Episodes in Japanese History

Dragon 460x370

Focus questions:

  • What is national identity? How has Japan’s been shaped by key people and events?
  • How do the Japanese see themselves as a modern nation and a people molded by history?
  • How are history and tradition reflected in the customs and institutions of contemporary Japanese society?

Each lesson takes a significant episode in Japanese history as the starting point for exploring enduring cultural characteristics and their influence on contemporary society. Through investigation of primary sources, including art and literature, students see Japanese history through Japanese eyes, making critical connections between Japan’s past and present. Students apply four key concepts: cultural borrowing and adaptation, tradition and change, national symbols and images, and foundations of enduring cultural values.

Designed by Lynn Parisi, University of Colorado