Visualizing Japan in the Modern World

Last updated: 2021/6/21


Visualizing Japan in the Modern World

“Visualizing Japan in the Modern World” is an experience-based course for which we use educational materials from “Visualizing Japan,” an edX course offered by MIT. In this class, we will learn about Japan by exploring images that pertain to the emergence of Japan as a modern state. We will first focus on images that depict Japan as it comes into contact with the rest of the world after its long and deep isolation during the feudal period. We will compare images drawn from a wide range of collections in the U.S. and Japan to visualize the time when Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived in Japan in 1853-54. Later sections of the course will cover the opening of Japanese ports, especially Yokohama; Russo-Japanese War, and the Hibiya Park riot immediately after it; foreign photographers’ images of Japanese people and the nation; modern Japanese women (the Shiseido Archives); and so forth.

We will also visit Shimoda, where various visual materials related to the opening of the port at that time are exhibited (For the academic year 2021-2022, we will take a trip to Tokyo, instead of goinh to Shimoda). The class and students’ activities will be conducted in English.

Please note that whether or not this course will be offered in AY2021 will depend on the situation with the novel coronavirus. The course schedule (A1A2 intensive/W term) will be announced on UTAS when the situation allows.

Contact:ees.seut[at] (please change [at] to @)

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