Japanese Intellectual History I-E2

Numbering Code U-LAS01 20013 LE38 Year/Term 2021 ・ First semester
Number of Credits 2 Course Type Lecture
Target Year All students Target Student For all majors
Language English Day/Period Tue.2
Instructor name Niels van Steenpaal (Graduate School of Education Associate Professor)
Outline and Purpose of the Course This course will introduce the student to the “intellectual history” of the Tokugawa and Meiji periods (1600-1911), both as a body of knowledge, and as a particular historical method. That is, besides deepening our understanding of the philosophies, ideologies, and mentalities that helped shape this period, we will also develop the skills necessary to meaningfully examine these ideas as academic problems. Rather than a chronological survey, the approach of this course is thematic. Each class will focus on one particular idea/phenomenon, reconstruct the way in which Tokugawa and Meiji contemporaries thought (or did not think) about this issue, and reflect upon the significance of these findings to our own ways of looking at the world.
Course Goals Upon the successful completion of this course, students will:
(1)be familiar with the presuppositions and narratives of historical theory.
(2)have a general understanding of the ideas and ideologies of the Japanese early modern and modern period.
(3)learn to use the historical method to question cultural assumptions.
Schedule and Contents The tentative weekly topic schedule is as follows:
1.Introduction
2.What is History?
3.What is Intellectual History?
4.What is Japan?
5.Premodern Time
6.Modern Time
7.Historical Time
8.Japanese Space
9.Asian Space
10.Oriental Space
11.Travel
12.What is Nature?
13.Primary Nature
14.Secondary Nature
15.(final exam)
16.Feedback

(Please note that the above themes and their order might vary from year to year)
Evaluation Methods and Policy Grading will be based on attendance, participation and a final exam:
40% Attendance & Participation
60% Final Exam
(Students who are absent more than 4 times will automatically fail this course)
Course Requirements As a survey introduction class, this course will require no reading preparations, but basic competence in English is required to fruitfully engage in class and the exam. Furthermore, although not a strict requirement, it is recommended that the student will either precede or follow up this course with the fall semester Japanese Intellectual History II.
Study outside of Class (preparation and review) Reviewing class notes and possibly clarifying unclear items through independent study.
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