History 3330, section 001, Fall term, 2020

Modern Japan

Mon-Wed-Fri, 11:15-12:05
Daniel 403 if and when we go to in-classroom teaching

Prof. Edwin E. Moise
Office: Hardin 102
Cell Phone: 650-8845

When the university reopens in September, if it does so, it will become possible to leave written messages for me in my mailbox in Hardin 126, or in the box on the door of my office, Hardin 102.

Office Hours: The address for the laptop on which I do Zoom is NOT I will try to have my laptop turned on, and put it into Zoom through Canvas, at the listed hours. It is possible that I may occasionally miss office hours, but on the other hand, I will be available to you at a lot of other times (including evenings, if hours in the middle of the day are not convenient for you), if you get in touch with me and ask me to turn on my laptop.

    Monday                  2:30-3:20
    Tuesday    11:00-12:00, 2:00-3:15
    Wednesday               2:30-3:20
    Thursday   11:00-12:00, 2:00-3:15
    Friday     (none) 

Course Objectives

To give students an overview of the way Japan has developed from the feudal, isolationist society of 1850 to the major industrial power of today. Political, social, and economic changes will all be covered.

Learning Objectives

What goes into your grade

Your grade in the course will be based mainly on the written work I have assigned. You cannot do extra papers for extra credit. You can improve your grade a bit by participating in class discussion. The best way to pick up extra points is to argue against me in class; If you can point out to me that I have made a mistake you get four points extra in the gradebook. If you present a good clear argument that I am wrong about something, with evidence, then your grade may be boosted even if you do not succeed in convincing me.

I do not emphasize trivial factual details in this course. On tests and quizzes I will NOT ask you to name the Prime Ministers who served during the 1950's, much less tell me the exact dates they served. There are some facts you need to know, but they are more important things than names and dates.

The graded work work will be: Daily Assignments. There will be 44 class days this semester. On most of those days--38 of them unless something goes wrong--I will require you to turn in something on Canvas worth ten points. The question will be up on Canvas more than 24 hours before the answer is due. Answers will be due at 1:10 pm on the day of the class, which is fifteen minutes before the class starts. If you don't get it in on time, but turn it in before 1:25 (the time class starts), there will be a one point late penalty. It will not be accepted after 1:25. But your four lowest grades on such assignments will not count toward your final grade. So there will be 340 point possible for daily assignments.
    --Three short papers, on assigned topics, worth 50 points each, two of which will be newspaper research exercises.
    --One minor essay quiz: 20 points.
    --A test (80 points) and the final exam (120 points), which will be essay questions.
    --Participation in class discussions, mostly on Canvas but to some extent during class meetings, will be 50 points.

This adds up to 760 points. I use a 90%, 80%, 70% scale, sometimes modified in favor of students but never against them, depending on how the class as a whole is doing. 684 points (90% of 760) is guaranteed to be an A, 608 points is guaranteed to be a B, 532 points is guaranteed to be a C. But if few students have 684 points or more, I will shift the line between A and B downward, probably at least to 680 points, maybe even to 670, to create a reasonable grade distribution.

Any student who has an average of 90% or better, for work up to the final exam, will be permitted to exempt the final and will get an A for the course.

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity requires that we not try to pass other people's work off as our own.

As far as I can recall, I have not caught any students committing plagiarism in this course, in past years. But experience with plagiarism in other courses at Clemson suggests that if there were to be a plagiarism case in this course, it would probably take the form of one student copying another student's 40-point short paper, maybe changing a few words and substituting synonyms, but leaving the two papers still so similar that it is obvious the resemblance could not be coincidence. I would be likely to bring charges both against the student who copied and the student who allowed his or her paper to be copied.

There are some ways in which it is perfectly all right for student to help each other. If two students want to study together getting ready for a test, great. Only if help were still being given after I had handed out the questions would the help become improper. But if two people work together on a newspaper research exercise, and turn in papers that are very similar because each has been getting a lot of help from the other in writing it, both will be in deep trouble. If one of your fellow students asks to look at your paper, to get a better idea of how the assignment was to be done, please say no. They should come to me to ask for further explanations of the assignment, rather than looking at a completed paper to give them their clues. If too papers are so similar it is obvious the author of one must have seen the other, I will file charges.

Title IX Policy

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran's status, genetic information or protected activity (e.g., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in any complaint process, etc.) in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
The University is committed to combatting sexual harassment and sexual violence. As a result, you should know that University faculty and staff members who work directly with students are required to report any instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence, to the University's Title IX Coordinator. What this means is that as your professor, I am required to report any incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence or misconduct, stalking, domestic and/or relationship violence that are directly reported to me, or of which I am somehow made aware.
There are two important exceptions to this requirement about which you should be aware:

This policy is located at Ms. Alesia Smith is the Executive Director for Equity Compliance and the Title IX Coordinator. Her office is located at 223 Holtzendorff Hall, phone number is 864.656.3181, and email address is

Accessibility Statement

Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community. Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources. Students who experience a barrier to full access to a class should let the professor know,and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible.You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848 or by emailing Students who receive Academic Access Letters are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and present these to their professors as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner. It is the student's responsibility to follow this process each semester.You can access further information here:

COVID-19 Precautions

While on campus, face coverings are required in all buildings and classrooms. Face coverings are also required in outdoor spaces where physical distance cannot be guaranteed. Please be familiar with the additional information on the Healthy Clemson website, such as the use of wipes for in-person classes. If an instructor does not have a face covering or refuses to wear an approved face covering without valid accommodation, students should notify the department chair. If a student does not have a face covering or refuses to wear an approved face covering without valid accommodation, the instructor will ask the student to leave the academic space and mayreport the student's actions to the Office of Community & Ethical Standards as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If the student's actions disrupt the class to the extent that an immediate response is needed, the instructor maycall the Clemson University Police Department at 656-2222

Policy on late work

Under normal circumstances, my policy for assignments worth 20 points or more is: If you do not do written work on time, then with any reasonable excuse you will be able to make it up. However, you will be marked off for lateness. You will be marked off even if your excuse is very, very good. You can avoid a penalty only if I have told you before the work was due that you would be able to do it late without penalty. Ten point daily assignments will not be accepted if they are more than 15 minutes late, but your four worst grades for those will not count, so if you miss up to four, the zeroes for those will be the ones that do not count.

