SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Modernity and Identity in Modern Japanese History 1868-1912

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 4
Taught in:
Term 1
This module focuses on the Meiji Restoration. It involves close reading of Japanese texts, lectures in English and discussion in English and Japanese.


Intermediate level Japanese

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

By reading critically a wide range of academic books, both in Japanese and in English, on the Meiji Restoration, a student will be able to appreciate the impact that it had on the imperial institutions, religions and commoners. As they are required to translate from Japanese into English, give presentations on related topics using compulsory English readings and engage in brainstorming discussions, the module will provide them with a well-rounded knowledge of the topic as well as the skills to translate at an academic level.


Total of 10 weeks teaching with one two-hour and one one-hour classroom session each week. Lectures are in English with close reading of Japanese texts and discussion in Japanese on select topics.

Method of assessment

Combination of a two-hour written examination (60%) taken in May/June. Examination comprises of translation, comprehension and an essay question in English. One essay in English of 3000 words (40%). Submission dates to be announced.

Suggested reading

  • K Pyle, The Making of Modern Japan.
  • W G Beasley, The Rise of Modern Japan.
  • Course pack


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules