HSTAS 424/JSIS A 424
The Emergence of Postwar Japan
Professor Kenneth B. Pyle
Teaching Assistant: Ian Smith email@example.com
This course studies the historic forces that shaped postwar Japan’s emergence as a world power and gives considerable emphasis to US-Japan relations. It begins with World War Two in Asia, unconditional surrender policy, the American decision to use the atomic bomb, Soviet entry into the war, and the Japanese decision to surrender. It continues with consideration of the American Occupation’s reforms, the formation of a US-Japan alliance, Japan’s choice of a new national purpose concentrating on economic growth, the mechanisms of its rapid economic growth, postwar pacifism and nationalism, development of Japanese style democracy, the values in the education system and in middle class society, the quiet “revolution” of Japanese women, Japan’s troubles in the post-Cold War era, the growing concerns over tensions on the Korean peninsula and the rise of China.
There are no prerequisites for this course, but students are encouraged to read about prewar Japan in chapters 5-10 of Kenneth B. Pyle, The Making of Modern Japan (third edition, 2016), which is available in electronic reserves (Canvas), to understand the background of prewar Japanese history.
Organization of the Course
This course is organized as an intensive reading/writing course. There will be no regular lectures and no examinations. Instead, students will write five essays over the ten-week course. Essays will be focused on major issues raised in the Required Readings. Topics for the essays will be assigned at two-week intervals. Students will have five days to write their essays before submitting them by email. Undergraduate essays will be 750 words or less. Graduate student essays will be 1200 words or less.
Essays will be graded and returned with feedback on the content and on the writing style. The final grade for the course will be based on the grades of the five essays and on improvement shown.
The goal of the course is to improve student writing skills and prod students to think about the dynamics of change and the forces that shaped postwar Japan.
Several books are available for purchase at the University Book Store: Japan in the American Century, Embracing Defeat, Cultures of War, Postwar Japan as History, and In the Realm of a Dying Emperor. These books are also available on four-hour reserve in Odegaard Undergraduate Library (OUGL) if it is open. Japan in the American Century and Postwar Japan as History are also available from the library as ebooks.
Other assigned readings are on electronic reserve (Canvas).
Weekly Readings and Writing Assignments
(NOTE THAT READINGS MARKED BY AN * ARE REQUIRED ONLY OF GRADUATE STUDENTS)
I. Week of March 30: The Prewar Background
Kenneth B. Pyle, The Making of Modern Japan (D.C. Heath, Second Edition, 1996), ch. 11 (available on Canvas).
Kenneth B. Pyle, Japan in the American Century (Harvard, 2018), Introduction and Ch. 1.
*Kenneth B. Pyle, Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (PublicAffairs Books, 2007), chs. 1-2.
II. Week of April 6: The Asia-Pacific War
John W. Dower, Cultures of War (Norton, 2010), pp. 151-285.
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 2.
[Students may wish to see an excellent video entitled “The Real Tojo,” which is available on YouTube. Also, if you google “Roosevelt’s war speech” you will get a feel of the determination to fight an all-out war.]
*Pyle, Japan Rising, chs. 3-6.
FIRST WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Will be announced Friday, April 10 and should be finished and sent in by Wednesday, April 15.
III. Week of April 13: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Politics of Surrender
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 3
Pyle, The Making of Modern Japan, ch. 12.
John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, (Norton 1999), chs. 1-3.
Henry L. Stimson, “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb,” Harper’s Magazine
*Herbert Bix, “Japan’s Delayed Surrender,” in Hiroshima in History and Memory, Michael Hogan, ed. (Cambridge 1996).
*John W. Dower, “The Bombed: Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japanese Memory” in Hiroshima in History and Memory.
*Kenneth B. Pyle, “Hiroshima and the Historians,” Asia-Pacific Review (November 2015), vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 14-27.
IV. Week of April 20: The American Occupation
Dower, Embracing Defeat, chs. 9-13.
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 4.
Ruth Benedict, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (Houghton Mifflin, 1946), ch. 3.
Susan J. Pharr, “The Politics of Women’s Rights,” in Ward and Sakamoto, Democratizing Japan, pp. 221-252.
