiken Kaibara’s “Onna daigaku (Greater Learning for Women)” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the primary source document, noting the core values women are expected to uphold. Viewing these moral and behavioral guidelines in light of the videos on Tokugawa society “Confucian Social Values” and “Ukiyo: The Pleasure Quarters,” how do you think the status of women might have started to change during the Tokugawa period?
     
    Reading the document and answering the questions should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Codes of Merchant Houses: Codes of the Okaya House” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Codes of Merchant Houses: The Code of the Okaya House” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the introduction and the slightly longer excerpt beginning on page 2, and answer the questions appended to the shorter excerpt at the top of page 2. This is a primary source document.
     
    Reading this document and answering the questions should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

  • Web Media: PBS’ “The Will of the Shogun” Link: PBS’ “The Will of the Shogun” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: This OPTIONAL video provides additional detail from foreign eyewitnesses (mainly missionaries) who visited Tokugawa Japan. (It is less scholarly than the other resources, but more entertaining than the assigned material.)
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

1.2.1 Shogun Rule   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.1 The Tokugawa Shogunate (bakufu)   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.2 The Role of the Imperial House   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.3 Daimyo and Domains (han)   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.4 Social and Economic Structure in the Tokugawa Period   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.5 The Tokugawa Class System   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.6 The Tokugawa Economy   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.7 Social and Cultural Change   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.1.8 Urban Life   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.3 Late Qing China   - Lecture: Harvard Extension School’s “Achievements and Limits of Manchu Rule” Link: Harvard Extension School’s “Achievements and Limits of Manchu Rule” (Adobe Flash)
  
Instructions: The first 30 minutes of the lecture are optional, covering the conquest of China by the Manchus and explaining how the Manchus were able to conquer such a large territory with a relatively small force. Focus on the final 20 minutes for details of the ways in which the Manchus ruled their empire.
 
The required portion of this lecture plus note-taking should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Note: This resource is available in both video and audio formats with PowerPoint slides.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “China and Europe 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is Modern?” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “China and Europe 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is Modern?” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the section on “China and Europe 1500-1800,” ensuring that you also watch the embedded videos or read the relevant transcripts thereof. Pay attention to the authors’ analysis of Qing China’s economic structure and the role of the state in managing the economy and social welfare.
     
    This reading should take approximately 1.25 hours to complete.
     
    The lecture and reading together cover subunits 1.3.1 and 1.3.2.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

1.3.1 Qing Imperial Rule   1.3.1.1 The Reach of Empire   Note: This subunit is covered by the lecture and reading for subunit 1.3.

1.3.1.2 The Structure of Government   Note: This subunit is covered by the lecture and reading for subunit 1.3.

1.3.2 Domestic Problems   1.3.2.1 Discontent and Popular Uprisings   Note: This subunit is covered by the lecture and reading for subunit 1.3.

1.3.2.2 Religious Movements and Secret Societies   Note: This subunit is covered by the lecture and reading for subunit 1.3.

1.4 Late Chos?n Korea   - Lecture: The Korea Society: Charles Armstrong’s “History of Korea Part I” Link: The Korea Society: Charles Armstrong’s “History of Korea Part I” (HTML)

 Instructions: Listen to the podcast starting from the 1-hour point
(the final 28 minutes). Pay attention to the way in which Korea was
positioned politically, economically and ideologically in relation
to China and Japan. Note also the class structure Prof. Armstrong
describes, and the importance of education in Korean culture. What
similarities and differences between Korea’s education and social
class systems and those found in China and Japan can you identify?  
 This lecture provides an overview of the topics covered in unit 1.4
and addresses some aspects of 1.5.  
    
 The required portion of this lecture plus note-taking should take
approximately 35 minutes to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the web pages above.
  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Korea: The Choson (Yi) Dynasty 1392-1910” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Korea: The Choson (Yi) Dynasty 1392-1910” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: This is a very brief overview of some key points in Chos?n history. Use it to supplement the podcast and to acquaint yourself with some of the general themes and issues for subunit 1.4.
     
