HIST 160, Fall 2004

Tues Thurs 1:10 pm, Bailey 10

R. Dunnell, Seitz House 4, x5323

Office hours: Mon 2-4 pm, Wed 10-noon, Friday 11-noon, 2-3 pm

Wall mural of Kim Il Sung
This course looks comparatively at the histories of Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam from the late 18th century to the present. It examines the struggles of these four countries to preserve or regain their independence and establish their national identities in a rapidly emerging and often violent modern world order. While each of these countries has its own distinctive identity, their overlapping histories (and dilemmas) gives the region a coherent identity. We also will look at how individuals respond to and are shaped by larger historical movements.

Texts for Course:

Colin Mackerras, East and Southeast Asia
Haruko Taya & Theodore Cook, Japan At War, An Oral History
Richard Kim, Lost Names, Scenes from a Korean Boyhood
Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War
Anita Chan, Richard Madsen, & Jonathan Unger, Chen Village Under Mao and Deng
James Watson, ed., Golden Arches East, McDonald's in East Asia

You will occasionally be directed to other readings on ERES (electronic course reserves) or online, by way of a link included in the online syllabus. The course ERES password is ming.

Expectations and evaluation:

What you earn in a course tends to stand in direct relationship to how much time and effort you invest in it, so peruse the guidelines below carefully. In the happiest outcome, your expectations and mine will more or less coincide. Explanations of most course work appear as a link in the course component box below and will be elaborated in class. Please come to class with a printed copy of all ERES readings and online documents assigned for that class. (I suggest that you print them all out ahead of time and keep them in a folder or notebook). The weekly quizzes will assume that you have done the reading for that day, and may ask you to consult a particular source. I will occasionally schedule a movie or documentary screening outside of class, and expect you to view it at the screening or in AV.

N.b. all assignments must be completed to pass the course, and all assignments must be completed on time or be marked down accordingly (for papers, five points per day late).

Assignments & Evaluations

Map test 5 % Things you need to know for the map test 9/23 appear below; @ 50 points
Quizzes 25% Weekly, announced. Make-ups allowed only for *excused absences. Top ten @ 25 points each = 250 points
Essays 45% 3 papers, 4-6 pages each, on suggested questions. Essay 1 & 2 due Friday 10/01 and 11/05 by 4 pm; essay 3 due in class on 12/09 @ 150 points each = 450 points
Web source evaluation 5% 3-4 page paper evaluating web sources on a topic of your choosing, due by Friday 11/19, @ 50 points
Portfolio Paper or Final Exam 20% Due Fri. Dec. 17, by 3:30 pm, @ 200 points

Attendance: You may miss class twice without penalty. Every absence after the first two will result in a deduction of 10 points from your final grade.

*excused absence: documented participation in a scheduled athletic event, illness or other event documented by note or letter from dean of students or academic dean. Documented illness means that your name appears on a list circulated weekly by the Health Clinic. Ordinary suffering does not constitute an excused absence, but if you fall prey to it frequently, see me.

DISABILITIES: "If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your ability to carry out assigned course work, I would urge that you contact the Office of Disability Services at 5453. The Coordinator of Disability Services, Erin Sa1va (, will review your concerns and determine, with you, what accommodations are appropriate. All information and documentation of disability is confidential."

Links to Course Components


Modern East Asia: Weekly Schedule

I. East Asia Before European Hegemony: China at the Center

Tuesday 8/31 Introduction: People & place

Qianlong, Emperor of China 1736-1796, inaugural portrait

Thurday 9/2 Traditional Societies, families

Mackerras, chs. 3 (16-33), ch 4 (43-44, 51-59), ch. 5,
Documents: The Classic of Filial Piety (Xiaojing)

Tuesday 9/7 Traditional Societies, states

Mackerras, ch. 6 (79-84), ch. 7, ch. 9
ERES: Sources of Korean Tradition, 26-27; Antiforeignism and Western Learning in Early-Modern Japan, 149-151 ("Prefatory Remarks" to the New Theses of 1825 by Aizawa Seishisai). Qianlong's 1793 letter to King George III,

II. Rise of European Capital, Decline of Chinese Prestige

Thursday 9/9 Europeans in Asia: trade & treaties

Mackerras, chs. 10-12
Documents: Lin Zixu (1839) Letter of Advice to Queen Victoria; Treaty of Nanjing;
ERES: Sources of Korean Tradition, 235-36, 240-2

