MICHAELMAS TERM 2006 Weeks 1-8

Mondays, Thursdays* and Fridays at 9 AM : Lecture Theatre 1, Oriental Institute

*Please note the change in schedule from the Lecture List!

This course is a general survey of East Asia in the Modern Period and provides essential background for further study in either Chinese or Japanese studies.  In order to provide students with the best possible introduction to each topic, the course is team-taught, with a number of different lecturers.  This also gives students a chance to meet many of the lecturers in East Asian studies at Oxford. The course begins with a look at contemporary society and culture in Japan and then moves on to historical surveys of Japan, Korea and China.  In Hilary Term, the economy, politics and literature of Japan will be taken up.

The class schedule for Michaelmas Term follows.  Please note that in weeks 1 and 2, the class does not meet on Thursdays. Following the schedule, details about the individual topics are listed for each lecturer.  The coordinator for these lectures/classes is Dr. Mark Rebick.  His office is in the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies on the first floor and his email address is

Week 1 Monday (9/10), Friday (13/10)– Japanese Sociology / Anthropology

Professor Roger Goodman

Week 2 Monday (16/10), Friday (20/10) – Japanese Sociology / Anthropology

Professor Roger Goodman

Week 3 Monday (23/10), Thursday (26/10), Friday (27/10) — Modern Japanese History

Dr Ann Waswo

Week 4 Monday (30/10), Thursday (2/11), Friday (3/11)— Modern Japanese History

Dr Ann Waswo

Week 5  Monday (6/11), Thursday (9/11), Friday (10/11) — Modern Korean History

Dr. James Lewis

Week 6 Monday (13/11), Thursday (16/11) – Modern Korean History


Dr James Lewis

Week 6b  Friday (17/11) -- Modern Chinese History

Dr Joseph Askew

Week 7 Monday (20/11), Thursday (23/11), Friday (24/11)  -- Modern Chinese History

Dr Joseph Askew

Week 8 Monday (27/11) -- General Discussion of East Asian History

Drs Waswo, Lewis and Askew






Week 1:  Monday (9/10), Friday (13/10)– Japanese Sociology / Anthropology  

Week 2:  Monday (16/10), Friday (20/10) – Japanese Sociology / Anthropology

Japanese Society

Lecture 1  An Introduction to Japanese Society

Lecture 2  The Consensus Model of Japanese Society

Lecture 3  The Japanese Education System: For the Good of the State or the Individual?

Lecture 4  The Japanese Company: Based on Harmony or Conflict?

Recommended Introductory Reading

Befu, H., 1981,  Japan : An Anthropological Introduction, Tuttle, Tokyo

Eccleston, B., 1989, State and Society in Post-War Japan, Polity Press

Hendry, J., 2003, Understanding Japanese Society (3rd edition), Routledge

Lebra, T.S., (ed), 1992 Japanese Social Organization, University of Hawaii Press

Nakane, Chie, 1973, Japanese Society, Penguin

Okimoto, D. and Rohlen, T., 1988, Inside the Japanese System: Readings on Contemporary Society and Political Economy, Standford University Press

Sugimoto, Y., 1997, An Introduction to Japanese Society


Essay Topics: To be announced in class



















Week 3:  Monday (23/10), Thursday (26/10), Friday (27/10) — Modern Japanese History

Week 4:  Monday (30/10), Thursday (2/11), Friday (3/11)— Modern Japanese History

Dr Ann Waswo

            Modern Japanese History


1.   The Tokugawa Shogunate, 1600-1868: Feudal Stagnation or Early Modernity?

2.   The Meiji Restoration and the Meiji State 

3.   The Meiji “Success Story”

4.   Japan, Asia and the West 

5.   The Asian-Pacific War I 

6.    The Asian-Pacific War II

Basic Reading either Kenneth Pyle, The Making of Modern Japan (second edition), pp.11-226 or Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan from Tokugawa

Times to the Present, pp. 1-243. See also the following chapters in vols. 5 and 6 of the Cambridge History of Japan:

Vol. 5:  Akira Iriye, “Japan's drive to great power status,” pp. 721-782

Vol. 6: Mark Peattie, “The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1922,” pp. 217-270

            Ikuhiko Hata, “Continental Expansion, 1905-1941,” pp. 271-314

Alvin Coox, "The Pacific War," pp. 315-82

Essays: topics to be announced in class













Week 5:  Monday (6/11), Thursday (9/11), Friday (10/11) — Modern Korean History

Week 6:  Monday (13/11), Thursday (16/11) – Modern Korean History

Dr James Lewis


Modern Korean History

slides on Weblearn:

ESSAY: due Friday of 6th week. Pick one question from suggested ‘Essay Questions’ and give Lewis 1,000 word-processed words. The essay must contain your name, college, and a bibliography.

