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The Age of Shogun: Japanese History 1600-1868

This course provides a general overview over early modern Japanese society during the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868).  During this period, foreign relations were strictly regulated. Nevertheless, economical and cultural relations with European and Asian peoples existed. We will examine these non-state relations and discuss how they may have contributed to the flourishing of Japanese society. In week 4 we will visit the Weston Library to see the original logbook of William Adam's, the first Englishman who came to Japan.

We will discuss the status system of early modern Japanese society and learn how different people experienced their everyday lives. Whereas conventional historiography focuses on the biographies of "great men", our course will also pay due attention to the lives of women and children. We will learn about art and popular culture, including Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e). In week 8 we will visit the Ashmolean Museum to see the Japan 1600-1850 collection.

Our course will discuss the high level of education and literacy during the Tokugawa period. We will conclude with a class on the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the "opening" of  Japan (kaikoku) to Western countries.

Date created:

2019-10-01 10:58
Tutor: 
Course type: 

Resources for this course

Displaying 1 - 31 of 31
Type Resource Description People Full details
Document Carl Peter Thunberg (1791) on Japanese housing

This is a historical source on Japanese housing. We will use it in our class on everyday life during the age of Shogun.

view
Document Handout 1 Introduction

This is the handout of our first class: Introduction to the Age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe view
Document Powerpoint Introduction

This is the powerpoint presentation used in our introductory class

Pia Jolliffe view
Document Joao Rodrigues (1620-1621) on Japanese food

This is a text we will use for our class on everyday life during the Age of Shogun

view
Document Handout Everyday Life during the age of Shogun

This is the handout for the lecture on Everdayday Life during the Age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Powerpoint Everyday Life during the Age of Shogun

This is the powerpoint presentation for the lecture on everyday life during the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document William Adam's letter from Japan

This is a letter, William Adams, the first English man in Japan, wrote to his wife in the year 1611.

Document Edicts regulating foreign relations 1635 and 1639

These are translations of the Japanese edicts regulating foreign relations, issued in 1635 and 1639

Document Handout Foreign Relations

This is the handout for our class on foreign relations during the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Powerpoint Foreign Relations

This is the powerpoint presentation for our class on foreign relations during the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document The Japonian Charters. The English and Dutch Shuinjo

This is an academic article about the Shuinjo (vermilion-seal document) we are going to see at the Weston Library next week. The article...

Document Onna Daigaku (The Greater Learning for Women, 1716)

This is an excerpt from the classical work Onna Daigaku (The Greater Learning for Women) which was used in conduct books for samurai girls...

Document Koshoku ichidai otoko (The Life of an Amorous Man) 1682

This is an excerpt of Ihara Saikaku's novel Koshoku ichidai otoko (The Life of an Amorous Man) which is largely set in Shimabara, the...

Document Handout Women in the Age of Shogun

This is the handout for our class on "Women in the Age of Shogun"

Pia Jolliffe
Document Powerpoint Women in the Age of Shogun

This is the powerpoint presentation of our class on "Women in the Age of Shogun"

Pia Jolliffe
Document Shikitei Sanba's "The Women's Bath" (1810)

This is an excerpt of Shikitei Sanba 's book Bathhouse of the Floating World (Ukiyoburo, 1810). We use it for our class on "...

Document Yamakawa Kikue's Women of the Mito Domain, chapter on children's amusements

This is an excerpt of Yamakawa Kikue's book Women of the Mito Domain. The text offers a good description of samurai girls' amusements in...

Document Handout Childhood during the Age of Shogun

This is the handout for our class on childhood during the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Powerpoint Childhood during the Age of Shogun

This is the powerpoint presentation of our class on childhood during the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Flower of Edo, excerpt from a Kabuki play

This is an excerpt of the Kabuki play "Flower of Edo" for our class on Art and Popular Culture

Document Shiba Kokan

This is a text by the Japanese artist Shiba Kokan on Western art 

Document Art and Popular Culture during the Age of Shogun (Handout)

This is the handout we used for our class on Art and Popular Culture during the Age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Art and Popular Culture during the Age of Shogun (Powerpoint Presentation)

This is the powerpoint presentation used during our class on Art and Popular Culture during the Age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Annen's Precepts for the Young

This is a text originally written bey the 9th century Buddhist monk Annen. The maximes and precepts expressed in this text were used for the...

Document Hosoi Heishu's sermon to the people (1783)

This is a typical sermon delivered to a gathering of commoners on the countryside. These kind of sermons were considered a kind of "continuing...

Document Education and Literacy - Handout

This is the handout we used for our class on education and literacy during the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Education and Literacy - Powerpoint

This is the powerpoint presentation of our class on education and literacy during the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Excerpt from Aizawa Seishisai's Shinron (1825)

Aizawa Seishisai's Shinron (new theses) is a an important document. Written in 1825 for his Aizu domain lord, the daimyo Nariaki, the manuscript...

Document Shiba Goro's Remembering Aizu

At the battle of Aizu (1868) Shiba Goro was only 10 years old. Years later, he wrote his memoires of this period - the last days of the Shogunate...

Document Final Years of the Age of Shogun Handout

This is the handout for our class on the final years of the age of Shogun

Pia Jolliffe
Document Final Years of the Age of Shogun Powerpoint

This is the powerpoint presentation of our class on the final years of the age of Shogun.

Pia Jolliffe