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Origin Myths in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki
Origin Myths in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki
Women Rulers: Pimiko, the Queen of Wa

History of the Kingdom of Wei (Wei Zhi), ca. 297 CE
History of the Kingdom of Wei (Wei Zhi) [PDF]

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Buddhism in Japan
Remaking the Japanese Government after the Chinese Model

Prince Shôtoku, 573-621; Constitution, 604 CE
The Constitution of Prince Shôtoku [PDF]

Emperor Kôtoku, 596-654; Reform Edict, 646 CE
The Reform Edict of Taika [PDF]

Emperor Kammu, 737-806; Kondei System, 792 CE
The Kondei System: An Official Order of the Council of State [PDF]

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Manyôshû, compiled 7th century; Kokinshû, compiled 8th to 10th centuries
The Manyôshû and Kokinshû Poetry Collections

What Is a waka?

Excerpts from The Pillow Book of Sei Shônagon

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New Sects in Buddhism

Shinran, 1173-1263, founder of the Jodo Shinshu (The True Teaching of the Pure Land)
Shinran's Lamentation and Self-Reflection [PDF]

Dôgen Zenji, 1200-1253, founder of the Soto Zen sect
Dôgen's How to Practice Buddhism (Bendôwa) [PDF]

Nichiren, 1222-1282, founder of the Nichiren sect
Nichiren's Rectification for the Peace of the Nation (Risshô Ankoku Ron) [PDF]

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Government: Maintaining Order during Times of Political Transition

Minamoto Yoritomo, 1147-1199, and the Kamakura Bakufu
Selected Documents of the Kamakura Bakufu [PDF]

Ashikaga Takauji, 1305-1358
The Kemmu Shikimoku (Kemmu Code) [PDF]

Imagawa Sadayo (Imagawa Ryôshun), 1325-1420
Articles of Admonition by Imagawa Ryôshun to His Son Nakaaki [PDF]

Asakura Toshikage, 1428-14851
The Seventeen-Article Injunction of Asakura Toshikage [PDF]

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War Tales: The Tale of the Heike
Military: The Northern Song Defeated by the Jurchen Jin
Literature: Chômei and Kenkô
The Government of the Tokugawa Shôgunate
Social Hierarchy under the Tokugawa Shôgunate
The Samurai Class
The Merchant Class
Literature: Comic Novels, Comic Verse; Poetry of Matsuo Bashô; Drama
Reflections on Encounters with "the West" and Japan's Modernization
The Meiji Government
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
U.S. Forces Japan to "Open" Its Ports

Millard Fillmore, 1800-1874; Matthew Perry, 1794-1858
Commodore Perry and Japan (1853-1854)
On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy, commanding a squadron of two steamers and two sailing vessels, sailed into Tôkyô harbor aboard the frigate Susquehanna and forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States. This unit examines that historical exchange with an introductory essay and an examination of the three letters that President Fillmore and Commodore Perry wrote to the Japanese emperor [PDF].

Excerpts from the Letter from Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito) to President Ulysses S. Grant, on the Iwakura Mission, 1871
"In 1871, the fledgling Meiji government dispatched a mission [the Iwakura Mission] of almost fifty high officials and scholars to travel around the world, including extended tours of the United States... The leaders of the mission also attempted to begin the renegotiation of the 'unequal treaties' — the exploitative diplomatic and economic agreements imposed by the Western powers on Japan in the 1850s... This letter from the Emperor Meiji was presented to U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant when the Iwakura Mission visited Washington, D.C."

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Codes of Merchant Houses, Late Tokugawa Period

Codes of Merchant Houses: The Code of the Okaya House (1836) [PDF]
"Although merchants were accorded low social status in the Tokugawa order and the Confucian orthodoxy of the time, commerce thrived in early modern Japan. ... The Okaya house was based in Nagoya in central Japan and had its origins trading in hardware. This code was written by Okaya Sanezumi, under whose leadership the house prospered, in 1836."

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Nationalism and Propaganda
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905); World War I and Its Aftermath
Japan and World War II; The Atomic Bomb; Allied/American Occupation of Japan
Japan's Postwar Military Policy

Article 9 and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty
Both Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution [PDF], which prohibits Japan from maintaining military forces for settlement of international disputes, and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, which allows the U.S. military to maintain bases on Japanese soil, have been at the center of controversy both in Japan and the United States. This unit includes an essay that explores the changing attitudes towards these two agreements, as well as two primary-source readings: the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty of 1951 [PDF] and the revised security treaty of 1960 [PDF]. With discussion questions for students.

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Literature: Kawabata Yasunari (1889-1972)
© 2009 Asia for Educators, Columbia University | http://afe.easia.columbia.edu