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HIST242: Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 3: Reform and Resistance   *Despite the widespread view of Europeans and Americans as barbarians, it was quickly recognized that the weapons and technologies which had allowed them easily to vanquish the dominant Asian power, Qing China, might be worth studying if Asia were to be able to resist continued foreign incursions and humiliations, as well as to defeat various rebellious uprisings that had erupted on home-soil (largely unrelated to the Western intrusion).

Efforts were accordingly made to learn from the West, at least insofar as science and technology were concerned.  Western ideas and institutions, on the other hand, were regarded by most of the ruling elite as entirely unsuited to local conditions, and thus—under slogans such as ‘Chinese learning for the essence, Western learning for practical application’ and ‘Eastern ethics, Western science’—attempts were made to implement a ‘self-strengthening’ programme that would allow industrial and military modernization without undermining the traditional political or value systems.

Not everyone, of course, held the same view, and many were eager to learn more than mere ‘techniques’. Tensions accordingly arose between those who did not want to see any kind of institutional reform, and those who pursued thoroughgoing, even revolutionary, change. As you work through this unit, you will see that the pace and scope of change varied quite significantly between Japan, China and Korea. Note some of the key factors that might explain why reform was more easily implemented in Japan than it was in China and Korea. *

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 8 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3:  1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4: 2 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Explain the significance of the Meiji Restoration - Classify the reforms enacted in Meiji Japan, Qing China and Chos?n Korea, and analyze the extent to which they were resisted - Evaluate the ways in which foreign ideas threatened the political and social order in each of the three states. 

3.1 Japan   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “The Meiji Restoration and Modernization” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “The Meiji Restoration and Modernization” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This reading summarizes the history of the period from 1868-1940s. Read the text, and start thinking about the questions at the end. Return to these questions when you have completed the other readings in this unit.
 
Note: This text gives an overview of the period discussed in this subunit and Unit 4. 
 
This reading should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Reading: MIT Visualizing Cultures: John Dower’s “Throwing off Asia I” Link: MIT Visualizing Cultures: John Dower’s “Throwing off Asia I” (HTML, PDF)
     
    Instructions: Select either the html or pdf version of the essay on the right side of the screen. When you have read the essay, return to the main screen and select “Visual Narratives.” Read the texts and examine the images for both sections, “The Meiji Emperor and Invention of the Modern Emperor System” and “Technology and Industry.”
     
    This should take approximately 1.75 hours to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’s “The Charter Oath (1868)” and “Japan’s 1889 Constitution” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’s “The Charter Oath (1868)” and “Japan’s 1889 Constitution” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read the Charter Oath and answer the questions. Then, please read the introduction and the longer excerpt from the Constitution, which starts on page 3. Answer the six questions interspersed throughout the text, starting on page 2.
     
    The primary source readings and questions should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

3.1.1 The Fall of the Tokugawa   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Introduction to China’s Modern History” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Introduction to China’s Modern History” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: This is a very broad summary and timeline of events from 1800 into the early 20th century. Use it to give yourself an overview of the period and as a reference resource for chronology.
     
    This should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

3.1.2 The Meiji Restoration   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1.

3.1.3 Age of Enlightenment   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1.

3.1.4 Enrichment and Strengthening   3.1.4.1 Rise of the Military   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1.

3.1.4.2 Emergence of the Zaibatsu   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1.

3.1.4.3 Education Expansion   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1.

3.2 China   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Introduction to China’s Modern History” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Introduction to China’s Modern History” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This is a very broad summary and timeline of events from 1800 into the early 20th century. Use it to give yourself an overview of the period and as a reference resource for chronology.
 
This should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

3.2.1 The Tongzhi Restoration   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.2.

3.2.2 Self-Strengthening   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.2.

3.2.3 Challenging the Status Quo: Tensions between Reformers and Conservatives   3.3 Korea   - Lecture: Korea Society: Charles Armstrong’s “History of Korea Part II” Link: Korea Society: Charles Armstrong’s “History of Korea Part II” (iTunes U)
 
Instructions: Listen to the first 28 minutes of the podcast; which will take you up to 1910 when Japan annexed Korea as a colony. This provides the overview for unit 3.3. The remainder of the lecture will provide relevant information for subunits 6.2 and 8.4.
 
The required portion of the lecture and note-taking should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

 Instructions: Listen to the first 28 minutes of the podcast; which
will take you up to 1910 when Japan annexed Korea as a colony. This
provides the overview for unit 3.3. The remainder of the lecture
will provide relevant information for subunits 6.2 and 8.4.  
    
 The required portion of the lecture and note-taking should take
approximately 30 minutes to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the Web Pages above. 

3.3.1 Domestic Threats to Royal Power   3.3.1.1 Tonghak   - Reading: Asia for Educators: Primary Source Documents: Ch’oe Cheu’s “Learning Truth” and “Twelve Reforms Proclaimed by the Tonghak Overseer’s Office” Link: Asia for Educators: Primary Source Documents: Ch’oe Cheu’s “Learning Truth” and “Twelve Reforms Proclaimed by the Tonghak Overseer’s Office” (PDF)
  
Instructions: Please read the longer excerpts from the two texts, starting on page 2 of the document, and answer the questions. This is a primary source document.
 
The readings and questions should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

3.3.1.2 Christianity   3.3.1.3 Court Factionalism   3.3.2 Taew?n’gun (Daewongun) Regency and Reforms   3.3.3 Conservative Resistance to Reform   3.4 Attitudes to ‘Western’ Knowledge: Acceptance, Resistance, Adaptation   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ Excerpts from Feng Guifen’s “On the Adoption of Western Learning”; Excerpts from Yan Fu’s “Learning from the West”; Excerpts from Liang Qichao’s “Observations on a Trip to America” Links: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ Excerpts from Feng Guifen’s “On the Adoption of Western Learning”(PDF); Excerpts from Yan Fu’s “Learning from the West” (PDF); Excerpts from Liang Qichao’s “Observations on a Trip to America” (PDF)
  
Instructions: Please read the documents, reading the longer of the excerpts where given, and answer the questions found before or after the excerpt. These are primary source documents.
 
These readings and questions should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

3.4.1 Translation of Foreign Books   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.

3.4.2 Overseas Missions   3.4.2.1 Iwakura Mission   - Reading: Chinese Educational Mission Connections 1872-1881’s “The Chinese Educational Mission” Link: Chinese Educational Mission Connections 1872-1881’s “The Chinese Educational Mission” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the overview on the page to which you are directed. Then, click “History” and read the sections on “Origins,” “Termination and Recall,” and “After the CEM.”
 
How do the writers of this text view the overseas education mission? What are the principal reasons they identify for the initiation of the mission, and its later termination? How does this mission compare to the Iwakura Mission?
 
This reading should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.   

3.4.3 Developing Interest in Science and Scientific Method   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.

3.4.4 Establishment of Universities   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.

3.4.5 Expansion of Modern Education Provision   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.