Education About Asia: Online Archives

Web Gleanings: History of Japan

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Title: Ancient Japan
A view of the major events and cultural “concepts” of ancient Japan. The chronology ends with the Heian period, and the cultural topics include the music, writing, and arts of Japan;  there are sections on Buddhism as well. The audience for this page would be students who haven’t studied Japan previously.

Title: Asuka Historical Museum
The highlight of this site is the ‘Virtual Asuka Museum” found at the bottom of the main page. There is information on the Asuka period, on the stone-carved figures of Asuka, and extensive information on the temples of Asuka with accompanying photographs.

Title: Japanese History
Click on the “overview” for a listing of the time periods of Japanese history, beginning with Jomon and ending with Heisei. Click on the name of the time period and you’re taken to a page that describes the salient features and events of the period.

Title: Edo Japan
This virtual tour of life in Edo can be used by elementary level students to great benefit. In addition to the very basic information, there are enjoyable interactive moments as one clicks on a variety of images. Subjects range from Kabuki to the Edo water supply, and within each article are links to yet other short explana1ury sections.

Title: World War II: Pacific Theater
This page links to original source materials pertaining to World War II, and in particular to the Pacific War. Included are links to a report produced in 1946 by The Manhattan Engineer District about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, government documents about Pearl Harbor, and an FBI report about Tokyo Rose.

Title: Japan: A Country Study
Pan of a series produced by the Library of Congress, this book offers a view of Japanese history in addition to the sections on the political, social and economic systems of the country. The first chapter deals with the “Historical Setting” from the early history of Japan through the Meiji Restoration and ends with the last years of the twentieth century.

Title: KidsWeb – Japanese History
A short overview of Japanese history for elememary students. A timeline of the major historical periods is provided as well as answers to popular questions about Japan’s history, including information about major figures, such as Tokugawa Ieyasu and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Title: A-Bomb WWW Museum
Photos, diaries, and reports of the Hiroshima bombing. There are photographs from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, short remarks from survivors, and fictional short story. A summary is provided of the Hiroshima Peace Forum attended by Shimon Peres and Kenzaburo Oe.

Title: Japan Workbook
This excellent book from the East Asia Curriculum Project devotes a few chapters to the history of Japan. Each reading is accompanied by questions to stimulate discussion. The section on early Japan includes “The Constitution of Prince Shotoku” and an introduction to the aristocratic court culture of the Heian Period. The section on Medieval Japan has excerpts from the “Tale of the Heike.”

Title: Internet East Asian History Sourcebook
Internet Sourcebooks are collections of texts in the public domain that are available for copying for educational purposes. To access the documents for Japan, scroll down to the links to the three chapters: Traditional Japan, Japan as a World Power, Japan Since World War II.