Tuesday 9/14 Crisis & Opportunity in China: Rebellion & Reform

ERES: Spence, Search for Modern China, ch. 8 ("The Crisis Within"); SMC A Documentary Collection, 150-156
Tianjin Massacre (1870), Guangxu's 1898 edict to abolish examination system; A Description of the Boxer Uprising, 1900;

Thursday 9/16 Crisis & Opportunity in Japan: Meiji Restoration

Mackerras, pp. 189-196 (Documentary)
Documents: Harris Treaty of 1858; militant daimyo view ; moderate daimyo view ; Charter Oath;
Optional: Black Ships and Samurai (MIT website)

III. Nationalism, Modernization & Reform

Tuesday 9/21 Japan Builds an Empire

Mackerras, 196-207
Online documents: Imperial Rescript on Education,
ERES: Tonghak Uprisings in Korea (1894) in folder "Sources of Korean Tradition, pt. 1, pp. 9-11) (You can print out just these pages)

Thursday 9/23 Imperialism, War & Revolution in East Asia

Mackerras, ch. 14 (pp. 177-end 1st para. on 184), ch. 17 (pp. 227-end 2nd para. on 232).
Document: Wilson's 14 Points , Korean Proclamation of Independence (3/1/1919) (scroll down to Appendix G)

Map Quiz

Special Guest: Bei Dao, renowned Chinese dissident poet, 7:30 Higley Auditorium, will read from his work

Tuesday 9/28 Nationalism & Revolutions in China

Mackerras, 184-187, 232-238
Lu Xun [Hsun] the writer (1881-1936)
Graphic Arts in 20th c. China (don't miss political progaganda, woodcuts; from Ebrey's online Visual Sourcebook)
Documentary film

Thursday 9/30 Many Faces of Colonialism: Vietnam, Korea & Taiwan

Mackerras, chs. 13 ( to mid-p. 171), 19 & 20 to p. 273;
ERES: Schirokauer & Clark, Modern East Asia, pp. 259-271; Sources of Korean Tradition, 321-322.
Chinese language in colonial Taiwan,
Ho Chi-minh on Racial Hatred

Goto Shinpei, Japanese colonial official in Taiwan

***Friday 10/01 Essay 1 due by 4 pm***

IV. The Pacific War and its Legacies:
Contested histories

Tuesday 10/5 Greater East Asia War

Kim, Lost Names, to 57
Cook & Cook, Japan at War, pt. 1

Thursday 10/7Japan at War

Kim, Lost Names, cont.
Cook & Cook, Japan at War, pt. 2

Tuesday 10/12 Fall Reading Day

Thursday 10/14 Japan at War

Japan at War, pts. 3-4; finish & discuss Lost Names

Tuesday 10/19 Memory and History: Discussion

Japan at War, finish

Wartime postcard: Japanese soldiers playing with Chinese children

RESERVE: CHOOSE A, B, or C: (A) Joshua Fogel, ed., The Nanjing Massacre in history and historiography, ch. 2, 3 or 4, or the Nanjing massacre online documentary; (B) Fujitani, et al. eds., Perilous Memories, The Asia-Pacific Wars, any chapter relevant to Japan, China, or Korea; (C) West et al., eds, America's Wars in Asia, ch. 1 or 2 (Hiroshima).

Prepare notes on your reading for small group discussion.

Thursday 10/21 Japan Remade?

Documentary on US Occupation

V. Marxist Revolution in East Asia: Hot War, Cold War, Trade War

Tuesday 10/26 Korea's Aborted Revolution: Divided Peninsula

Mackerras, pp. 272-278 and ch. 21
RESERVE: West et al., eds, America's Wars in Asia, chs. 4 or 11 (Korea).
Start Bao Ninh, Sorrow of War

Thursday 10/28 Vietnam: wars of independence

Mackerras, pp. 263-66, ch. 22
Documents Ho Chi Minh archives; (read 1945 Declaration of Independence and select one other document)
Bao Ninh, Sorrow of War

Tuesday 11/2 Vietnam: wars of independence, cont.

Bao Ninh, Sorrow of War, finish & discuss

General Vo Nguyen Giap & Ho Chi-minh


Thursday 11/4 Mao's Revolution, pt. 1

Mackerras, ch. 25
Chen Village, Prologue.

***Friday 11/05 Essay 2 due by 4 pm***

Tuesday 11/9 Mao's Revolution, pt. 1
Chen Village, to. p. 102 (through ch. 3) (Documentary)

Thursday 11/11 Mao's Revolution, cont.

Chen Village, ch. 4 (Documentary)

Tuesday 11/16 Mao's Revolution, pt. 2

Chen Village, chs. 5-7

Lei Feng, "Wholeheartedly Serve the People"

Thursday 11/18 Japan: miracle or bubble?

Mackerras, 370-80 [382-398; 461-77 optional]

***Friday November 19, 4 pm: Web evaluation due.

Thanksgiving Break

VI. Family, Nation, & Identity in East Asia: 1980s-2004

Tuesday 11/30 Greater China: PRC

Golden Arches East, Intro. & ch. 1 (Beijing)
Chen Village, finish & discuss

Thursday 12/02 Greater China: Hong Kong/Macao, Taiwan

Golden Arches East, chs. 2-3 (Hong Kong & Taiwan)

Tuesday 12/07 Two Koreas: Divided Histories, Shared Legacies

ERES: Source of Korean Tradition, 370-381, 419-430

Thursday 12/09 Northeast Asia (Japan & Korea)

Golden Arches East, finish & discuss

***Friday 12/10 Essay 3 due by 3 pm

Tuesday 12/14 Future of East Asia

Mackerras, chs. 38-41

Final Exam: Friday December 17, 3:30 pm.

If you choose to write the take-home final exam, it will be due at this time. If you choose the portfolio paper (see below), it will also be due at this time.

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Map Knowledge

Map Quiz Thurs. Sept 23: you will receive a blank map and a list of places to locate on it. You will be asked to provide from memory the names of the four countries we are focussing on, their capital cities, and the 4 main islands of Japan. You should also be able to locate the following:

COUNTRIES (includes those bordering China):
Russia, India, Nepal, Mongolian Republic (Outer Mongolia), Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan


Cities: Beijing (Peking), Shanghai, Nanjing (Nanking), Canton(Guangzhou), Chongqing (Chungking), Xi'an (Sian), Yan'an (Yenan), Tianjin (Tientsin), Taibei (Taipei), Hong Kong, Macao

Outer China: Manchuria or Dongbei ("Northeast"), Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region (Chinese Turkestan), Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

Other: Taiwan, Yellow River, Yangtze River, Yellow Sea, South China Sea, Pearl (or Xi) River

JAPAN (Main Islands): Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Hokkaido,Okinawa

Cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nagasaki, Hiroshima

Other: Inland Sea, Kurile Islands, Ryukyu Islands, Sea of Japan

Cities: Seoul, P'yongyang, Hanoi, Saigon (Ho Chi Mihn City),
Other: Gulf of Tonkin, Yalu River, Red River

Map of China , Japan maps , Vietnam map , maps of Korea

Base maps of Asia


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Web Source Evaluation

Choose any specific topic or issue that interests you and find up to 10 web sites about that topic. Consult the evaluation guidelines on this site: Using and evaluating web sources

Carefully read and evaluate your websites. Choose the best four or five and write a 3-4 page paper evaluating these sites for reliability, accuracy, content, sourcing, authorship (can you easily identify the author/s of the site?), and motivations in maintaining the site. Append to your paper a list of the sites that you evaluated, in the format recommended on the above site. This paper will be due before you leave campus for Thanksgiving break, and no later than 4 pm on Friday November 19. Please submit your paper in both hard copy and as a Word file attached to an email. I will upload all papers to a folder on the web syllabus so that everyone can consult them.