    This reading should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ Excerpts from the Pangye Surok: Yu Hy?ngw?n’s “On Abolishing Slavery” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’Excerpts from the Pangye Surok: Yu Hy?ngw?n’s “On Abolishing Slavery”(PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the introduction and the longer excerpt, starting from page 2, and answer the questions.
     
    This should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.
     

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’: “Excerpts from the Y?yudang Ch?ns?: Ch?ng Yagyong on the Roots of Royal Authority” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’: “Excerpts from the Y?yudang Ch?ns?: Ch?ng Yagyong on the Roots of Royal Authority” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the introduction and document, and answer the questions. This is a primary source document.
     
    This should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

1.4.1 Chos?n Class Structure: Continuity and Change in the 18th-19th Centuries   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.4.

1.4.2 The Chos?n Economy   1.4.2.1 Urban Economy and Commerce   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.4.

1.4.2.2 Agriculture and Land-holding Patterns   1.4.3 Domestic Unrest   1.4.3.1 Political Factionalism   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.4.

1.4.3.2 Popular Religion and Discontent   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.4.

1.5 Seclusion: Fact or Fiction?   Note: Please use the first three readings in this subunit to compare the attitudes of the Tokugawa, Qing and Chos?n regimes to engagement with the outside world in terms of hierarchies, trade, migration and cultural exchange.

  • Reading: Wake Forest University: Sara Watt’s Version of Tokugawa Iemitsu’s “Closed Country Edict, 1635” and “Exclusion of the Portuguese, 1639” Link: Wake Forest University: Sara Watt’s Version of Tokugawa Iemitsu’s “Closed Country Edict, 1635” and “Exclusion of the Portuguese, 1639” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Scroll down to the sections listed above. This is a primary source document.
     
    This reading should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of “The Reception of the First English Ambassador to China, 1792” Link: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of “The Reception of the First English Ambassador to China, 1792” (HTML)
     
     Instructions: This is a primary source document. This reading should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above. 

  • Reading: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of “Qianlong: Letter to King George III, 1793” Link: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of “Qianlong: Letter to King George III, 1793” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Compare the attitudes of the Tokugawa, Qing and Chos?n regimes to engagement with the outside world in terms of hierarchies, trade, migration and cultural exchange. This is a primary source document.
     
    This reading should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: The Korea Society: Bonnie S. Kim’s “Korea 1800-1860: Intellectual and Social Reactions to Western Contacts” Link: The Korea Society: Bonnie S. Kim’s “Korea 1800-1860: Intellectual and Social Reactions to Western Contacts” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: What argument is Kim making about the ‘seclusion’ policy? Does she believe Korea was truly a “hermit kingdom”?
     
    This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above. 

  • Reading: MIT Visualizing Cultures: Peter Perdue’s “Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System: Parts I, II, and III” Link: MIT Visualizing Cultures: Peter Perdue’s “Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System: Parts I, II, and III” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: From the main Visualizing Cultures menu, click the links for Parts I, II, and III. Then, on the right side of the screen, choose either the html or pdf  version of each essay.
    In Part I, read the sections on “Trade with the West,” “Commodities,” and “Merchants.” The section on “The Artists’ Narrow World” is optional.
     
    Read all of Part II and the sections on Canton Trade and Canton Happenings in Part III (you do not need to read the “sources and resources” sections – these are bibliographies). Some material in Parts I and II will be applicable to subunit 2.2 as well. The sections on “End of the Canton Trade System” and “Hong Kong” in Part III also cover aspects of subunit 2.2.
     
    Note: Make sure you pay attention to the images, not just to the text.
     
    These readings should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

1.5.1 Intra-Asian Relations: The Tribute System and Private Trade   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.5.

1.5.2 Asian Cultural Transfers   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.5.

1.5.3 Ideas and Ideology   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.5.

1.5.4 Trade beyond Asia: Macau, Canton System, Nagasaki   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.5.

1.5.5 Jesuit Missionaries in Northeast Asia   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.5.

1.5.6 Seclusion Policies: impact on trade and population mobility   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.5.