Course explores Japan’s history

Japan1 Metropolitan State’s History Department offers a new course starting this fall. HIST 371: Understanding Modern Japan examines Japan’s transformation from the land of shogun, samurai, ninja and geisha to the land of corporate warriors working for Mitsubishi, Toyota, Sony and other companies.

Japan is unique in that it avoided Western colonization, became a colonial power and lost its empire by defeat following the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb droppings in 1945. What were the factors explaining Japan’s rise and fall? The defeat forced Japan to reinvent itself from a militant expansionist power united around the emperor, which eventually chose to challenge the West, to a peaceful economic power under U.S. hegemony during the Cold War.

What do China’s and other Asian nations’ remarkable economic growth in recent decades mean to Japan and the world at the beginning of 21st Century? Also, what do the 2011 triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear power plant accident mean to Japan and the world? In this class, students can explore and analyze such significant historical concepts and issues such as feudalism, modernity, imperialism, militarism, decolonization, pacifism, emperor worship, the Cold War, environmentalism and post-industrialism.

For more information contact Sumiko Otsubo Sitcawich, History Department professor, at sumiko.otsubo@metrostate.edu. Course flyer can be viewed here.