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Key Terms & Chronology by week

Week 2:
China Trade to Opium Wars
Early 18th c.: EIC starts trading in China, at Canton, Amoy (Xiamen), Chushan (Zhoushan–islands near Shanghai)
1729: Qing emperor Yongzheng bans import of opium
1760: Qing restricts all European trade to Macao/Canton
1770s: beginning of EIC “country trade” in illegal opium
1784: American merchants enter China trade
1793: Macartney mission to Qing court
[1790s-1820s: Russians, Brits, et al. try to land on Japanese shore; bakufu issues expulsion order 1825]
1805: Balance of Canton trade turns in British favor
1819: Boom in illegal opium trade, silver draining rapidly out of China
1838: Lin Zexu appointed Commissioner to end opium trade at Canton
1839-42: Opium War; Treaty of Nanjing opens 5 new ports to trade
1856-60: Second Opium War, Treaty of Tianjin (1858) open 11 new ports to illegal opium trade & interior to Christian missionaries

Week 3:
19th C. CHINA

1839 - 1842 1st Opium War
1850 - 1864 Taiping Rebellion
1853 Yellow River shifts, massive flooding
1853 - 1868 Nian Rebellion
[1853 - Perry sails into Edo Bay to “open Japan”]
1855 - 1873 Muslim Rebellions in Southwest
1862 - 1873 Muslim Rebellions in Northwest
1854 - 1860 Conflicts w/Russia in Manchuria (NE)
1856 - 1860 Anglo-French War (2nd Opium War)
[1868- Meiji Restoration in Japan]
1884 - 1885 Sino-French War (over Vietnam)
1894 - 1895 Sino-Japanese War (over Korea)
1896 - 1898 Scramble for Concessions (Eurs. grab spheres of influence)
1899 - 1900 Boxer Uprising
1901-1911- “New Reforms” launched by Qing court
1911 - fall of Qing dynasty

Zeng Guofan 1811-72, Li Hongzhang (1823-1901)
Zhong xue wei ti, xi xue wei yong “Chinese learning for the foundation, western learning for the application” (or: eastern ethics, western science”)

Commodore Perry (U.S. Navy) 1853
sōnno jōi – “revere emperor expel the barbarians”
YOSHIDA SHŌIN (1830-59)–Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about him in his Familiar Studies of Men and Books; Yoshida wrote (among other things) a book about a woman samurai who searched for her husband’s assassin for 12 years to avenge his death.
Coup in Kyoto (old imperial capital, 1867)
MEIJI Emperor (r. 1867-1912) meiji “enlightened rule”
TOKYO (formerly Edo, bakufu capital) -- 1869, new imperial capital
Satsuma Rebellion -- 1877 (led by Saigō Takamori)
kokutai ("national essence")
FUKUZAWA Yukichi, founder of Keiō University,
bunmei kaika “civilization & enlightenment”
Oligarchs (genro “elder founders”): advisors to Meiji emperor
fukoku kyohei “rich nation strong country”
ŌKUBO Toshimichi (1830-1878), ex-Satsuma samurai, opposed Korea expedition
ŌKUMA Shigenobu (1838-1922), finance minister 1870s, opposed Korea expedition
ITŌ Hirobumi (1841-1909), proponent of constitutional monarchy
YAMAGATA Aritomo (1838-1922), father of Japanese army, directed 1894-95 war against China
Meiji Constitution–1889
Rescript on Education -- 1890

Week 4:


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Essay Questions

General Guidelines:
Length: 4-6 pages (1000-1500 words). Essays should have a short descriptive title, an introduction and a conclusion. Please use 1 inch margins, double spacing, and 11 or 12 pt font. Essays count 150 points each (out of a total of 1000), and will be graded on content (argument and use of sources) and style (clarity of writing, grammar, organization). See the writing guidelines on the class webpage for further details. Most importantly, read the "Rules about Sources" section below. If you have any questions, come in and talk it over with me.

Unreadable essays: If the essay is difficult to read because of weak grammar, sentence construction or for some other reason (printing errors or typos, etc.), I will return the entire essay unmarked. You will have to resubmit it within 3 days (of my handing it back to you or emailing you about it) and will lose 10 points. So edit carefully!

Late essays: will be marked down 5 points for each 24 hours late. The only exemption from this rule is documented illness or a letter from the dean of students.

This is very hard, but: Try not to read back into the past from the present; that is, do not assume that what happened later was the only possible or inevitable outcome.

Rules about Sources:
1. Use the documents (primary sources) we have read in class as the main source for building your argument; it is appropriate and effective to quote from documents to support a point or analysis you are making; be sure always to identify the source of a quotation with a parenthetical citation (author's name or "Document Title," p. # or paragraph #). Use as many of the documents as you find relevant to your topic.