Week 5: Monday (slides `Korea 1863-1905')

I. `Traditional Korea and the Emerging World Order’

1) Traditional Korea (1863 to 1876)

            a) Korea as the Confucian idyll

            b) a stable and balanced political order preserved the status quo

            c) the appearance of a strong leader: Taewŏngun (Regent 1863- 1874);

                        1) burden on peasantry and inflationary monetary policy

                        2) sought to buttress the monarchy at aristocratic expense

3) foreign policy was isolationist towards West (斥邪衛正, 척사위정: Reject heterodoxy and defend orthodoxy)

            d) reversion to the former status quo: King Kojong (1874-1907)

2) Transition to Modernity I: What was done to Korea?

            a) From crisis to crisis: 1876 to 1905

                        1) The Kanghwa Treaty of 1876 with Japan

                                    a) Japan’s shifting image of Korea

                                                1) Kaikoku Heidan (ca. 1791) by Hayashi Shihei

                                                2) Shinron (1825) by Aizawa Yasushi

                                                3) Chōsen koku go yōken kenpakusho (1864) by Ōshima Tomonojō

4) 18/12/1868 letters presented at Pusan notifying the Koreans of the establishment of the Meiji government: of Emperors and seals— 我皇 (our emperor), (imperial order) – “shameless” and “lawless”

5) Seikanron of 1873: Ōkubo Toshimichi defeats Saigō Takamori, the first major crisis of the Meiji government

b) Japanese gunboat diplomacy and the Kanghwa Treaty provisions

2) Korean-American Treaty of 1882 and the 1885 Convention of Tientsin

a) Li Hung-chang’s policy: break with the past and actively engage with Korean politics

                                    b) Korean Self-Strengthening and Horimoto Reizō

                                    c) Commodore Shufeldt

d) Imo Incident of 1882 and the appearance of Yuan Shih-k’ai

                                    e) China and Japan confront each other on the Korean

peninsula for the first time since the 1590s

f) 1885 Convention of Tientsin: China changes its policy towards Korea, but backs away from war with Japan

                        3) Sino-Japanese War of 1894 and the entry of Russia

                                    a) Korea becomes a pawn in Great Power politics

                                    b) Ch’oe Che-u and The Tonghaks                                

c) Kabo Reform of 1894

d) Triple Intervention

                                    e) Murder of a Queen

                                    f) The Russian Card

4) 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War and Anglo-American acquiescence

Essay Questions:


Chapter 5: “The End of Isolation, Modernization, and the Growing National Insecurity”

and Chapter 6: “The Demise of the Yi Dynasty and Korean Independence”

Week 5: Thursday (slides `Japanese Colony')

II. `Japanese Colonisation: Victimisation or Lessons in Modernisation?’

1) 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 “Protectorate Treaty

2) Was there a Japanese Land Grab?

3) Creation of an industrial bourgeoisie

4) Colonial style of industrialisation

a) Finance and Management

b) Raw materials and technology

c) Markets and labour

d) Legacy: State capitalism

5) Mobilization of the Colony: Nai-Sen Ittai (内鮮一体) or an attempt at cultural genocide?

a) “Lost names” or “Identity creation”?

b) Forced labour, conscription, “Comfort Women” and the creation of the Korean minority in Japan

c) Collaboration of the native bourgeoisie/intellectuals

d) Cultural legacy

Essay Questions:

·      Korea was not a 'colony' of Japan; it was a part of Japan.  Discuss.

·      Japanese rule initiated "modernization" in Korea.  Discuss.


·      Andrew C. Nahm's Korea: Tradition and Transformation : A History of the Korean People, Seoul: Hollym International Corporation, 1988 or 1996.

