History 3330, section 001

Modern Japan

Mon-Wed-Fri, 1:25-2:15, Hardin 233

Spring term, 2023

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

Messages can be left in my mailbox in Hardin 126, or in the box on the door of my office, Hardin 102.

Office Hours: I will try to be in my office at the following hours, but it won't always be possible. On the other hand, I will be in my office, and available to you, for much more of the week than my official office hours. E-mail me, or just check and see if my door is open. If you are nervous about meeting face to face indoors, you could Zoom me through my computer, or if the weather is decent we could sit on the plaza in back of the building.

    Monday                    2:30-3:20
    Tuesday    11:00-12:00,   2:00-3:15
    Wednesday                 2:30-3:20
    Thursday   (none officially scheduled but I will often be available)
    Friday     (none officially scheduled but I will often be available) 

Course Description

The development of Japanese civilization with most of the course devoted to modern Japan from the mid-19th century to the present.

There are no prerequisites for HIST 3330.

Learning Environment

I plan to teach this as a traditional history class. Most discussion will be in the classroom, though some will take place through Canvas. Lectures, quizzes, and tests will take place in the classroom. Other written assignments will be turned in through Canvas.

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 Outcomes

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 two 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 work that goes into your grade will be:
    --Three short papers, on assigned topics, worth 40 points each, two of which will be newspaper research exercises.
    --Eight questions about the reading, which I will post on Canvas and you will answer on Canvas, due ten minutes before the beginning of class, ten points each but only your six best count toward the final grade: 60 points.
    --Class participation, either in class or through the Discussion section on Canvas. If you are the sort of person who feels comfortable speaking up in class, do so. If you don't feel comfortable with that, post in the discussion section on Canvas so you won't lose out on this. 20 points.
    --One minor essay quiz: 20 points.
    --A test (70 points) and the final exam (120 points), which will be mostly essay questions.

This adds up to 410 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. 369 points (90% of 410) is guaranteed to be an A, 328 points is guaranteed to be a B, 287 points is guaranteed to be a C. But if very few students have 369 points or more, I may shift the line between A and B down to 368 or even 360 points, 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.

DO NOT TRUST WHAT CANVAS SAYS ABOUT YOUR AVERAGE GRADE. If Canvas says you got 36 points on a particular paper, that should be reliable. But if Canvas says your average for the semester so far is 90.32%, that might be wrong by a significant margin.

Academic Integrity Policy

As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning." Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

All infractions of academic dishonesty by undergraduates must be reported to Undergraduate Studies for resolution through that office. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use the Plagiarism Resolution Form.

See the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy website for additional information and the current catalogue for the policy.

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. A less likely possibility would be one student looking sideways during a test, and copying the answers being written by the student in the adjacent seat.

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 Statement

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 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. This Title IX policy is located on the Campus Life website. Ms. Alesia Smith is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator, and the Executive Director of Equity Compliance. Her office is located at 223 Brackett Hall, 864.656.0620. Remember, email is not a fully secured method of communication and should not be used to discuss Title IX issues.

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 this class should let the instructor 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, by emailing, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building. Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen, if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments. Students who have accommodations are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and send these to their instructors through the AIM portal 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 at the Student Accessibility Website. Other information is at the university’s Accessibility Portal.

Emergency Preparedness Statement

Emergency procedures have been posted in all buildings and on all elevators. Students should be reminded to review these procedures for their own safety. All students and employees should be familiar with guidelines from the Clemson Police Department. Visit here for information about safety.

Policy on late work

Under normal circumstances, my policy for most written assignments is: If you do not turn it in on time, 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. 40-point papers will not usually be accepted at all (you just get an F) if they are more than seven days late. 10-point short questions about the reading are not accepted late at all, but if you miss getting one by thirty seconds, that will just be one of the ones that does not count toward the final grade. Don't miss more than two.

Attendance policy

You are allowed up to six cuts INCLUDING EXCUSED ABSENCES. You lose two points for every unexcused absense after that. I would advise you not to take even five. I am going to be saying quite a few things in lectures that are not in the reading. Even if you are very careful about doing all the assigned reading, you will have trouble answering the questions on my tests if you have not been at the lectures.

If I am Late

If I have not gotten to class by five minutes after it was supposed to begin, I would be grateful if a student would go bang on my office door and see whether I am there. If I still have not arrived by ten minutes after the time the class 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.

January 11: Introduction to the class

January 13: The background of Japanese civilization:
>>> Gordon, pp. 3-9
>>> Hane, pp. 3-9

January 16: Martin Luther King's Birthday Holiday: NO CLASS

January 18: Japan under Tokugawa Rule
>>> Gordon, pp. 11-34

January 20: The Western Impact
>>> Gordon, pp. 35-57

January 23: The "Meiji Restoration"
>>> Gordon, pp. 57-76

January 25: 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.)

January 27: Rural Life
>>> Hane, pp. 9-33

January 30: Rural Life, continued
>>> Hane, pp. 33-62

                January 30: Quiz

February 1: Rural life, continued; Rural women
>>> Hane, pp. 62-101

February 3: Female Textile Workers
>>> Hane, pp. 173-204

February 6: Paper due, to be turned in on Canvas by midnight. There is no assigned reading, but we will have class, part of which will be devoted to discussion of the paper.

February 8: Urban Life
>>> Gordon, pp. 98-116

February 10: The Growth of the Japanese Empire
>>> Gordon, pp. 117-141

February 13: Rural poverty
>>> Hane, pp. 103-136

February 15: Outcastes
>>> Hane, pp. 138-71

February 17: Poverty and Prostitution; begin the story of woman rebel Ito Noe
>>> Hane, pp. 206-225, 247-52

February 20: Women Rebels, continued
>>> Hane, pp. 252-292

February 22: Economy and Society
>>> Gordon, pp. 143-165

February 24: Coal Miners; review
>>> Hane, pp. 227-245

  TEST February 27

March 1: Politics and International Relations in the 1920s
>>> Gordon, pp. 166-186

March 3: The Depression and the rise of Japanese militarism
>>> Gordon, pp. 187-208

March 6: The Second World War.
>>> Gordon, pp. 209-22

March 8: The Second World War, continued
>>> Gordon, pp. 222-31
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 19-30

March 10, 13: The American Occupation of Japan
>>> Gordon, pp. 232-51
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 30-45

March 15, 17: The New Japan
>>> Gordon, pp. 253-77
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 46-58
>>> Hane, pp. 295-320

March 20-24:     SPRING BREAK

March 27: Politics in the New Japan
>>> Gordon, pp. 278-300

March 29: Kakuei Tanaka and his political machine
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 59-90.

April 3: The Strange Victory of Kakuei Tanaka
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 91-125.

April 5: Tanaka in Power, Continued:
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 126-155

April 7: The Bubble of the 1980s
>>> Gordon, pp. 301-321

April 10, 12: Japan in the 1980s; the changing international environment; The Second Generation of the Gundan
>>> Schlesinger, Part III

April 14: Major problems for the economy
>>> Gordon, pp. 322-36

April 17: The Gundan in decay
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 229-264

April 19: The possibility of political change?
>>> Gordon, pp. 322-329.
>>> Schlesinger, pp. 264-285

April 21: Into the 21st century
>>> Gordon, pp. 329-350.

April 26, 28: Japan since 2008
>>> Gordon, pp. 351-75.

FINAL EXAM Friday, May 5, 3:00 p.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 January 11, 2023.