2. When using or referring to works by modern authors (secondary sources), PARAPHRASE rather than quote directly. In paraphrasing, be very careful to use your own words and provide a parenthetical citation, e.g. at the end of a paragraph (Spence, pp. 189-190). I have put a number of books on Reserve (see the list in the Resources section of the online syllabus) that you may also consult, if you want further information. If you do use those books, provide general citations at the end of paragraphs or statements that you base upon those authors' work.

3. DO NOT USE OTHER SOURCES. This essay is about how you have read and understood the material assigned in this class, and will be evaluated as such. It is not about your ability to do research on the web. In particular, this essay provides you an opportunity to use the building blocks of historical writing -- primary source documents -- to build your own interpretation and to back it up. If you are not sure that you are understanding a source "correctly," come in and talk it over with me.

Essay 1: Due Friday 10/01 at 11 am at Seitz 4.
CHOOSE ONE and write a 4-6 page essay.

1. Compare the nature and effects of Western intrusion in China and Japan. How were Japanese and Chinese responses to the West similar or different? Some historians argue that one of the advantages which Japan enjoyed in its modernization was that it had a native justification [Divine Origins] or ideology in the restoration of the emperor. Assess the merits of this argument. In China, why was imperial rule eventually rejected as a basis for modernization? How do you explain the rapidity with which the Japanese apparently adjusted to new conditions, circumstances and ideas in comparison to the Chinese?

2. Issues of language, both spoken and written, acquired new significance in the 19th and 20th centuries, and not just because of the necessity to deal with foreigners. Identify and explore some of the questions relating to language and script use (see my suggestions below), and its changing meanings. Analyze relevant documents from at least two East Asian settings to make your argument. What seems to be the relationship of language to political reform? To evolving notions of national or cultural identity? And to ideas about the individual position in society? Why was language reform important to some groups but resisted by others (in a given society)? Issues of translation are also relevant here. You may refer to other sources (textbook readings, documentary films, class discussion) used in this class, in addition to documentary materials, but the latter should be the essay's focus.

3. How did East Asian reformers, rebels, or elites use or appeal to certain values and "traditions" (mainly but not only those we associate with Confucianism) to mobilize populations or groups for change or allegiance to a new order? How do their understandings or interpretations and uses of these cultural values or "traditions" change over time (from roughly mid-19th century to 1920s)? Discuss (compare and contrast) at least three examples.

Essay 2: Due Friday 11/05 by 4 pm, at Seitz 4
I will NOT meet with anyone to talk about the essay after Wednesday Nov. 3, so plan carefully! All papers should be based mainly on Lost Names and Japan at War.

See me by 10/29 about variations on these topics.

1. Korean and Japanese experiences of the Pacific War:
**at “home” (wherever people were living)
**in the military (or at the “Front”)
**in families (women, children, non-combatants)
Choose one or two of these settings, and draw upon Lost Names and Japan at War to analyze the nature of war-time experience for these people (differences, similarities, etc.). E.g., if you look at families, you might consider how Kim paints the relationships among family members and how the Japanese colonial presence affected them. Summarize your findings in your conclusion.

2. Ethnocentrism and Hatred in Lost Names and Japan at War:
ethnocentrism: 1. belief in the superiority of one’s own ethnic group....

In interviews, Kim has stated, “One exception I take is to anyone who says it’s (Lost Names) is anti-Japanese. It’s not; there are some bad Japanese charcters in the book, but it is not anti-Japanese.” Do you agree or disagree? Why? What kinds or forms of ethnocentrism emerge from Lost Names and Japan at War? How representative of Korean experience is Kim’s (and the narrator’s) story?

3. Class and hierarchy in Korea and Japan:
Analyze the structures and dynamics of hierarchy and class in two of these settings: Japan’s colonies, the Homeland, at the “Front,” using Lost Names and Japan at War. How did class and hierarchy affect people’s experience of the Pacific War? Do you find any significant differences in this regard between Koreans and Japanese?

Hierarchy refers to power relations, social status, etc., whatever factors place one in a privileged position relative to other people in the same group or series of groups to which ne belongs. Therefore, a person who belongs to several different groups (family, community, nation, colony, army, etc.) may occupy different positions in different hierarchies. Class position usual involves some kind of hierarchal relationship, but the two do not necessarily overlap.

