Faculty of Arts


Samurai and Scholars: Early Modern China and Japan


Early modern China and Japan had much in common; they shared not only a geographical space in East Asia but also a history of cultural interaction, lively trade and an enduring interest in Confucianism as a way of structuring family and social relationships.

This course explores the dynamism that made these two East Asian societies "early modern" with a focus on the structures and patterns of everyday life. How did scholars come out on top in the great imperial bureaucracy of China, whereas the samurai warriors lorded it over even the emperor in Tokugawa Japan?

The course will foster:

  • The ability to research, read and interpret historical sources in English translation
  • Critical engagement with historical topics in the field
  • Facility with coherent presentation of ideas orally and in writing
  • The ability to identify points of continuity or historical resonance between the early modern and the present in East Asia
  • Culturally sensitive engagement with people from East Asia

This course will appeal to students in Chinese, Japanese, Asian Studies and Global Studies as well as History students interested in Asian History.



Coursework only

Availability 2021

Not offered in 2021; planned for 2022


Lecturer(s) Dr Melissa Inouye
Dr Ellen Nakamura


Recommended Reading


Coursework only


HISTORY 335: 15.0 points


90 points passed


HISTORY 222, 225, 242, 322, 342

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