Chapter 7: “Korea Under Japanese Colonial Rule”

·      Eckert, Carter J. Offspring of Empire: The Koch'ang Kims and the Colonial Origins of Korean Capitalism, 1876-1945. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991.

Chapter 8: “Class over Nation”

·      Ch'ae, Man-sik (trans. by Chun Kyung-ja; intro. by Carter J. Eckert). Peace Under Heaven: A Modern Korean Novel. N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1993.

Week 5: Friday (slides `Nationalism and Communism')

III. `Korean Nationalism and Communism’

1) Nationalism prior to the Versailles Peace Conference of 1919

a) Second Hague Peace Conference

1) Protectorate Treaty

2) 29 August 1910: Annexation

b) Righteous Armies (義兵)

1) August 1907 Korean army units were ordered disbanded

c) Patriotic Enlightenment Movement

1) development of a Korean press:

a) 1883: Kim Ok-kyun, Hansŏng Sunbo (漢城旬報 한성순보)

b) 1896: Sŏ Chae-p’il, The Independent

c) 1898: Nam Kung’ŏk, Hwangsŏng Shinmun (皇城新聞 황성신문)

d) 1905: Ernest Bethell and Yang Ki-t’aek, Taehan Maeil Shinbo (大韓每日新報 대한매일신보)

2) Education

3) Religion

a) US Missionaries

b) Korean Protestants

c) Tonghak/Ch’ŏndogyo (天道敎)

2) Nationalism and Communism after the Versailles Peace Conference (18/1/1919): Vladimir Ilich Lenin and Woodrow Wilson

a) November 1917: Bolsheviks take power

b) Versailles Peace Conference (opened 18/1/1919)

c) 1/3/1919: March First Declaration

1) 33 leaders and Ch’oe Namsŏn (崔南善, 1890-1957)

2) Tongnip Mansei (獨立萬歲, 독립)

3) Pagoda Park

4) Nation-wide demonstrations and brutal suppression

3) Three areas of resistance

a) China: Provisional Government

1) April 1919: Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (大韓民國臨時政府, 대한민국임시청부)

2) Activities:

a) diplomacy

b) propaganda (e.g., Taegukki)

c) terrorism

b) Inside Korea

1) Boycotts and strikes:

2) Politics: Singanhoe (“New Trunk Society” 新幹會 신간회)

3) 1929-1930 Kwangju Student Movement

c) Manchuria

1) Kim Ilsŏng (Kim Il Sung 김일성 金日成)

Essay Questions:

·      What is nationalism and what are the characteristics and origins of Korean nationalism?


·      Anderson, Benedict. Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. Revised edition. London: Verso, 1991.

·      Gellner, Ernest.  Nationalism. London: Phoenix, 1997.

·      Nahm, Andrew C. Korea: Tradition and Transformation: A History of the Korean People. Seoul: Hollym International Corporation, 1988 or 1996.

      Chapter 8: “The Liberation and Reconstruction Movements at Home and Abroad”

·      Wells, Kenneth M. New God, New Nation: Protestants and Self-Reconstruction Nationalism in Korea, 1896-1937. Honolulu: U. of Hawaii Press, 1991.

·      Robinson, Michael E. Cultural Nationalism in Colonial Korea, 1920-1925. Seattle: University of Wash. Press, 1989.

·      Pai, Hyung Il and Timothy R. Tangherlini, ed. Nationalism and the construction of Korean identity. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1998.

Week 6: Monday (slides `Korean War')

IV. `The Korean Civil War’

1) 1937-1945: the China War, the Pacific War, and Korea

a) Korean colony was directly involved as the forward base for Japanese imperialism in China

b) Korean colony was indirectly involved in the Pacific War

c) Cairo Declaration (1 December 1943)

2) 1945-1950: Korea as a pivot of the Cold War

3) Politics in the South: polarisation, economic chaos, and guerrillas

a) Korean People’s Republic (formed on 6 September 1945)

b) US forces sought leaders from among the Korean landlord/capitalist class: Syngman Rhee (李承晩, 이승만, 1875-1965)

c) economic chaos

d) Guerrilla activity (slides 13-14)

4) Politics in the North: ruthless elimination of rivals by Kim Il Sung

a) Kim Il Sung (金日成, 김일성, 1912-1994)

b) Why Kim?

