History / Year 8 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding

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Curriculum content descriptions

The role of the Tokugawa Shogunate in reimposing a feudal system (based on daimyo and samurai) and the increasing control of the Shogun over foreign trade (ACDSEH063)

Elaborations
  • describing the relationship between the emperor, shogun, daimyo (lords), samurai (warriors), workers (for example, farmers, artisans and traders)
  • explaining reasons for Japan’s closure to foreigners under the Tokugawa Shogunate and the impact of US Commodore Perry’s visit in 1853
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

International trade,  Feudalism,  Shogunates,  Japanese history

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Shoguns rule Japan with iron fists

Who were the shoguns and how did they rule Japan? In Japanese history, the time from about 1600 to 1868 is called the Edo period. In 1600, after centuries of wars, Japan came under the control of shoguns from the Tokugawa clan. They continued to rule until 1868, when they were overthrown. View this clip to discover how ...

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The end of Japan's isolation

Under the shoguns, Japan was deliberately isolated from the outside world from around 1600 CE. However, by the mid-19th century, Western imperialism was entering a new phase of expansion that no Asian state was able to resist. Discover what happened when the West came beating on the doors of a closed society. This clip ...

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Japan's shoguns keep everyone in their places

What was the status of each social class in shogunate Japan? During the period from around 1600 to 1868, Japan was a feudal society. As in medieval Europe, each group had its place in a strict social order. Watch this clip to discover the roles of each group during the age when the Tokugawa shoguns ruled the country. This ...

Collection

Japan under shogun and emperor

This is a collection of 11 digital curriculum resources that focus on Japan in the late Shogunate and early Meiji periods. The collection is grouped into five sections - samurai; people of the late Shogunate and early Meiji periods; scenes in late Shogunate and early Meiji Japan; the 'opening' of Japan; and the Meiji restoration. ...

Interactive Resource

The Black Ship Scroll

This is a collection showing two versions of the Black Ship Scroll, a long painted scroll ('emaki') depicting the members of US Commodore Matthew Perry's second expedition to Japan, their ships and their activities. One of the scroll versions shown is the famous 9-metre scroll painted in Shimoda. Animations show the two ...

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Rough justice in Medieval Europe

How do we determine whether someone is innocent or guilty of a crime? Our legal system is quite different to the one that was practised in Medieval Europe, where trials by combat or ordeal were not uncommon. In this clip, consider the merits of the medieval legal system. This clip is one in a series of five.

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Good and bad medicine in Medieval Europe

How sophisticated was medical practice in Medieval Europe? In this clip, learn about common forms of diagnosis and cures for ailments in the 14th century. And brace yourself for a medieval-style amputation; it's not pretty. This clip is one in a series of five.

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A woman's life in Medieval Europe

What was life like for women in Medieval Europe? Did they enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men? In this clip, learn about the roles of peasant women and the lives they could expect to lead. This clip is one in a series of five.

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Working for a living in Medieval England

Imagine being transported to England in the middle of the 13th century. What was life like for common people? Who had the power to control the lives of others? In this clip, learn about the feudal system, which was widespread in Medieval Europe. This clip is first in a series of five.

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Trading for food in Medieval Europe

What are the essential things you need to survive? Food, water, medicine, shelter, sanitation ... anything else? How do you obtain these basic requirements? How might people living in Medieval Europe have survived if they had no money or land? In this clip, discover a useful practice that helped peasants negotiate a living. ...

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How to smell like a Norman knight

The Normans were descended from Vikings who took control of the part of France we call Normandy. Norman knights conquered England following the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Discover what life was like for boys aiming to become Norman knights, including what they ate, drank and learnt, and how often their clothes were washed.

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Tokugawa shogunate is overthrown

How did Japan's Tokugawa shogunate come to an end? The entry of the US fleet into Tokyo Bay in 1853 and the events that followed exposed the shogunate's policy of isolation as a potential threat to the country. Western influence, and Japan's response to it, would have an enormous impact on the country's future. This clip ...

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Rebuilding a Shinto shrine

Witness the dedication of the followers of Shinto, Japan's ancient and unique religious tradition. Shinto means 'the way of the spirits', and it grew out of older beliefs that spirits inhabit mountains, forests and other natural places. Watch this clip from 2007 to see a 1,300-year-old Shinto tradition in central Japan.

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Tournaments and jousting

Imagine you are riding in a medieval joust. You are dressed in armour and ride a highly-trained horse. On one arm you carry a shield and in the other hand you hold a lance. What was it really like to fight in a tournament?

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Knights

Who were medieval knights? How did you become a knight and what did a knight have to do? A medieval knight didn't just ride about on a war horse in shiny armour, go on crusade or joust in a tournament. Medieval knights had important responsibilities and duties to carry out.

Teacher resource

Black ships and samurai: Commodore Perry and the opening of Japan, 1853-54

This is a collection of online materials focusing on US Commodore Matthew Perry's two expeditions to force the opening of Japan as seen through American and Japanese eyes. The materials are in two parts. Black ships and samurai I consists of an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower. Black ships and samurai II (see dropdown ...

Interactive resource

Biography: Federation people: David Syme

Investigate newspaper editor and proprietor David Syme's role in Federation. Examine two different types of biographies of Syme: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects in the 'Biography: Federation people' series.

Still Image

'Miyuki: the imperial outing and hunt', 1600-10

This is a pair of six-fold screens, painted during the Momoyama period (1573-1615) in Japan, depicting chapter 29 of the epic Japanese novel ‘Tale of Genji’. The screens are shown as an enlargeable image. Text onscreen gives detailed information on the history of the novel, the period it was written and an extensive visual ...

Teacher resource

Globetrotters' Japan: people - foreigners on the tourist circuit in Meiji Japan, 1890s

This is a collection of online materials focusing on 19th century photographs of 'traditional' Japanese people, many illustrating aspects of life in the feudal era of Japanese history before 1868. The photographs were intended for international tourists (globetrotters) in the late 1890s. The online materials consist of ...

Interactive resource

Biography: Federation people: Richard O'Connor

Investigate Richard O'Connor's role in the move towards Federation. Examine two different types of biographies of O'Connor: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects in the 'Biography: Federation people' series.