4. Resistance from 1937-1945:
Why didn’t more Japanese and Koreans resist the “emperor system”? When resistance did occur, what forms did it take? Who did try to resist and why? Is there any relationship between resistance and historical awareness (education or knowledge of the past)?

5. War Responsibility:
Present arguments for and against the following propositions, using the informants in Japan at War, Kim’s novel, and other class readings to formulate your positions.

“I now realized that first I had to take responsibility myself, as a person who had acted. Only then could I pursue the responsibilities of the superiors, my commanders, and the Emperor.” [Tominaga Shozo, in Japan at War, p. 466]

“Koreans are so good about blaming others....they know so little about what they have done. They lack a collective sense of guilt or action.” (Richard Kim, interview)

6. Representations of the Pacific War and the problem of “memory”:
How have representations of the war evolved over the decades since 1945 in the materials that you have read or watched (memoirs, art or films, scholarly studies, public ceremonies or monuments, government policies, etc.)? What factors have affected or shaped the way these representations have evolved? Discuss the nature and relationship of individual memory and public memory.

Examine examples of individual (e.g., personal testimonies, literature or art) and collective or public (government or groups sponsored) representations, in two of these settings: Japan, China, Korea, the US (the latter could include Richard Kim’s novel, because it was written and published first in the US).

Essay 3: Due Friday 12/10 at 2 pm: You Were There

Due: Friday December 10, by 2 pm. 4-6 pages: No less than four pages, no more than six pages, NOT including your endnotes. Follow the guidelines for previous essays on use of sources. In this essay, do not use text notes or footnotes; use ENDNOTES where necessary or applicable.

Pick any secondary character or individual, named or otherwise, who appears in either The Sorrow of War or Chen Village and write an autobiographical memoir from that person’s point of view. I.e., do not use choose Ao or one of the other interviewees, or Kien. But you could imagine yourself to be, e.g., one of the other sent-down students. Or Phuong or another female from Bao Ninh’s book (whose point of view or perspective is not as fully developed).

Draw upon the material in the book to recreate your life, using your imagination to fill in the gaps with plausible details. For example, consider the gender system in place where you live and act/make decisions that would make sense in its terms. Because you are writing this memoir in retrospect (from a distance in time, if not in space, from the events), along the way analyze the historical events or forces that shaped your life and the decisions that you made, as you have come to understand them. The time frame for your memoir should encompass the critical decades 1960s-1980s covered in the books.

Your memoir should be as substantive as possible, and not simply copied from the book or full of goofy or lurid anecdotes. Also, compose your memoir in beautiful, clear, concise, complete and grammatically correct English sentences. Vernacular is ok, slang is not. Write introductions and conclusions suitable to your life and in keeping with the assignment (do not forget the analytical component).

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Writing Guidelines

1. TITLE: give your paper a short, expressive title

2. INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION: i.e, your first and last paragraphs. They introduce and sum up what you are talking about.

3. PARAGRAPHS: They organize your ideas and make them readable. Divide the text on a page into at least 2 or 3 paragraphs (the eye likes this).
Start each paragraph with a TOPIC SENTENCE that introduces the topic of that paragraph. End each paragraph with a sentence that serves as a logical TRANSITION to the next paragraph and topic.

Reading your topic sentences alone, I should be able to grasp clearly the main points or argument of your paper. In paragraphs, develop the point introduced in the topic sentence and demonstrate or illustrate it, where appropriate, with an illuminating quotation from your source (but not the textbook, in most cases, unless it quotes primary sources).

4. QUOTATIONS: Be selective– select short quotes from primary sources. Indent and single-space (block) quotations longer than 3 lines. YOU MUST IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF A QUOTATION. Put source name (a shortened form) & page number in parantheses after the quotation, or at the end of the sentence. A good way to introduce a quote is to identify the speaker whose words you are quoting.

6. Learn the difference between a NOVEL, MEMOIR, SHORT STORY, and ethnography.

7. In making COMPARISONS, try to choose comparable units to compare: Comparing 1860s Japan to 1760s US, or to 1860s China, usually makes more sense than to the US today.


9. Expressions or words to avoid (in any form): "However", "can be seen," superlative adjectives or adverbs ("totally," "incredible"),

10. Verbs: Strive to use past tense and active voice verbs.
Please avoid PASSIVE VOICE whenever possible, and use active voice verbs: Tell us who did it!
"They were given...." "They received...." or "The landlords gave them...."
"They were taught..." "They learned...." or "More experienced women taught them...."