Attendance policy

University policy says there will not be a penalty for absences from class meetings this semester, but if you skip class a lot, you will probably do badly on written work and end up with a bad grade.

If I am Late

If I have not joined the class by eight minutes after it was supposed to begin, you can give up on me and leave.

If Class Is Cancelled Due To Weather

If class is cancelled due to weather, on a day when an assignment was due or a test or quiz was scheduled, the date of the assignment, test, or quiz will simply be postponed to the next class, unless I inform you otherwise by e-mail.

Assigned reading

There are three books you should buy:
    A Modern History of Japan, 4th ed., by Andrew Gordon
    Shadow Shoguns, by Schlesinger
    Peasants, Rebels, Women, and Outcastes, 2d ed., by Mikiso Hane

There will also be reading that I ask you to do online.

Course Outline

The following course outline is tentative. It may be modified slightly because of unexpected events. Items marked >>> are required reading.

August 19: Introduction to the course. No assigned reading

August 21: Traditional Japanese Civilization. Please read:
>>> Gordon, pp. 3-9
>>> Hane, pp. 3-9

August 24: Japan under Tokugawa Rule
>>> Gordon, pp. 11-34

August 26: The Western Impact
>>> Gordon, pp. 35-57

August 28: The "Meiji Restoration"
>>> Gordon, pp. 57-76

August 31: Initial modernization and reactions to it
>>> Gordon, pp. 77-98. (If you have seen the Tom Cruise film "The Last Samurai," notice that the events on which the film was based are covered on pp. 85-86 of Gordon.)

September 2: Rural Life
>>> Hane, pp. 9-33

September 4: Rural Life, continued
>>> Hane, pp. 33-62

                September 4: Quiz

September 7: Rural life, continued; Rural women
>>> Hane, pp. 62-101

September 9: Female Textile Workers
>>> Hane, pp. 173-204

September 11: Urban Life
>>> Gordon, pp. 98-116

September 14: Write a short paper. Topic: Discuss the lives and status of women in Japan in the Meiji era (1868-1912). There was a good deal of variation; please notice that some women were considerably better off than others. Please be specific about the conditions various categories of women. Length: about 500 words, or more.

September 16: The Growth of the Japanese Empire
>>> Gordon, pp. 117-141

September 18: Rural poverty
>>> Hane, pp. 103-136

September 21: Outcastes
>>> Hane, pp. 138-71

September 23: Poverty and Prostitution; begin the story of woman rebel Ito Noe
>>> Hane, pp. 206-225, 247-52

September 25: Women Rebels, continued
>>> Hane, pp. 252-292

September 28: Economy and Society
>>> Gordon, pp. 143-165

September 30: Coal Miners; review
>>> Hane, pp. 227-245

  TEST October 2 (class does not meet)

October 5: Politics and International Relations in the 1920s
>>> Gordon, pp. 166-186

October 7: The Depression and the rise of Japanese militarism
>>> Gordon, pp. 187-208

October 9: The Second World War.
>>> Gordon, pp. 209-22

October 12: The Second World War, continued
>>> Gordon, pp. 222-31
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 19-30

October 14, 16: The American Occupation of Japan
>>> Gordon, pp. 232-51
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 30-45

October 19, 21: The New Japan
>>> Gordon, pp. 253-77
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 46-58
>>> Hane, pp. 295-320

October 23: Politics in the New Japan
>>> Gordon, pp. 278-300

October 26: Kakuei Tanaka and his political machine
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 59-90.

October 30: The Strange Victory of Kakuei Tanaka
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 91-125.

FALL BREAK: No class November 2

November 4: Tanaka in Power, Continued:
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 126-155

November 6: The Bubble of the 1980s
>>> Gordon, pp. 301-321

November 9,11: Japan in the 1980s; the changing international environment; The Second Generation of the Gundan
>>> Schlesinger, Part III

November 13: Major problems for the economy
>>> Gordon, pp. 322-36

November 16: The Gundan in decay
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 229-264

November 18: The possibility of political change?
>>> Gordon, pp. 322-329.
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 264-285

November 20: Aftermath
>>> Gordon, pp. 329-335.

November 23: Into the 21st century
>>> Gordon, pp. 335-350.

THANKSGIVING: No class November 25, 27

December 2, 4: Japan since 2008
>>> Gordon, pp. 351-75.
>>> Matt Alt, Japan's Cute Army, New Yorker magazine, November 30, 2015.

FINAL EXAM Tuesday, December 8, 8:00 a.m.


Other Links

Web site of the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas

Clemson University Academic Success Center, which provides help and tutoring for students encountering academic problems. It does not, however, have tutors specifically for History courses.

The Nikkei 225, Japan's equivalent of the Dow-Jones Average.

Edwin Moïse's homepage

Regional geography


Revised August 31, 2020.