The History Issue in Asia 2020

This is the homepage for my course “The History Issue in Asia” taught in the Spring term 2020. The course is completely online. Read the Online Classes Explanation. Classroom Tasks should be done during class time. Homework should be done before the next class.

Open Access Reading List: In addition to the specific readings listed in each class, please use the following open access reading. 1) Hiro Saito, The History Problem: The Politics of War Commemoration in East Asia; 2) Philip Seaton’s open access articles (list available here); 3) articles available at Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, which is a refereed, open-access journal with articles by many of the top people working in this area; 4) NHK Testimony Archives (in Japanese).

 

Week 1: Introduction (20 April)

10:10~ Zoom meeting part 1 (Orientation).

Read the following documents carefully. 1) Syllabus 412054-多言語・多文化社会論研究A ;  2) Grading Rubric: Politics of History in East Asia 2020

10:30~ Students complete Classroom Tasks 1-4 listed below.

Classroom Task 1: Visit the class homepage and bookmark it in your browser.

Classroom Task 2: Find the pages with the video series Writing Academic Essays at University and the online lecture “What is the History Issue?” (you do not have to watch them all during class, but watch them for homework).

Classroom Task 3: Spend about 20 minutes reading the Statement by Prime Minister Abe (14 August 2015). Read in English/Japanese.

Classroom Task 4: Do the short quiz on Socrative (complete by 11:20).

11:20~ Zoom meeting part 2 (Q&A, about 20 minutes).

Homework: 1) Read again the Abe statement; 2) Watch the online lecture “What is the History Issue?”; 3) Complete the quiz on Socrative (deadline 16:00, Friday 24 April).

Extra Reading: This week’s lecture is based on Chapter 1 of Japan’s Contested War Memories. But, try reading my open access article “Family, Friends and Furusato” for detailed discussion of the issues raised illustrated with examples from war memories in Hokkaido.

 

Week 2: Japan’s Decision to Go to War (27 April)

10:10~ Zoom meeting (about 20 minutes). Discussing this section of the Abe statement. The Road to War (Abe Statement)

10:30~ Students complete Classroom Tasks 1-2 listed below.

Classroom Task 1: Watch the online lecture: “The Road to War”.

Classroom Task 2: Search online for relevant materials about the road to war.

11:20~ Zoom meeting part II. Questions regarding the online lecture. Preparations for the debate next week.

Homework: Prepare for the debate. If you can, read a general history of prewar Japan (possibilities include work by Andrew Gordon, Elise K. Tipton, Brett Walker, James Huffman, S.C.M. Paine etc. etc.) to familiarize yourself with the history of the period.

Open access resources: National Diet Library Chronological Table; Jeffrey Record, “Japan’s Decision for War in 1941”, Richard J. Smethurst, “Japan, the United States, and the Road to World War II in the Pacific”, Yoshizawa Tatsuhiko, “The Manchurian Incident, the League of Nations, and the Origins of the Pacific War”.

 

Week 3: Debate “Japan had no choice but to go to war in 1941 against the US and Britain” (4 May)

Activity 1: Debate using Zoom in four groups. Group 1 is 10:15 to 10:35. Group 2 is 10:35 to 10:55. Group 3 is 10:55 to 11:15. Group 4 is 11:15 to 11:35.

Activity 2: Complete the quiz on Socrative (deadline 4 May, 18:00).

Homework: 1) Decide the topic for your active learning assignment. Submit an explanation via Socrative (deadline 10 May). Start working on the assignment in preparation for submission on 15 June.

2) Read the following statements regarding history made by Japanese prime (and cabinet) ministers: Kono 1993, Diet Resolution 1995, Murayama 1995, Koizumi 2005, Kan 2010.  How do these compare with the Abe statement of 2015? And how do these compare with the statements at the Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead? Kan 2010, Abe 2013.

 

Week 4: Japanese Official Apologies, 1993-2015 (11 May)

10:10~ Discussing the Active Learning Assignment.

10:20~ Classroom Task 1. Complete the Socrative quiz. This time your answers are anonymous. We will use the data (= class opinion poll) as the basis for discussion.

10:35~ Class Discussion: Have Japanese apologies for WWII been considered sincere? What is a “sincere apology”? How long after an act of aggression does a country (not only Japan … any country) need to continue apologizing?

11:00~ Classroom Task 2. Watch the online lecture “Japanese Official Apologies, 1993-2015”

11:30~ Wrap Up. Final questions and instructions for the debate next week.

Homework: Prepare for the debate next week about whether Japan has paid sufficient compensation. Start with the official government position here and the various other statements concerning Issues Regarding History. The “comfort women” issue has stirred most debate. See the Asian Women’s Fund, Documents relating the the 1965 Basic Treaty,  Asahi Newspaper special, APJ Fact Sheet, Women’s Active Peace Museum, Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact. And “settling the dispute” (again) in December 2015.

 

Week 5: Debate “Japan has not paid sufficient compensation for its actions during the Asia-Pacific War” (18 May)

Activity 1: Debate using Zoom in three groups. Group 1 is 10:15 to 10:40. Group 2 is 10:40 to 11:05. Group 3 is 11:05 to 11:30. Wrap up discussion at 11:30.

Activity 2: Complete the quiz on Socrative (deadline 18 May, 11:30). The results are presented in the wrap up discussion.

Homework: In preparation for the class next week about Yasukuni Shrine, familiarize yourself with the Shrine and its history by looking through the Yasukuni Shrine website.

 

Week 6: The Yasukuni Issue (25 May)

10:10~ Zoom meeting (30 minutes). The Yasukuni Issue in international media. Let’s discuss the article and video clip on the BBC. Here is a different perspective from Japan Forward. Guided tour of Yasukuni Shrine’s website.

