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HIST242: Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 9: Japan: Out of the Ashes   This unit studies the history of Japan from the end of WWII to the 1990s. It explores the impact of the US occupation and the Cold War, and the formulation of a new constitution on subsequent political and economic development. It also addresses the question of war responsibility and guilt (a topic to which we will return in the final unit in the context of regional relations), and the ways in which this has affected Japan’s self-identity as a ‘Peace State’.

Unit 9 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 7.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 9.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 9.2:

☐    Subunit 9.3: 1 hour.

☐    Subunit 9.4: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.5: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.6: 45 minutes

☐    Subunit 9.7: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 9.8: 30 minutes
 

Unit9 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
- Describe and assess the role of the US in shaping post-War Japan’s political, economic and cultural development. - Explain the process of Japan’s rapid economic development in the 1960s-1980s and analyze some of the reasons for the ‘bursting of the bubble’ in the 1990s. - Evaluate the role of WWII in shaping Japan’s current identity as a ‘Peace State’.

9.1 Japan Defeated   9.1.1 Japan surrenders   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.2.3.

9.1.2 US Occupation   - Reading: Univ. of Nottingham: Susan Townsend’s “American Occupation” Link: Univ. of Nottingham: Susan Townsend’s “American Occupation”
 
Instructions: Select “Example Lectures” from the menu on the left of the page. Download the lecture notes and handouts for “American Occupation.”
 
These readings should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

9.2 Tokyo Trials   9.3 1946 Constitution   - Reading: Hanover College: Primary Source Document’s “Text of Japanese Constitution” Link: Hanover College: Primary Source Document’s “Text of Japanese Constitution” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 1-4 of the Constitution and compare it to the Meiji Constitution of 1889. In what significant ways do they differ? Think in particular about the revised role of the Emperor, the powers of the parliament (the Diet), and the rights and duties of citizens.
 
This primary source reading should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

9.4 Life under US Occupation—SCAP   - Web Media: Ohio State University: John W. Bennett’s “Doing Photography and Research in the Allied Occupation of Japan 1948-1951” Link: Ohio State University: John W. Bennett’s “Doing Photography and Research in the Allied Occupation of Japan 1948-1951” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the “introductory statement.” Then select “Portfolios of Photographs” from the menu on the left. Examine all the photographs and read the accompanying text in Section I, “Festivals and Gatherings” in Section II, and “Forestry, Society and Economy” in Section III.
 
The reading/viewing should take approximately 1.5 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

9.5 Japan’s Economic Miracle   - Reading: University of Nottingham: Susan Townsend’s “From Apocalypse to Miracle” Link: University of  Nottingham: Susan Townsend’s “From Apocalypse to Miracle
 
Instructions: Select “Example Lectures” from the menu at the left. Download the PowerPoint file for “From Apocalypse to Miracle.” Make sure you are viewing the file with the accompanying notes displayed. This provides a summary of Japan’s development from the postwar period until the 1990s. As Townsend notes, economic development came at an environmental price.
 
This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: University of Minnesota: Douglas Allchin’s “The Poisoning of Minamata” Link: University of Minnesota: Douglas Allchin’s “The Poisoning of Minamata” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: One of the most famous cases which demonstrates the environmental and human cost of Japan’s industrialization is that of mercury poisoning in Minamata Bay.
     
    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. 

9.6 Japanese Politics and the Dominance of the LDP   - Web Media: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “The Japanese Bureaucracy,” “Factions in Japanese Politics” and “Interest Groups in Japanese Politics” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “The Japanese Bureaucracy,” “Factions in Japanese Politics,” “Interest Groups in Japanese Politics” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Watching the videos and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

9.7 Japan as ‘Peace State’   - Reading: Taiwan Documents Project’s “Treaty of Peace with Japan 1951” Link: Taiwan Documents Project’s “Treaty of Peace with Japan 1951” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read Chapters 1-4 of the treaty. What are the implications for Japan, in particular for Japan’s foreign relations?
 
This primary source reading should take approximately 1 hour 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’ “US-Japan Security Treaty” 1951 Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “US-Japan Security Treaty 1951” (PDF)
     
    Please read all of the 1951 security treaty and answer the questions at the end.
     
    This primary source reading and questions should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

9.8 Contemporary Japanese Society   - Web Media: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Japanese Society” and “Education and Work” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Japanese Society” (Adobe Flash) and “Education and Work” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch each section of the video shown in the menu on the left.
 
Watching the video and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.