Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT0330 (AF:348138 AR:185564)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
This is one of the main courses within the "Japan" curriculum of the degree programme in "Lingue, Culture e Società dell'Asia e dell'Africa Mediterranea".
The course contributes to the attainment of the teaching goals of the Corso di Laurea in the area of humanities.
The main goals of the course are: to provide knowledge on the history of the Japanese archipelago from the beginnings to the Edo period (1603-1867); to provide tools for the analysis and discussion of political, economic, social and cultural phenomena; to develop the judgement faculty and the skills to produce and communicate a piece of interpretive discourse on the themes of the course.
Knowledge and understanding:
- to know and understand the main phases and phenomena of the political, economic, social and cultural history of the Japanese archipelago from the beginnings to the Edo period (1603-1867)
- to acquire knowledge of historical research methodology
- to acquire the tools needed to subsequently deepen the knowledge and understanding of historical contexts in other teachings, from different points of view (e.g. artistic, literary ...)

Applying knowledge and understanding:
- to cope with the historiographical themes in an autonomous way, using arguments that are critically and historically sound
- to critically apply historical research methodology to the historical period studied in the course

Making judgements:
- to produce critical judgments on the political, economic, social and cultural phenomena that are part of the program by using arguments that are critically and historically sound
- to subject various types of sources to critical examination and to navigate the specialized bibliography
- to perfect one's capacity to criticize essentialist and stereotypical discourses on "Japanese culture"

- to express and re-elaborate the contents of the program in written form, in a synthetic and effective way, and to formulate valid judgments in the field of history, without resorting to automatisms and schematisms resulting from a mnemonic study

Lifelong learning skills:
- to know how to take notes in an effective way
- to know how to critically integrate the study of different materials (notes, slides, manuals, essays, academic articles)
- to be able to independently study materials and topics not covered during the lectures
- to refine one's ability to study materials in English
- to refine one's ability to use the online teaching platform
No specific prerequisites required.
The course will cover the history of the politics, the social and economic structures, and the cultural life of the Japanese archipelago from the beginnings to the Edo period. Specific attention will be directed to the relationship between the dominant "Japanese" culture and "other" cultures throughout history (and particularly in the Edo period).
Lesson 1-3: introductory remarks; prehistory of the Japanese archipelago; the birth of the first proto-states and the regional political order
Lessons 4-6: “ancient” Japanese history
Lessons 7-11: “medieval” Japanese history
Lessons 12-15: the Edo period
- 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.
Written test (40 mins):
- 10 multiple choice questions (8x1 pt; 2x1,5 pts.; 2x3 pts.).
- 2 brief open-ended questions (4 points each)
- 1 long open-ended question (5 points)

NOTE: candidates who do not reach the threshold level, will not be admitted to the second part of the exam.

The questions are meant to assess the general level of competence in the discipline and the critical and methodological skills the student acquired.
The assessment will consider the student's:
- general knowledge and understanding of the topics covered;
- competence in contextualizing the events in cronological terms;
- competence in the terminology associated with the subject and ability to use it effectively;
- ability to summarise and analyse themes and concepts.
Top marks will be awarded to a student displaying an overall understanding of the topics discussed during the lectures, combined with a critical approach to the material and a confident and effective use of the appropriate terminology
Average marks will be awarded to a student who has memorized the main points of the material and is able to summarise them satisfactorily and provide an effective critical commentary, while failing to display a complete command of the appropriate terminology.
A student will be deemed to have failed the exam if he displays significant errors in his understanding and failure to grasp the overall outlines of the subject, together with a poor command of the appropriate terminology.
Conventional, with powerpoint presentations.
Presentations are available on the moodle platform.
See: "moodle" for powerpoint presentations of the lessons, syllabus and further materials.
For organizational reasons and in order to assure the quality of the teaching, the students are recommended to follow the alphabetical partitions.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 17/01/2022