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Listed under:  Society  >  Citizenship  >  Politics  >  Political systems  >  Oligarchy  >  Shogunates
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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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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 ...

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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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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.

Interactive resource

Secondary history: discussion

These seven learning activities focus on discussion using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware) and illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers facilitate discussion and model questions ...

Collection

The 'opening' of Japan

This is a collection of 15 digital curriculum resources, all of them collections in their own right, that focus on Japan and the West from 1853. The mega-collection is grouped into four sections - Commodore Perry's expeditions; the Treaty ports; internal Westernisation; and the arrival of Western tourists. The resource ...

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. ...

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 ...

Teacher resource

Yokohama boomtown: foreigners in treaty-port Japan, 1859-72

This is a collection of online materials depicting the lives of foreigners in the treaty port of Yokohama, as seen or imagined by artists in the early decades of the modern era in Japan. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower; ten sets of Japanese woodblock prints; an animation of the stages ...

Teacher resource

Felice Beato's Japan: places - an album by the pioneer foreign photographer in Yokohama, 1860s-70s

This is a collection of online materials focusing on an album of 50 photographs of scenes in Japan in the late 1860s or early 1870s. It was compiled by photographer Felice Beato. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Associate Professor Allan Hockley and five different ways of viewing the photographs and their ...

Teacher resource

Felice Beato's Japan: people - an album by the pioneer foreign photographer in Yokohama, c1869

This is a collection of online materials focusing on an album of 50 photographs of Japanese people living in Yokohama or nearby, compiled by photographer Felice Beato in the late 1860s or early 1870s. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Alona Wilson, and a number of different ways of viewing the photographs ...

Teacher resource

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

This is a collection of online materials focusing on late 19th century photographs of tourist destinations in Japan, including places of natural beauty, cities and temple complexes. The photographs were intended for international tourists (globetrotters) in the 1890s. The materials in the collection consist of an illustrated ...

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 ...

Teacher resource

Yokohama boomtown: foreigners in treaty-port Japan, 1859-72 - essay by John Dower

This is a richly illustrated historical essay about the consequences of the opening of Japan to the West and how the Japanese viewed foreigners at treaty ports such as Yokohama. Linked to various sections of the essay and making up the collection of online materials are: a companion set of materials entitled 'Black ships ...

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 ...

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 ...