Japan 1600-1900: From Shogunate to Global Power

April 21, 2018
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Professional Development Course

Japan 1600-1900: From Tokugawa Shogunate to Global Power

This 25-hour, five-session professional development course examines historical experiences in Japan during the Tokugawa period (1600-1867) and offers an introduction to the Meiji period (1868-1912), during which Japan underwent a transformation from a relatively isolated, fragmented land to a modern nation central to the development of world events. This two-credit course provides participants with the resources and skills to create and refine lesson plans for the middle and high school classroom.

2P credit is available from the NYC Department of Education for in-service teachers. To receive credit for CTLE or PD credit, participants must also register for this course on the ASPDP website.

Full course registration: $125/$110 Japan Society members

Course Schedule

Saturday, March 3, 9 AM – 4PM (A la carte registration: $30/$25 members. Register →)

  • Creating Peace: 17th Century Japan
    The morning session will focus on how Japan was transformed from a land in constant warfare to a country at peace with a stable political system. Participants will explore the Tokugawa Shogunate’s control of the vassals, along with its control of rural and urban areas and Buddhist temples. The growth of commerce and the management of the economy will also be addressed.
  • Building a Culture: 17th Century Japan
    The afternoon session will examine Confucianism in the early Tokugawa Period, including the spread of Neo-Confucianism ideals. Participants will examine original documents on the varieties of Tokugawa Confucianism and political action, education for children, death and samurai, national learning and the revival of Shintoism.

Friday, March 16, 6 PM – 8 PM (A la carte registration: $30/$25 members. Register →)

  • The Flowering of the Arts in Tokugawa Japan
    During this session, participants will have the opportunity to engage with artifacts in the exhibition A Giant Leap, hosted at Japan Society, as well as engage with academics involved with the study of traditional Japanese aesthetics. This discussion will provide insights to Tokugawa Period art, and the way in which the Tokugawa Shogunate sought to represent itself and its policies to the country. Particular attention will be given to the role of Hasegawa Tōhaku (founder of the Hasegawa School of painting and leading master of Japan’s artisans).

Saturday, April 21, 9 AM – 4PM (A la carte registration: $30/$25 members. Register →)

  • Economic and Cultural Transformations and Political Stagnation
    The morning session will examine and explore how transformations in Japan’s economic system related to the creation of an increased cultural identity. Participants will review the varieties of Tokugawa Confucianism, and will examine how Confucianism was linked to political action. The session will focus on the educational practices of young people during this time, a growing knowledge of the West, and Shinto revival. Special emphasis will also be placed on the food culture of the Tokugawa period, with a hands-on opportunity to engage with the preparation, presentation (and possibly the consumption) of related food.
  • National Learning and the Literary and Theatre Arts
    The afternoon session will examine Japanese poetry and the literature of the Tokugawa and Meiji era. Participants will explore the historical backgrounds of such writers as Matsuo Basho (the most famous poet of the Tokugawa Period), and literary connections to the theater arts of Noh and Kabuki. In addition, participants will examine Meiji authors, including Natsume Soseki, Akutagawa Ryunosuke and others.

Sunday, April 22, 9 AM – 4PM (A la carte registration: $30/$25 members. Register →)

  • Decline of the Tokugawa System and Integration into the Global System: 1800-1882
    The morning session will examine the decay of the Tokugawa system, including the bakufu system and shogun, and the debates that centered on the opening of Japan. Attention will be given to the landing of Townsend Harris in Shimoda, Japan; the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (or the “Harris Treaty of 1858”); the disputes of succession in Japan’s Imperial Line; and the move toward restoration.
  • Meiji Era Reforms and Transformation
    In the afternoon session, participants will continue to explore the foundations of early Meiji government and the move toward a centralization of power. They will examine the Iwakura Mission, and the insights Japan sought to obtain from the US and UK in the areas of industry, politics, military and education. The session will review political inequalities and the rights of people, the making of the Meiji constitution and the (Imperial) Rescript on Education.

Sunday, May 13, 9 AM – 4PM (A la carte registration: $30/$25 members. Register →)

  • Creating a National Culture & Becoming a World Power: 1881-1900
    Participants will examine the political rise of Japan through the Meiji Restoration, including a review of the making of the constitution, the centralization of state power, Japan’s connections to other Asian neighbors, the establishment of first Prime Minister, and the founding of large-scale corporations that would impact the economic rise and prosperity of Japan.
  • Saturday, April 21, 2018
  • 9:00 am