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You are here: Home en Syllabuses (2020) Graduate School of Letters Taught in English JK17005Research 1~3-Seminar (SEG)(Lecture)

JK17005Research 1~3-Seminar (SEG)(Lecture)


Numbering Code
  • G-LET36 6JK17 LE36
Term 2020/Second semester
Number of Credits 2 credits
Course Type special lecture
Target Student Graduate
Language English
Day/Period Thu.2
  • Graduate School of Education, Professor SANO MAYUKO
Outline and Purpose of the Course This course aims to explore Japanese diplomacy during the last decade of the Tokugawa Shogunate, through in-depth readings of documents (such as memoirs, diaries, and diplomatic correspondences) written by people who worked on the ground during that time.
In the course of 2020, we will mainly look into writings of Rutherford Alcock, the first British Consul General/Minister to Japan, who held office from 1858 until 1865. Alcock's time was an extremely important inaugurating period of Japan's modern diplomacy, or a transitional chapter from early-modern to modern external relations.
This course also aims to expand the students' view, through readings and discussions, to understand what happened in Japan during this period in a broader East Asian context.
Course Goals Students will understand the transcultural nature of Japan's path in the late 19th century and become familiar with historical studies by carefully following an individual's experiences.
It is also an important objective of the course to critically discuss people's conducts and development of their work in the forefront of facing a different culture.
Schedule and Contents Week 1:

Week 2-13:
Discussions on Alcock's experiences mainly through his representative book "The capital of the tycoon: A narrative of a three years' residence in Japan" (2 Vols., 1863), in combination with some other sources when necessary, including his diplomatic correspondence.

Expected focuses are:
1) Alcock's arrival in Japan and and the beginning of a new life (3 weeks);
2) His early diplomatic negotiations with the Tokugawa shogunate and the beginning of Japan's modern diplomacy (3 weeks);
3) Changes of Alcock's views on Japan's current status and his further understanding of Japanese culture (3 weeks);
4) His efforts for promoting Japanese culture to Europe (3 weeks).

Classes will consist of:
- Students' presentations on assingned readings (mainly from the above-mentioned book);
- Discussions and further analyses in class; and
- Introduction to additional sources and reading materials.

Week 14-15:
Final presentations and discussions (feedback) on the students' plans for their final papers.

Note: The schedule and contents of the course may be reconsidered depending on the number of students, their knowledge of the Japanese language, and other related conditions.
Grading Policy Evaluation criteria:
1) Oral presentations (each with an outline of several pages to be shared with all participants): 40%
2) Term paper (approx. 5,000 words): 60%
Prerequisites Each student will be assigned in-depth readings and related research about a particular part of Alcock's writings and will give at least two oral presentations (mid-term and final) during the course. All students are expected to have read the part to be covered in each class, if not personally assigned, and to actively participate in discussions.
Preparation and Review See [Class requirement].
  • The capital of the tycoon: A narrative of a three years' residence in Japan (2 Vols.), Alcock, Rutherford, (Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green),
  • Art and art industries in Japan, Alcock, Rutherford, (Virtue and Co., limited),