- Caroli, Rosa; Gatti, Francesco. 2004. Storia del Giappone. Roma e Bari: Laterza. Introduzione, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (only to p. 137) or if Italian is not your first language Totman, Conrad. 2005. A History of Japan. Blackwell, chapters 1-12.
- De Bary, Theodore, Keen, Donald; Tanabe, George; Varley, Paul (2001): Sources of Japanese Tradition, Volume One: Form Earliest Times to 1600, Columbia University Press. Selected readings.
- De Bary, Theodore; Gluck, Carol; Tiedemann, Arthur (2006): Sources of Japanese Tradition, Volume Two - Part One 1600-1868, Columbia University Press. Selected readings.
Further non-compulsory readings will be presented during the lectures and made available on Moodle.