The History of Japan since 1945 :
戦後日本の歴史 [Sengo Nihon no Rekishi]
Instructor: Professor Jacob Kovalio
A. This fascinating course traces the evolution of Japan, domestically and internationally for the past 7 decades. The survey of the political framework commences with the end of the Second World War and emperor Hirohito’s 1946 Human Being Declaration [人間宣言- Ningen Sengen] as well as the Allied Occupation and its legacy, the Peace Constitution and its impact – from the emperor’s position to defense, women’s rights and education- and the workings of the “’55 System” which has been dominated by the Liberal-Democratic Party [LDP] for 57 inconsecutive years. The saga of Japan’s postwar economic development culminating in the burst of the speculative “bubble”  and its aftermath, as well as accompanying phenomena – shuntō, karōshi, otaku, homelessness, hikikomori – are examined. The coverage of foreign policy includes the Yoshida Doctrine and the pivotal relationship with the United States, as well as ties with China (and its aggressive hegemonism particularly since the 2012 second Abe administration), Russia, the Republic of Korea [ROK] and North Korea and the rest of the world but also topical elements such as defense, foreign aid and soft power. Regionalism – from ASEAN+3 through the East Asia Summit [EAS] and ideas like the Arc of Democracy and Prosperity and Yūai [Pan -Asian Fraternity] are considered, too. In order to give all participants a uniform starting point, a brief review commencing with the Tokugawa era [1603-1868] opens the course. Students are urged to visit regularly the website of the Japan Studies Association of Canada [JSAC.com].
B. Students will benefit greatly from regular attendance [two 1.5 hour weekly classes]. Questions and debates are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. However, Social Networking and Eating are allowed ONLY during breaks.
C. GRADING has three components : 1- A TYPEWRITTEN/hard copy , research essay which makes up 50% of the grade. 2 – The in-class final exam – an identification and definition test, constituting 30% of the grade .3 – Attendance: 20%. Deadlines/Complete Assignments are Mandatory to be in Good Standing.
D. The basic text for the course is : Jeff, Kingston Japan in Transformation , 1945-2010, Pearson Education, 2010, 2nd ed. No less important is the instructor’s Coursepack – a most useful learning and note-taking tool, very conveniently priced and available in the Bookstore.