Fall 2009

Japanese History to 1700

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-25  |  History, as HIST-17


Trent E. Maxey (Section 01)


(Offered as History 17 [ASP] and Asian 25 [J].) This course surveys the history of the Japanese archipelago from pre-history to the early-1700s. 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 aristocratic culture of the Heian court, the emergence of samurai rule, as well as the civil wars and cosmopolitanism of the sixteenth century.  We will conclude with the pacification of the realm under the Tokugawa shoguns in the seventeenth century and the rise of a vibrant urban culture in the early-eighteenth 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.

Fall semester. Professor Maxey.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2015