[Students can get a feel for General MacArthur’s life and personality from two videos available on YouTube: 1) The American Experience MacArthur PBS and 2) American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur]
*Herbert Bix, “Inventing the Symbol Monarchy,” Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 21, no. 2 (Summer 1995), pp. 319-364.
*Theodore H. McNelly, “‘Induced Revolution’: The Policy and Process of Constitutional Reform in Occupied Japan,” in Robert E. Ward and Sakamoto Yoshikazu, Democratizing Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 1987), pp. 76-106.
*John W. Dower, “The Useful War,” in Essays on War and Peace (New Press, 1993), pp. 9-32.
*Lisa Yoneyama, “Liberation und Siege: U.S. Military Occupation and Japanese Women’s Enfranchisement,” American Quarterly.
SECOND WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Will be announced on Friday, April 24 and should be finished and sent in by Wednesday, April 29.
V. Week of April 27: The Anpo Demonstrations and the Progressives’ Challenge
Justin Jesty, “Tokyo 1960: Days of Rage, Days of Grief,” Japan Focus
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, chs. 4-5
Dower, Embracing Defeat, chs. 15-16.
*Pyle, Japan Rising, ch. 7.
VI. Week of May 4: Yoshida Shigeru and the Postwar System
Chalmers Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle (Stanford, 1982), ch. 2.
Pyle, Making of Modern Japan, ch. 13.
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 7.
*Pyle, Japan Rising, ch. 8.
THIRD WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Will be announced on Friday, May 8 and should be finished and sent in by Wednesday, May 13.
VII. Week of May 11: Economic Nationalism and Postwar Japanese Capitalism
Pyle, Making of Modern Japan, ch. 14.
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 8.
Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle, ch. 6.
Thomas Rohlen, “Building Character,” in Rohlen and LeTendre, Teaching and Learning in Japan (Cambridge 1995).
*Richard Katz, Japan: The System that Soured (M.E. Sharpe, 1998), chs. 6-7.
*Kozo Yamamura and Jan Vandenberg, “Japan’s Rapid Growth Policy on Trial,” in Law and Trade Issues of the Japanese Economy, Gary R. Saxonhouse and Kozo Yamamura, eds. (University of Washington Press, 1986), pp. 238-278.
VIII. Week of May 18: New Middle-Class Society and the “Quiet Revolution” of Women
Pyle, Making of Modern Japan, ch. 15.
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 9.
Thomas P. Rohlen, Japan’s High Schools (University of California, 1983), chs. 3 and 8.
Andrew Gordon, ed., Postwar Japan as History, chs. 11, 12.
*Sheldon Garon, “State and family in modern Japan: a historical perspective”, Economy and Society, 39:3, 317-336.
*Robert J. Smith, “Gender Inequality in Contemporary Japan,” Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Winter, 1987), pp. 1-25.
FOURTH WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Will be announced on Friday, May 22 and should be finished and sent in by Wednesday, May 27.
IX. Week of May 25: Postwar Japanese Democracy
Chalmers Johnson, “Japan: Who Governs? An Essay on Official Bureaucracy,” Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 2, no.1 (Autumn 1975), pp. 1-28.
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 10.
Norma Field, In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: A Portrait of Japan at Century’s End (Pantheon, 1991), all.
*T. J. Pempel, “The Unbundling of ‘Japan, Inc.’: The Changing Dynamics of Japanese Policy Formation,” in The Trade Crisis: How Will Japan Respond? Kenneth B. Pyle, ed (1987), pp. 117-152.
*Richard Lloyd Parry, “Akihito and the Sorrows of Japan,” London Review of Books, vol. 42, no. 6, (March 19, 2020).
X. Week of June 1: Japan in the Twilight of the American Century
Pyle, Japan in the American Century, ch. 11.
Kenneth B. Pyle, “Japan’s Return to Great Power Politics: Abe’s Restoration,” Asia Policy (April/May 2018).
* Pyle, Japan Rising, chs. 9, 10, 11.
FINAL WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Will be announced on Wednesday, June 3 and should be finished and sent in by Monday, June 8.
*Readings required of graduate students