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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Postgraduate Course: China and Japan: National Development, International Relations, and Transnational Convergence (ASST11114)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the shared history and contemporary relations of two of the most powerful countries in the world, China and Japan, from roughly 1800 to 2000. Both China and Japan underwent a traumatic encounter with Western imperialism, but survived outright colonisation, and built strong states in its aftermath. Unable to form alliances for mutual defence against European and American powers, the countries fought wars in 1895, 1931, and 1937, which has coloured their post-war relations ever since. Nevertheless, the similarities of their state and nation-building efforts, cultural transformation, and export-driven economic models are compelling, and deserve greater examination. Students will approach China and Japan's tumultuous relationship through the study of their social history, economic policies, cultural outputs, and political engagement (or lack thereof). The course introduces the best research publications on the subject, as well as introducing primary source material (including English translations) to deepen our understanding of the region that may very well define global politics in the 21st century.
Course description China and Japan were in conflict for much of the twentieth century, but this was not always the case, and it need not be going forward. In order to understand how relations became so acrimonious, and how to overcome these problems, contemporary disagreements must be analysed from a long-term historical view. Students will learn not only the long history of Sino-Japanese relations, but also the transnational convergences that tied them together. Militarism, the developmental state, pan-Asianist ideology, support for scientific research, and popular support for total war were all features of the discourse in China and Japan at this time.
In order to learn how to debate such serious historical and political issues, a rigorous grounding in document analysis is necessary. Students will learn the changing contours of the specialist literature, from the emergence of 'civic republicanism,' comparative fascism, and economic imperialism to the debates over the 'history issues,' human rights, and territorial disputes in post-war East Asia. Equally important, students will learn how to identify and use primary sources, whether they be in Chinese, Japanese, or English, to conduct serious research of their own.
Assessment will consist of two essays and class presentations / participation. Class participation will be noted weekly, and the small group presentations will be assessed individually. Written feedback will be provided on each assessment, and informal feedback can be sought from the tutor when needed.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of Sino-Japanese relations in both historical and contemporary contexts.
  2. Learn how to develop a bibliography, a main argument, and present their ideas in an organised and coherent way.
  3. Conduct discussions and present their ideas in a large group on a set of key readings, including primary sources like government documents.
  4. Independently develop a piece of writing using original research.
Reading List
Peter Hays Gries, China's New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005)
Barak Kushner, Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015).
Rana Mitter, China's War with Japan: The Struggle for Survival (London: Allen Lane, 2013)
Caroline Rose, Sino-Japanese Relations: Facing the Past, Looking to the Future? London: Routledge, 2005).
Michael Schiltz, The Money Doctors from Japan: Finance, Imperialism, and the Building of the Yen Bloc, 1895-1937 (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Centre, 2012).
Soderberg, Marie, ed., Chinese-Japanese Relations in the Twenty-First century: Complementarity and Conflict, London; New York : Routledge, 2002
Stefan Tanaka, Japan's Orient: Rendering Pasts into History (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993)
Wan, Ming, Sino-Japanese Relations: Interaction, Logic, and Transformation, Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press ; Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2006.
Yang, Daqing et al. (eds.), Toward a History Beyond Borders: Contentious Issues in Sino-Japanese Relations, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2012.

David R. Ambaras, Bad Youth: Juvenile Delinquency and the Politics of Everyday Life in Modern Japan (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006)
Par Cassel, Grounds of Judgment: Extraterritoriality and Imperial Power in Nineteenth-Century China and Japan (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Robert Culp, Articulating Citizenship: Civic Education and Student Politics in Southeastern China, 1912-1940 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010)
Peter Duus, The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea: 1895-1910 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995)
Andrew Gordon, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991)
Gail Hershatter, Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution and Modernity in Twentieth Century Shanghai (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997)
Hsiung, James C., ed., China and Japan at Odds: Deciphering the Perpetual Conflict, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Chalmers Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925-1975 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1982)
Griseldis Kirsch, Contemporary Sino-Japanese Relations on Screen (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).
Zwia Lipkin, Useless to the State: 'Social Problems' and Social Engineering in Nationalist Nanjing, 1927-1937 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006)
Tony Saich, The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party: Documents and Analysis (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 1996)
Shu Guang Zhang, Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950-1953 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1995)
Hans van de Ven and Tony Saich, eds., New Perspectives on the Chinese Communist Revolution (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 1995)
Young, Louise. Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. University of California Press, 1998.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills After taking this course, students will have developed several SCQF skills, including:
Knowledge and Understanding: students will be familiar with the key literature. They will learn what the key methodological and theoretical approaches to the subject are.
Practice: Students will be able to compile their own bibliographies, compose coherent arguments in essay form, and conduct independent research.
General Cognitive Skills: through coursework, students will learn how to read critically, reflect on competing methodological approaches, and conceptualise complex problems in the subject area.
Communication: In-class presentation will give them training in presenting their arguments and evidence orally. They will learn how to respond to constructive criticism from peers.
Autonomy, Accountability, and Working with Others: individually and in small group presentations, students will learn how to accomplish a designated task, develop ideas with peers, and take responsibility for disseminating individual and shared research findings clearly and concisely.
KeywordsChina,Japan,Sino-Japanese relations,history,politics
Course organiserDr Aaron Moore
Tel: (0131 6)50 4225
Course secretaryMr Callum Lennie
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