5) Establishment of Separate Regimes

a) 5-year Trusteeship Plan drawn up in Dec. 1945 by UK, US, USSR, and China:

b) US proposed Korean independence to the UN:

1) adopted by UN General Assembly over Soviet protests

a) Syngman Rhee elected first President; 15 August, Republic of Korea established; Dec. 1948, recognised by the UN General Assembly as the “only lawfully constituted government in Korea.”

b) 9 Sept. 1948, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea est. in north

6) Korean Civil War of 1950-1953

a) Causes

1) International: Stalin’s folly

2) International: Mao’s hesitant acquiescence

3) Domestic causes and repercussions: Kim’s gamble

a) Reasons for Kim’s war-making:

b) Kim’s mistakes:

c) Kim’s losses and gains:

b) Outbreak of war

1) 25 June 1950, North Korea opened a full-scale invasion of the south across the 38th Parallel

2) War nearly went nuclear

c) Armistice

d) Effects of the War

Essay Questions:

·      The Korean War was not the first real contest of the Cold War; it was a civil war.  Discuss.

·      The Korean War was not a civil war; it was the first real contest of the Cold War.  Discuss.


·      Andrew C. Nahm's Korea: Tradition and Transformation: A History of the Korean People, Seoul: Hollym International Corporation, 1988 or 1996.

Chapter 9: “Korea Under the Allied Occupation”

·      Goncharev, Sergei N. et al. Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993.

·      Suh, Dae-Sook. Kim Il Sung: the North Korean Leader. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

·      Cumings, Bruce. Korea’s Place in the Sun. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1998.      Chapters 4 (“The Passions, 1945-1948”) and 5 (“The Collision, 1948-1953”).


Week 6: Thursday (slides `Contemporary Korea')

V. `Post-Civil War Korea in East Asia and Future Scenarios’

1) South (Republic of Korea)

            a) 3 Cleavages:

1) politics: democracy – vs – authoritarianism

2) economy: economic justice –vs – development

3) reunification: populist – vs – conservative

            b) First Cleavage: authoritarianism triumphant

1) Liberation, War, and the fall of Syngman Rhee (1875-1965)

            c) Second Cleavage: developmentalism triumphant

1) Park Chung Hee (Pak Chŏnghŭi, 朴正熙, 1917-1979) and the re-establishment of state-led industrialisation

2) December 1979: Night of the Generals and the rise

 of Chun Doo Hwan (Chun Tuhwan)

3) June 1987: Roh Tae Woo (No T’aeu)’s issued a public Declaration that promised to protect  “Democracy”

                                    4) 1988: Seoul Olympics

                                    5) 1990: absorption of the right-wing of the opposition

 – Kim Young Sam (Kim Yŏngsam) joined the

 government party

6) 1992: Kim Young Sam inaugurated as first civilian President since 1960

7) 1998: Kim Dae Jung (Kim Taejung) inaugurated as President—Sunshine Policy/Nordpolitik

8) 2002: Roh Moo-hyun (No Mu-hyŏn) inaugurated as President

2) North (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) under Kim Il Sung (Kim Ilsŏng) and Kim Jong Il (Kim Chŏngil) (slide 8)

a) Post-Korean War reconstruction

b) December 1955: Chuch’e (Self-reliance, 主體) ideology first appears

c) 1956: began a new attack on the Yenan Group

d) DPRK in the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s

            e) Rise and fall of the Partisans and long-term entrenchment of the military

            f) 1970s-1980s

1) towards South: Dialogue and attack

2) towards others: inept diplomacy and Leader of the Third World

3) 1970s saw a shift in power from Party to State

                        4) new offensives

            g) Corporatism as the ruling style:

1) The Leader: charismatic source of legitimacy and ideology

2) The Family: core unit of society

3) The Party: core of the body politic

4) The Idea: Chuch’e (주체/主體)

5) The Revolution: The Leader’s biography

6) The Guide: The Leader’s progeny (family succession)

7) The World: national solipsism (The Leader = Sun; Chuch’e = Sun’s rays; world turns towards the Sun)

 3) Future Scenarios

            a) Reunification

b) The changing international environment in a post-Cold War world will present challenges to North-South rapprochement

