2017-2018 Catalog

HIST 247 Pre-Modern Japan

This survey will examine Japanese history from the emergence of the samurai class in the 12th century, to the Mejii Restoration of 1868. We will begin by considering the origins, and rise to power, of warriors as a discrete social group. Next, we will look at the balance of power between the Kyoto court, the new warrior government in Kamakura, and the powerful Buddhist institutions that defined the culture of the Medieval period. We will then examine the disintegration of central authority under the rule of the Ashikaga shoguns, leagues, and other local attempts to organize independently, and the concomitant cultural efflorescence of the 15th and 16th centuries. The course will conclude by examining the political structures, popular culture, and social stratification of the early modern (Edo or Tokugawa) period.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Pre-1800