Go to this website if you do not understand why historians shun the passive voice:
Eliminating passive voice

Lastly, TRY NOT to start a sentence, especially the third time in a row: "There is/are/were...."

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Portfolio Paper

This is an opportunity to pursue a topic or question that interests you in depth. Please consult with me by the week before Thanksgiving break if you wish to do this project in lieu of the take-home final. History majors are strongly encouraged to take this option.You will find three articles from journals (one may be a chapter in a book) by different authors on a specific issue or question, make a copy of the articles, read them, and write a 5-8 page essay that compares and analyzes the approaches to the issue taken by each author.

What questions do scholars ask, what issues do they debate in relation to this topic? Identify the argument that each author makes and the sources used to make that argument, and evaluate how authors use their sources to support their points. Your essay should include an introduction and conclusion that frames the debates you find and summarizes your findings, respectively. You do not need to take sides, unless you find a particular author's argument and evidence to be especially compelling. Be sure to pay attention to who the author is (check the footnotes), what his/her discipline is (history, political science, sociologist, demographer, anthropologist, etc.) and affiliation if you can find it (university, think tank, UN, etc.).

The essay should be 5 to 8 pages long. Upon the first mention of an author, refer to him/her by the full name, then by last name upon subsequent references. Use a complete and proper citation to the article in your first note, and just author/page number in subsequent text notes.

Finally, please compile a folder that contains copies of the articles and a finished copy of your essay, and hand it in on or before December 17. I want to vet your articles, so be sure to consult with me before you begin writing your essay.

Final Examination (Take-home)

DUE: Friday December 17, by 3:30 pm. Typed, double-spaced, 6-7 pages in total (NO MORE), all stapled together please! Do A, B, and C. Label each part clearly. 200 points

A. Go to AV and watch one of the feature films listed on the back, then write a short critical review (2 pages) discussing how the film (director) portrays the subject in its historical context, as you have come to understand it. What messages does the film portray about the history of the period, from the perspective of the director and presumed audience? The films come from China, Japan and Korea; we do not yet have any feature films made by a Vietnamese director (hard to get with English subtitles). DO NOT just write a plot summary (longer than 3 sentences) of the film!! DO choose a film you have not seen before (let me know if you have seen all of these!) [90 pts]

B. Answer four of the following questions in one or 2 paragraphs (not more than ½ a page):
(You will want to read up in Mackerras, inter alia, for this section.) [40 pts]

1. In spite of the horror and devastation unleashed on Vietnam during the American war, why does anti-Americanism run much higher in South Korea than in Vietnam?

2. Which of the following dates do you think has been the single-most important year in 20th century East Asian history and why? 1917, 1919, 1937, 1945, 1975, 1989

3. Which East Asian nation today faces the most severe environmental crises or problems and why? What are the principal environmental threats or challenges facing East Asians today?

4. In the eyes of Americans and Europeans during this period, which played a more important role in East Asian affairs: Communism or nationalism? Give an example. In the eyes of East Asians, which played a more important role in what was happening in the region? Give an example.

5. Why have the Japanese had so much difficulty in the postwar period in conducting public discussions of their actions and responsibility for them during the Pacific War/WW II?

6. Which would you rather have been in 1949 and why: a member of the yangban elite in Korea or a moderately well-off farmer in Hebei province (the province around Beijing?

C. In 2-3 pages, discuss what you think are the single most important changes, as well as the most significant continuities, in East Asia from 1800 to 2004, in terms of:
a) internal developments in each country (i.e., one change and one continuity in each of our four main areas);
b) regional relationships (among East Asians), and
c) relationship with the rest of the world (as a region).

Articulate the changes & continuities as specifically and concisely as possible, citing readings, documentaries or class discussion (NOT Mackerras) where relevant. [70 pts]

FILMS: All available in AV. Choose ONE that you have not watched before.

"Red Sorghum" (Hong gaoliang). Dir. ZHANG Yimou. 1987. 91 min. Video 92.0038
Based on a novel by Mo Yan, the story opens as a lusty romantic comedy about a nervous young bride's arrival and ensuing seduction at a remote winery, and ends as a heroic and harrowing drama of partisan resistance during Japanese occupation. Zhang Yimou’s use of vibrant colors has made him the best known PRC film director abroad.