Essay Questions:


Chapter 10: “The Communist State of North Korea”

Chapter 11: “The Struggle for Democracy in the Republic of Korea”

Chapter 12: “National Development and Modern Transformation in South Korea”

General Readings for East Asian History:

·         Marks, Robert B. The origins of the modern world: a global and ecological narrative. Lanham, MD; Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.
·         COHEN, Warren I. East Asia at the Center (New York: Columbia Univ. Press), 2001.
·         MURPHEY, Rhoads. A History of Asia, 4th ed. (New York: Addison-Wesley), 2003.
·         MASON, Colin. A short history of Asia: stone age to 2000 AD. (New York: St. Martin's Press), 2000.
















Week 6: Friday (17/11) -- Modern Chinese History

Week 7:  Monday (20/11), Thursday (23/11), Friday (24/11)  -- Modern Chinese History

Dr Joseph Askew


Modern Chinese History

Week 6: Friday

Lecture One:  China in the Early Modern World
1. The World of the Late Qing
1.1  Confucianism and Barbarians
1.2  Culture and Scholarship in the Late Imperial Period
2.  Enter the West
2.1  Dreams and Visions: Christianity and Opium
2.2  Missionaries, Coolies and Revolution
2.3  The Impact of Japan
3.  The Legacy of the Qing
3.1  Many Cultures, no multiculturalism
3.2  China is a big Country with many people
·        Naquin, Susan and Evelyn S. Rawski, Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987)
·        Jen Yu-wen [Jian Youwen], The Taiping Revolutionary Movement, (New Haven, YaleUniversity Press, 1973)

Week 7 Monday

Lecture Two:  China and nationalism

1.  Nationalism versus Confucianism
1.1  The Confucian Social Order
1.2  The Qing Dynasty and Confucianism
2.  The Problems of the Manchus
2.1  Self-Strengthening 
2.2  The One Hundred Days Reform
3.  Revolutionary Alternatives
3.1  Great Han Chauvinism and Racism
3.2  Revolutionaries and Nationalists
4.  The Southerners Take Over
·        Kedourie, Elie, Nationalism, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993)
·        Gellner, Ernest, Nationalism, (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1997)
·        Li Lincoln, Student Nationalism in China 1924-1949, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994)
·        Yan Qinghuang [Yen Ch’ing-hwang], The Overseas Chinese and the 1911 Revolution, (Kuala Lumpur and New York: Oxford University Press, 1976)
·        Zou Rong, The Revolutionary Army: A Chinese nationalist tract of 1903, (The Hague: Mouton, 1968)

Week 7 Thursday

Lecture Three: China and Communism 
1.  The Origins of the Chinese Communist Party
1.1  The May the Fourth Movement
1.2  Treaty Ports and Western Universities
1.3  The Block Within and the United Front
1.4  The Soviet Period
2.  The Fall of the Nationalists
2.1  War With Japan
2.2  Mismanagement of Everything
2.3  Victory into Defeat
3.  The Civil War
·        Bianco, Lucian, "Peasant responses to Chinese Communist Party mobilization policies 1937-1945", in Peasants Without the Party: Grass-Roots Movements in Twentieth Century China, (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 2001), pp. 231-243
·        Chen Yongfa, Making Revolution, the Communist Movement in Eastern and Central China, 1937-1945 (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1986)
·        Johnson, Chalmers A., Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power, the Emergence of Revolutionary Power, 1937-1945, (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1962)

Week 7 Friday 

Lecture Four: China Under Mao
1.  "Liberated" China
1.1  The Post-War period
1.2  The One Hundred Flowers and Anti-Rightist Campaigns
1.3  The Korean War
2.  Experimenting with the Economy
2.1  The Origins of the Great Leap Forward
2.2  The New Economic Programme
2.3  The Results: Famine, Devastation, Poverty
2.4  The Party After the Great Leap Forward
3.  Mao Strikes Back: The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
3.1  Beijing versus Shanghai: Maoism Returns
3.2  Maoist Assault on Culture, Government, Economy and Party
3.3  The Gang of Four and Mao
3.4  The Army Steps in

















Week 8: Monday (27/11) -- General Discussion of East Asian History

Drs Waswo, Lewis and Askew