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Japan-US Relations: History and Today (Dec. 4, 2023)

Session(s) date

Session(s) date: 
Monday, December 4, 2023 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

K-12 educators, are you ready to embark on a captivating journey through the intricate tapestry of US-Japan relations in modern Japanese history? Join us for a thought-provoking event with Kaoru Iokibe, professor of politics from the University of Tokyo, that delves into key historical periods that have shaped the global landscape. Explore the beginnings of the US-Japan relationship during the Meiji Period, navigate the tumultuous path leading to World War II in the Showa Period, and unravel the complexities of post-war Japan, including the aftermath of the atomic bombs and the remarkable recovery that led to a revitalized US-Japan relationship.

I. Meiji Period: The Birth of US-Japan Relations
Step back in time to the transformative Meiji Period when Japan emerged from isolation to modernize and engage with the world. Delve into the events that marked the beginning of diplomatic ties with the United States, including the Treaty of Kanagawa. Gain a deeper understanding of this pivotal era in Japan's history and its profound impact on international relations.
II. Showa Period: The Path to WWII and Changing Alliances
Examine the complex web of foreign relations in Japan during the Showa Period, marked by Japan's involvement in World War II and shifting alliances with European powers. Explore the factors that led to these changes and the evolving dynamics of the US-Japan relationship.
III. End of the War & Post-war Japan: From Atomic Bombs to Recovery
Dive into the post-war era and witness the harrowing aftermath of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Learn about the United States' occupation of Japan and its role in the nation's reconstruction. Uncover the remarkable story of Japan's recovery and its renewed integration into the international community, leading to the revitalization of the US-Japan relationship in the contemporary world.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to deepen your understanding of modern Japanese history and equip yourself with valuable insights and resources to engage your students in meaningful discussions about the global impact of these historical events. Join us on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 for an educational journey through time that will enhance your teaching and inspire your students.

All participating educators will receive background readings and select primary sources. Participants are encouraged to share ideas and raise questions prior to and after the workshop via our online forum. The Zoom live session on December 4 will also include time to brainstorm on how to best bring this remarkable period alive for your students.

Participants who fully attend the workshop and submit the survey feedback are eligible to apply for the certificate issued by the U.S.-China Institute with the contact hours listed.

Kaoru Iokibe's 五百旗頭 薫 research comprises the political and diplomatic history of modern Japan. In 2003 he published his first book about the formation of the opposition party in Japan. His second
book, published in 2010, is about Meiji Japan’s restoration of sovereignty through the revision of “unequal treaties”
(now under translation into English). In 2019, he was a recipient of the Abe Fellowship, designed to encourage international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern. Recently, his interest stretches to several other fields including the history of political lies and the challenges to them in the form of rhetoric and literature, which resulted in his third book, “Political History of Deception: Insincere Politics of Earnest Society”, Chuokoronsensho, 2020 March.



This workshop is sponsored by the Japan Society and the USC U.S.-China Institute. It is offered in partnership with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia and with support from the Freeman Foundation.


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