10:40 ~ Complete the three tasks.

Classroom Task 1: Watch the various videos within the Yasukuni website (HistoryFour seasons, Yushukan Museum).

Classroom Task 2: Watch the online lecture “The Yasukuni Shrine Issue”.

Classroom Task 3: Search for other materials and prepare questions.

11:20~ Yasukuni Q&A: your questions. Preparing for the debate.

Reading for Homework: Prepare for the debate next week. Read the research of Akiko Takenaka and John Breen. They have published the two key books on the topic in English. A leading Japanese critic is Takahashi Tetsuya: see The National Politics of the Yasukuni Shrine. Here is a discussion between key members of the Yomiuri and Asahi newspapers. For the pro-Yasukuni position, visit the Yasukuni Shrine website and put “Yasukuni” into the search engine at Japan Forward. Finally, search for other materials online. They’re easy to find!

 

Week 7: Debate “The Japanese Prime Minister should worship at Yasukuni Shrine on 15 August every year” (1 June)

Activity 1: Debate using Zoom in three groups. Group 1 is 10:15 to 10:40. Group 2 is 10:40 to 11:05. Group 3 is 11:05 to 11:30. Wrap up discussion at 11:30.

Activity 2: Complete the quiz on Socrative (deadline 1 June, 11:30). The results are presented in the wrap up discussion.

Homework: Concentrate on your ALH assignment. Remember, it is due on 15 June.

 

Week 8: The A-Bombs (8 June)

10:10~ Zoom Meeting (20 minutes). Have you been to Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

10:30~ Do the online tasks.

Classroom Task 1: Watch the online lecture “The A-Bombs: Decisive? Morally Justifiable?”.

Classroom Task 2: Start looking at the materials on the class webpage. There are way too many to cover in 20-30 minutes (after watching the Video Lecture), but familiarize yourself with the type of content and prepare questions.

11:15~ Zoom Meeting Part II: A-bombs Q&A. Your questions answered in preparation for the debate next week.

Homework: Reading in preparation for the debate.

Historical Documents: Read the full text of the Potsdam Declaration and the full text of the Emperor’s radio address on 15 August. Here is the Constitution of the Empire of Japan.

Academic/Media Debates: Regarding the debate over whether dropping the bomb was necessary, see Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, “The Atomic Bombs and the Soviet Invasion” and Richard B. Frank’s review of Hiroshima in History. Hata Ikuhiko, Hirohito: The Showa Emperor in War and Peace gives a detailed picture of debates regarding acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration. Regarding whether the bombs “saved lives”, read Zachary Keck in The Diplomat and a counterargument by Ward Wilson in Beyond Nuclear International.

On Air Raids: See the historical archive Japan Air Raids.org

 

Week 9: Debate “The A-bombs did not force Japan to surrender” (15 June)

Activity 1: Debate using Zoom in three groups. Group 1 is 10:15 to 10:40. Group 2 is 10:40 to 11:05. Group 3 is 11:05 to 11:30. Wrap up discussion at 11:30.

Activity 2: Complete the quiz on Socrative (deadline 15 June, 11:30). The results are presented in the wrap up discussion.

 

Week 10: Territorial Disputes (22 June)

10:10~ Zoom Meeting. What do you know about Japan’s territorial disputes with China, South Korea and Russia?

10:30~ Do the online tasks

Classroom Task 1: Watch the online lecture “The Postwar Settlement and Territory Issue”

Classroom Task 2: Look through the Chronology (PDF file)

Classroom Task 3: Look through the other links in the class webpage and prepare questions for class discussion.

11:15~ Zoom Meeting Part II. Your questions answered in preparation for the debate next week. Feedback regarding active learning.

Homework: Reading in preparation for the debate.

Why does territory matter? Here is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Here is the Japanese government’s position on all three territorial disputes.

Here is the Korean government’s position on Dokdo. And Shimane Prefecture’s website about Takeshima.

Here is the Chinese government’s position on Diaoyu Dao (Senkaku Islands)

Here are useful articles on each of the three disputes: Reinhard Drifte on the Senkaku dispute, Mark Selden on the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute, Georgy Buntilov on the Northern Territories dispute. And Kimie Hara on a potential creative resolution of the Northern Territories Issue.

 

Week 11: Debate “The Senkaku Islands, Takeshima and the Northern Territories are Japanese territory” (29 June)

Activity 1: Debate using Zoom in three groups. Group 1 is 10:15 to 10:40. Group 2 is 10:40 to 11:05. Group 3 is 11:05 to 11:30. Wrap up discussion at 11:30.

Activity 2: Complete the quiz on Socrative (deadline 29 June, 11:30). The results are presented in the wrap up discussion.

 

Week 12: Re-Reading the Abe Statement (6 July)

10:10~ Short meeting on Zoom to explain the class activities for today.

10:15~ Do the online tasks:

Classroom Task 1: Re-reading the Abe Statement.

Classroom Task 2: Complete the table with your interpretations of the statement.

Classroom Task 3: Listen to the short audio lectures.

11:15~ Zoom Meeting Part II. Discussing the Abe statement. Be prepared to share your analysis of one or more sections of the Abe statement.

 

Week 13: Resolving the History Issue (13 July)

10:10~ Short meeting on Zoom to explain the class activities for today.

10:15~ Do the online tasks:

Classroom Task 1: Final video lecture. “Reconciliation: Feasible? Desirable?”.

Classroom Task 2: Analysis of the BBC Country Ratings Polls 2014 & 2017.

Classroom Task 3: Socrative question (details in the class webpage).

11:15~ Zoom Meeting Part II. Final discussion and course wrap up.

 

SUBMISSION OF TERM PAPERS

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