Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity
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Course Date: 03 September 2014 to 15 October 2014 (6 weeks)
A first-time MITx/HarvardX collaboration, VJx opens windows on Japan’s transition into the modern world through the historical visual record.
This co-taught course looks at Japanese history and the skills and questions involved in reading history through images now accessible in digital formats. The course is based on the MIT "Visualizing Cultures" website devoted to image-driven research on Japan and China since the 19th century (visualizingcultures.mit.edu). The introductory module considers methodologies historians use to “visualize” the past, followed by three modules that explore the themes of Westernization, in Commodore Perry’s 1853-54 expedition to Japan; social protest, in Tokyo’s 1905 Hibiya Riot; and modernity, as seen in the archives of the major Japanese cosmetics company, Shiseido.