Course Syllabus

2017 236

Comparative Studies in Politics (比較政治専門研究Ⅰ)

~Introduction to Modern Japan~

Spring 2017


*The class will start on 11 April

*Those of you who would like to register for this course, please access the following URL:
You can log in with your ID and password. Please register yourself by April 18. If you face any problems during registration, please contact Dr. Matsumoto ( immediately.


MASUDA, Tomoko / MATSUMOTO, Tomoko

Other Lecturers:
Course Type: Lecture
Semester: Spring
Year: 2017
Course Periods: Tuesday, 2:45-4:15pm
Credits: 2
Whether mandatory or not:
Classroom: CALE Seminar Room #4 (アジア法交流館セミナー室4)


Outline of Lecture Course

 In 1868, there was a drastic political regime change in Japan called the Meiji Restoration. After the Meiji Restoration, Japan transformed from a feudal and authoritarian state with a rigid social class system to a modern industrial nation-state, or more liberal and inclusive state, by the end of the century. Tracing the Japan's history from the middle of the 19th to the early 20th century, we will discuss how to achieve industrialization and modernization.

This seminar offers a graduate-level introduction to modern Japan. There are no prerequisites to attend this seminar. All of those who are interested in law, politics, economy, culture, and diplomacy in the period are welcome!

Course Objectives

1) Learn Japanese modern history 

2) Acquire basic concepts of politics, sociology, and economy

3) Formulate clear, rational, and compelling arguments


Gordon, Andrew. A modern history of Japan: from Tokugawa times to the present, Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Chapter 4-10.

Course Materials/Supplementaries to be announced in class.

Short Assignments: 30%
Class Presentation: 30%
Class Attendance: 40%

Prerequisites There are no prerequisites to attend this seminar. All are welcome! 
Other Notes



Lecture Theme Lecture Course Description Learning outside the class Related page
1 11 Apr.


Fill the Questionnaire with each background/ interests

18 Apr.

 Lecture: Introduction of Japan's History

Fill the feedback sheet

25 Apr.

 Lecture: Overthrowing the Tokugawa Regime

Fill a short assignment Gordon chapter 4

2 May

Lecture: Revolution & State Building

Fill a short assignment Gordon chapter 5

9 May

Lecture: People's Protest and Participation 

Fill a short assignment Gordon chapter 6

16 May

Lecture: Nation Building

Fill a short assignment Gordon chapter 8

23 May

Lecture: Industrialization & Economic Development, and Zaibatsu 

Fill a short assignment Gordon chapter 7 & 9

30 May

Lecture: Minority (Women and the Poor)

Fill a short assignment Gordon chapter 7 & 9

13 June

Lecture Social Mobility at the regime change

Fill a short assignment

20&27 Jun. &  4 & 11 & 18 Jul.

 Student Presentation

Prepare for presentation







Assignments Summary:

Date Details