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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kenneth B Pyle
HSTAS 424
Seattle Campus

The Emergence of Postwar Japan

The making of modern Japan; World War II and surrender; American occupation; postoccupation rebuilding; emergence as an industrial power. Recommended: JSIS A 242. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 424.

Class description

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. This is a "W" course.

Student learning goals

The goal of the course is not simply to provide an abundance of facts about postwar Japan, but rather to convey to the thoughtful student an inner understanding of the dynamics of change and the forces that shaped postwar Japan.

General method of instruction

Lectures, class discussions, and video presentations.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

Readings to illustrate and expand on coverage in lectures. A research paper on a topic of the student's choice, approved by the instructor of approximately 7-10 pages.

An hour exam counts 25%, paper 25%, and final exam 50%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kenneth B Pyle
Date: 01/30/2011