State and Society in Twentieth-Century Japan

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    State and Society in Twentieth-Century Japan

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Asian Studies, History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    18 200-level HIST or ARTH points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    A study of state-society relations through the lens of ?civil society? reveals the vibrancy of social movements and the complexity of power relations in the Sh?wa era (1926-1989).

    This course offers an opportunity to explore issues surrounding relations between the state and society in twentieth-century Japan. Our focus is the turbulent Sh?wa era (1926-1989). We examine how intellectuals, scholars and activists, and particular sectors of society engaged with and contested state authority, and how in turn, the state responded to these challenges. Among the topics that we consider are: the mechanisms and institutions developed by the state to monitor and control intellectual groups and social movements; the scope of the "public sphere" in Japan before and after Japan's mid-century wars; and whether or not the concept of "civil society" offers a useful lens through which to understand the forces opposing state authority in Japan.

    Learning Outcomes
    Students will be able to identify and discuss:
    - The major economic and political forces, both domestic and international, that shaped Japanese society in the Sh?wa period
    - The foremost challenges to civil freedoms during this period
    - The factors influencing state authority during this period
    - The principal organisations and groupings comprising civil society and their ideological foundations in Sh?wa Japan

    Course materials will be made available electronically.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.