Core Undergraduate Lecture Sequence

HIST 307/EAST 301 - The Making of Japan's Great Peace

The Making of Japan’s Great Peace probes one of the great transformations in Japanese history: from the uncertainty and bloodshed of the sixteenth century, with its artistic dazzle and larger-than-life personalities, to a stable political order that achieved...Read more

HIST 303 - Japan's Modern Revolution

This course examines one of the most important, but least studied revolutions of modern world history.  In the second half of the nineteenth century, when societies all over the globe were falling prey to the forces of Western imperialism, an isolated island country on...Read more

HIST 353 - 20th Century Japan: Empire and Aftermath

When the twentieth century began, Japan was already an empire, with an emperor, hoping to join the ranks of the European imperial powers. In 1905, in a victory which shocked the world, Japan defeated Imperial Russia in a regional conflict over control of Korea. To many...Read more

Select Undergraduate Seminars

HIST 030/EAST 030 - Tokyo

Tokyo and its pre-1868 incarnation, Edo, is a good city to think with. It is the world’s most populous conurbation, a distinction it has held on and off since about 1700, as well as one of the most livable major population centers anywhere. It has a spaghetti bowl of...Read more

Hist 319J/EAST 319 - Tokugawa Japan and the Human Condition

Tokugawa Japan (1600–1868) presents an engrossing blend of the familiar and the strange. At times, it can seem to anticipate our own world, complete with celebrity actors, commodity futures, and competitive eating tournaments. We still get many of the jokes of the...Read more

HIST 302J - Korea and the Japanese Empire: Critical Contexts

This course addresses critical moments of contact, conflict, and connection in the modern histories of Korea and Japan. Each week our discussion and readings will focus on a specific event, before looking at the wider contexts involved and historical debates they have...Read more


This class offers students an opportunity to explore the rich historical links that exist between Yale and Japan, and, in the process, to deepen their understanding of Japanese and East Asian history, U.S.-Japan relations and aspects of the Asian-American experience. ...Read more

HIST 304J - Japanese Historical Documents

Few pre-industrial societies anywhere in the world have bequeathed us a body of historical documents as varied and plentiful as those Tokugawa Japan (1600-1867).  This class offers students who already have a solid command of modern Japanese an introduction to these...Read more