Trent E. Maxey (Section 01)
(Also History 17.) This course surveys the societies, cultures, and traditions of the Japanese archipelago from pre-history to 1700. We will examine critical themes in early Japanese history, including the rise of the Yamato court, influences from the Chinese continent and Korean peninsula, the Heian court, the emergence of samurai rule, as well as the civil wars and cosmopolitanism of the sixteenth century, concluding with the pacification of the realm under the Tokugawa shoguns in the seventeenth century. We will read eighth-century mythology, Heian court literature, chronicles of war, as well as religious and philosophical texts, asking how they refract the diverse experiences of early Japanese history. Classes will entail lectures coupled with close readings and discussion. Requirements include short response papers and topical essays. Three class meetings per week. First semester. Professor Maxey.