HUMN 3060 Modern Japanese History

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 100271

Coordinator Peter Mauch Opens in new window

Description This subject considers Japan's trajectory from the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the atomic bombings in 1945. We will examine the samurai and ritual suicide, the tea ceremony and Zen Buddhism. We will read tales told by those who frequented the "floating world," populated by wealthy merchants, geisha, and sumo wrestlers. We will consider the creation of Imperial Japan, and we will study its emergence as the only non-Western Great Power. We will enquire into Japan's fledgling democracy in the 1920s, and its descent into militarism and aggression in the 1930s. Finally, we will consider Japan's participation in World War II: its victories, its losses, its propaganda, and its abject defeat.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline History

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. analyze important events, both domestic and international, that have shaped modern Japan;
  2. critique the role of the emperors in modern Japanese history;
  3. evaluate the ways in which the Japanese, from all walks of life, have responded to seminal events;
  4. apply academic skills of research, appropriate to the discipline of history including the discriminating use of sources, analysis, and the communication of ideas in both oral and written forms.

Subject Content

1. Battle of Sekigahara
2. The Tokugawa Shogunate
3. Japan?fs Meiji restoration (1868)
4. Modernization and Westernization
5. Victory in the Sino-Japanese (1894-95) and Russo-Japanese (1904-05) Wars
6. Death of the Meiji Emperor
7. Taisho Democracy and cooperation with the Anglo-American powers
8. Militarism, aggression, and increasing isolation
9. World War II


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 1,500 words 35 N Individual
Literature Review 1,500 words 35 N Individual
Viva Voce 15 mins (equivalent of 1,000 words) 30 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Peter Mauch Opens in new window

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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


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