You are here

Educator Workshop: IOKIBE Kaoru on U.S.-Japan Relations

IOKIBE Kaoru (University of Tokyo) will focus on U.S.-Japan relations in historical and contemporary contexts.

December 4, 2023 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Monday, December 4, 2023
4 - 6 pm Pacific Time
Online via Zoom

This workshop is part of our program for K-12 educators. All are welcome to learn more and to sign up here.

I. Meiji Period: The Birth of US-Japan Relations
Commodore Perry's visits in 1853 and 1854 helped lead to the Meiji Restoration and new government's focus on modernizing the country.

Former U.S. Pres. Ulysses S. Grant being entertained in Tokyo's Ueno Park in 1879. TOSHIMITSU Kobayashi 小林年参 woodblock print.
II. Showa Period: The Path to WWII and Changing Alliances
Japan was a latecomer to the scramble for colonies. At the end of the Meiji-era, it seized control of Taiwan and Korea. In the Showa era, it would take control of Manchuria and later move to occupy or dominate much of the rest of East and Southeast Asia. World War II left the Japanese homeland occupied by the U.S. and in ruins.

Postcard showing the rebuilt Ginza district in Tokyo, 1930; the recovery after the 1923 Kanto earthquake. The street renamed in honor of the Showa Emperor.
III. End of the War & Post-war Japan: From Atomic Bombs to Recovery
Japan became a key ally in the Cold War and as such it had access to Western markets. It's democratization and economic rise were rapid. Economic clashes emerged, but Japanese firms became big employers in the U.S. Threats from North Korea and the regional challenge of China has brought the U.S. and Japan closer still. Trends in pop culture in both countries have reached the other.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio meet in San Francisco at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Nov. 2023.
Professor Iokibe has published extensively on Japanese politics and foreign policy. One of his books focused on efforts to restore Japanese sovereignty following the unequal treaties with Western nations in the 19th century. More recently he's published Political History of Deception on how political lies have been challenged.

This workshop is presented in partnership with the Japan Society and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. Financial support comes from the Freeman Foundation.

The photo at the top of the page is of U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel eating sushi in August 2023 to show support for Japan's seafood industry, in the context of Chinese protests against the release of treated wastewater from the defunct Fukushima nuclear power station.