1hfa5-1: Japan

Japan_sliderJapan is the third largest national economy in the world. Now, however, it is a net importer with a staggering debt-to-GDP and a shrinking population; how will Japan’s insular culture emerge from the multiple crises it faces in the next generation? Register here.


Course Summary

A First History for Adults, Part 5 consists of three segments–Japan, China, and India–which form an integrated thematic whole, but can also be purchased and learned separately or in installments.

In this first segment we will explore Japan: past, present, and future. We will trace the development of its native political and religious culture from its earliest pre-historical roots, with a special emphasis on the penetration of Buddhism from Asia, and its interaction with the native belief, known as Shintoism. We will track the fortunes of Japan’s imperial government from its foundation, through its anarchical feudal period, through to the unique culmination of centralized government in the form of the “Shogunate,” just as Europeans were beginning to penetrate into Japan.

The main theme of the course will be Japan’s adaptation to the global supremacy of Western civilization. This exploration will begin with the uniquely Japanese pairing of the sakoku or “closed-country” policy and rangoku or “Western learning.” The former was shattered by the arrival of American Commodore Perry and his “black ships” in 1854, but the latter would help to position Japan for a shocking phase of modernization unparalleled elsewhere in Asia. Undergoing centuries of change in just decades, Japan desperately struggled to rise into the ranks of the world’s great powers, ultimately deciding upon an imperial policy in Asia to achieve it. How did Japan’s defeat in WWII, occupation, and long-term subordination by the United States during the Cold War and since shape its culture? As its economy falters and its demographic situation becomes desperate in the 21st century, how will its bankrupt government and people react? A distinct possibility exists that Japan will return to being one of America’s greatest enemies. Find out why!


Program Features and Details for 1HFA5-1

  • 8 webcast lectures, each 1.25 hours, for a total of 10 hours of instruction
  • Lectures given using WEBEX on-line conferencing, and include interactive visuals.
    • Screencast recordings available for streaming and download on-line.
  • Audio recordings also available in MP3 format and on iTunes
    • Listen anytime, and as many times as you like, in your preferred format!
  • Yahoo! Group forum available for registered students.
  • “Facts practice sheets” that summarize the history of each major period
  • Tips and unique exercises to help you integrate and retain the material



Save even more when you bundle this course with other Asian history courses! Find out more here.

$189 (SUMMER SALE: $169)
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