East Asian Imperialisms

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2, Year 3 of 3 or Year 4
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Module overview

The module is designed to provide an overview how imperialism from within East Asia itself as well as the outside, has shaped the region.


None. This module is available as an open option.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a clear knowledge about imperialism within East Asia

  • Demonstrate a clear knowledge about how this has influenced the region from the present to the past

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the issues resulting out of the past for the present-day interregional relationship.


Total taught hours : 20 hours. 1 hours lecture and 1 hour seminar per week for 10 weeks.

Independent study : 130 hours

Total hours for module : 150 hours

Scope and syllabus

The syllabus will cover the various forms of imperialism that have shaped East Asia, from the Chinese pre-modern tributary system to Japanese imperialism of the early 20th century and Korean cultural imperialism in the present day.

Method of assessment

  • Book review (1500 words) 25%
  • Essay (2000 words) 75%

Suggested reading

Core Reading

  • Koshiro Yukiko.Imperial eclipse : Japan's strategic thinking about continental Asia before August 1945. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2013
  • Irie, Akira. After imperialism : the search for a new order in the Far East, 1921-1931. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1965.
  • Kleeman, Faye Yuan. In Transit. The formation of the colonial East Asian cultural sphere. Honolulu: Hawaii UP, 2014.
  • Eskildsen, Robert. Transforming empire in Japan and East Asia : the Taiwan expedition and the birth of Japanese imperialism. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules