As the US works to maintain its dominant position in Asia, and as China's influence grows stronger and stronger in the region, what about Japan? By understanding Japan's modern history can we determine what role Japan might choose to exercise or be able to exercise in this increasingly strategically important part of the world?
In this sdg we will study Japanese history from the Tokugawa shogunate beginning in 1600 through the modernizing revolution launched by midlevel samurai in the late 19th century known as the Meiji Restoration. We will consider how the restoration of the Japanese monarchy remarkably facilitated, rather than thwarted, Japan's westernization and modernization, and its rise as a global power. We will also study the rise of Japanese nationalism and the Japanese empire, World War II and the American occupation, the post-war recovery, and the economic and political roller coaster which has led to the Japan of today. In addition to understanding Japan's past, we will also examine Japan's struggle to define its role in the world, especially its relationship with the United States, China and its Asian neighbors.