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HIST242: Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 7: Social and Cultural Change in the Early Twentieth Century   *Despite the initial efforts of the traditional elite to adopt little more from the Western barbarians than advanced industrial and military technologies, a market for translations of foreign writings quickly emerged, exposing the literate classes to a wide range of ideas, many of which challenged the traditional social and political order. Likewise, ever-growing numbers of students traveled to Europe and the USA where they studied far more than mere ‘techniques’. When they returned, they often promoted radical political and social ideas, in both political writings and activities, and through art forms, such as literature, film and theater. As cities expanded and the numbers of educated urbanites grew, a consumer culture began to emerge.

In this unit, we will examine cross-regional as well as nation-specific trends in culture and society that emerged during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, focusing on the roles played by education, rising literacy, and the emergence of a new intelligentsia as ‘producers’ of ideas, and on the place of consumers in the new society.
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Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 4.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 7.1:

☐    Subunit 7.2:

☐    Subunit 7.3: 0.5 hours 

☐    Subunit 7.4:

☐    Subunit 7.5:

☐    Subunit 7.6: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.7: 2 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Account for the spread of ‘modern’ education, primary, secondary and tertiary. - Analyze and compare major intellectual trends. - Explain the role of ‘consumer culture’ in ‘modernizing’ the region. - Identify similarities in ‘modern’ culture and social movements, and compare the extent to which they affected each part of the region. - Evaluate the role of print culture in disseminating new ideas.

7.1 Mass Education   7.1.1 Public Schools   7.1.2 Government Intervention in Curriculum and Textbook Production   7.2 Higher Education and the New Intelligentsia   7.2.1 Establishment of Universities   7.2.2 Scientific Method and New History   7.3 Vernacular Literature   - Reading: Marxists.org: Lu Xun’s “Literature of a Revolutionary Period” Link: Marxists.org Lu Xun’s “Literature of a Revolutionary Period” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the article by Lu Xun (Lu Hsun), who, despite his claim to know nothing about literature at the beginning of this document, is one of China’s most celebrated twentieth-century authors. Does he believe that social change impacts literature, or that literature can effect social change? What does he mean by “people’s literature,” and why does he think China does not have such a genre?
 
This reading and questions should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

7.4 Development of Mass Media   7.4.1 Role of the Press as Agent of Civil Society   7.4.2 Role of the Press as Agent of State Propaganda   7.5 Emergence of Film Industry   7.6 Consumer Culture   - Reading: MIT Visualizing Cultures: Gennifer Weisenfeld’s “Selling Shiseido I” and “Selling Shiseido II” Link: MIT Visualizing Cultures: Gennifer Weisenfeld’s “Selling Shiseido I”(HTML, PDF) and “Selling Shiseido II” (HTML)
 
Instructions: For part I of the reading, please select either the html or pdf version of the essay on the right side of the page and read the introduction.
 
For part II, select “Visual Narratives” at the right. Examine the images and read the accompanying text for all sections listed in the menu on the left.
 
Analyze the images and styles used in advertising during different periods. At what audiences are the products principally aimed? What effect do you think the war had on advertising?
 
The reading and viewing should take approximately 1.5 hours.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above. 

  • Web Media: Washington University’s A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization: “Commercial Advertisement” Link: Washington University’s A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization: “Commercial Advertisement” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the short introduction, then scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the links to view images of calendar posters and magazine advertisements. (The section on book jackets is optional). View the images and answer the questions. Compare these advertisements with the Shiseido advertisements from Japan in the previous assignment. What similarities and differences strike you?
     
    Viewing the images and answering the questions should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

7.7 Social Movements   - Reading: Marxists.org: Katayama Sen’s “The Labor Movement in Japan” Link: Marxists.org: Katayama Sen’s “The Labor Movement in Japan” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the preface and chapters 1 and 2. What gains does Katayama say have been made by Japanese workers? What underpinned their success? How did the Peace Preservation Law work to prevent labor protest? Thinking back to the Meiji Constitution, what rights granted under the constitution were violated by the Peace Preservation Law?
 
This reading and questions should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Marxists.org: Katayama Sen’s “The Eta Movement” Link: Marxists.org: Katayama Sen’s “The Eta Movement” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: The first part of the essay is background information that explains the historic status of the Japanese underclass known as the Eta (or burakumin) and the changes that began to occur after the Meiji Restoration. Read this, but focus mainly on the following sections beginning with “The Eta Movement for Emancipation.” Pay particular attention to the 1922 “Platform” and “Resolutions” of the Suiheisha.
     
    What role does Katayama (a socialist) think the Eta can play in effecting revolution in Japan?
     
    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: Marxists.org: Mao Zedong’s “Miss Chao’s Suicide” Link: Marxists.org: Mao Zedong’s “Miss Chao’s Suicide” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the document and answer the following questions.
     
    What does Mao believe were the direct and indirect causes of Ms. Chao’s suicide? Was her death unavoidable at the time? What actions does he think need to be taken to prevent similar tragedies in future?
     
    The reading and questions 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: Japan Focus: Nishi Masayuki’s “March 1 and May 4, 1919 in Korea, China and Japan: Toward an International History of East Asian Independence Movements” Link: Japan Focus: Nishi Masayuki’s “March 1 and May 4, 1919 in Korea, China and Japan: Toward an International History of East Asian Independence Movements” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the document and answer the following questions.
     
    What were the catalysts for the two movements? Does Nishi think they are unrelated? How does Nishi compare these movements in colonial Korea and Republican China to social protests in Japan at the same time? What role was played by the international environment of the time (i.e. WWI and the Treaty of Versailles, and Western colonialism in Asia)?
     
    The reading and questions should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

7.7.1 Women’s Movement   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 7.7.

7.7.2 Minority Rights   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 7.7.

7.7.3 Anti-imperialism/colonialism   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 7.7.

7.7.4 Socialism   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 7.7.