"Sandakan 8" (Sandakan hachi). 1974. Kei KUMAI. color, 121 min. Video 90.0004
A woman journalist becomes interested in the history of the Japanese women who were sent to Borneo as prostitutes in the early 1900s. She befriends an old woman who gradually tells the story of her life as a karayuki san. Not just a women’s film, but about trust and the legacy of empire.

"Spring in My Hometown" (Arumdaun sijol). Dir. Kwangmo LEE. 1998 124 min. DVD 02.0106
Innocence is lost for two young Korean boys in 1952 as they see how their country at war brings unexpected and very personal costs. The boys spy on local women who have sex with U.S. soldiers, but their voyeuristic excursions take on a tragic dimension when one of the boys sees his mother prostituting herself. A beautifully filmed drama that plays out with calm, patient pacing and a painter's composition.

"Family Game" (Kazoku geimu). Dir. Yoshimitsu MORITA. 1983. 107 min. Video 88.0264
Morita's still relevant satire has a strong bite. "The Family Game" depicts Tokyo in the 1980's. The external view--high-rise apartments, sprawling factories, campuses carpeted in artificial grass, and ferries chugging over the world's most crowded bay--is beautiful and fearful. Reveals all the trappings and pretensions of Japanese home life. The middle-class family hire a poor tutor for their 2 sons. The tutor despises the family and does little to help the boys increase their test scores. The mother is a classic example of the "kyoiku mama" (education mom) -- mothers who devote themselves to helping their children (especially sons) get into the best universities.

"Qiu Ju" (Qiu Ju da guansi). ZHANG Yimou. 1993. 100 min. Video 94.0181
A social comedy set in post-Mao China about a peasant woman's crusade for simple justice. When her husband is kicked in the groin by the village chief, Qiu Ju demands an apology and payment of medical bills. The chief refuses to apologize so she takes her battle through the Chinese bureaucracy, from village council to the provincial capital

"Shiri" (Shiri). Dir. KANG Jegyu 1999. 113 min Video 02.0341
A phantom sniper is methodically assassinating key figures in a South Korean intelligence investigation. Special agent Ryu and his partner Lee suspect North Korea's most lethal female operative, Hee, as being responsible. When a security breach prompts the theft of a high-tech liquid explosive, CTX, from the South Korean authorities, Ryu and Lee are certain there's a mole within their ranks. Heavily influenced by Hong Kong and American action films, the political elements make Shiri as interesting as it is exciting.


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Useful Links

For China:

A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization

Timeline for China, 1700-2004

Interactive Map (click on any spot on the map for a close-up view of the region)

Taiwan Documents

Tibet Information Network

People's Daily

Chinese Propaganda Posters

Tiananmen Square 1989 Unclassified History

On the Chinese Flag

For Japan:

Timeline for Japan

Japan Chronology & Flags

Constitutions of 1889 and 1947

Black Ships & Samurai

Japanese history Internet resources

Japan history index (University of Kansas)

For Korea:

History of modern Korea

Korean war chronology

Korean History page

Global Korean Network of Los Angeles (Queen Min)

For Vietnam:

Timeline for Vietnam

Alexander Woodside on Vietnamese History

Outline of Vietnamese history

General resources



East Asian Sourcebook (Japan and China)

Using and evaluating web sources


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Student Work

This takes you to the web page where your web evaluation papers are stored. Click on a topic to read the paper.


Reserve Books and Resources

The following books are on Course Reserve for your reference purposes:

Chinese Civilization, a sourcebook, ed. Patricia B. Ebrey
Sources of Chinese Tradition, eds. W. T. deBary & Irene Bloom
Sources of Japanese Tradition, eds. R. Tsunoda & W. T. deBary
Sources of Korean Tradition, eds. P. Lee & W. T. deBary
The Search for Modern China, A Documentary Collection, ed. Pei-Kai Cheng & Michael Lestz.
The Search for Modern China, by Jonathan Spence (1990)
Japan, A Modern History, by James McLain (2002)
Korea's Place in the Sun, A Modern History, by Bruce Cumings (1997)
Vietnam, A Revolution in Transition, by William Duiker (1995)

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December 15, 2004