Japan's Secret Life: The Tokugawa Period (1603-1867) (CD-ROM) H57-H577

Japan's Secret Life: The Tokugawa Period (1603-1867) (CD-ROM)

Author: Burch, Sam

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Perhaps more than any other period in Japanese history, the Tokugawa Period (1603-1867) produced many of the icons and images of Classical Japan and its Samurai class that we recognise today. But behind every romantic, mythologised ideal, lies the reality of the pressures and conflicts experienced by a society hidden away from the influence of the outside world.

In the centuries before the Tokugawa Shogunate, Japan had experienced many years of violence and conflict, both inside and outside of its borders. Alongside the almost continual struggle for internal power, Japanese armies had battled with forces from the Korean peninsula, the Chinese mainland, and perhaps most famously, with the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. When Tokugawa Ieyasu eventually rose to become the leader of a unified Japan, the country began to close its doors to foreign contact, going as far as to forbid Japanese ships from leaving Japan, under threat of execution. Prior to the arrival of the American fleet in 1854, Japan's isolationist policy under the Tokugawa brought about one of the longest periods of internal peace and stability the country had witnessed. However, while such isolationism allowed significant developments in its unique artistic and cultural traditions, as well as in its economic and political domains, it did so under the control of a military dictatorship whose power and influence reached into almost every corner of this increasingly hierarchical society.

From examples of unparalleled aesthetic refinement, to the solidification of the rules and philosophies governing an uncompromising and violent warrior class, this PowerPoint examines the key developments that defined the challenges Japan would face when it once again engaged with foreign powers from the West and the East. Through examining the contrasts and contradictions of life in Japan's closed society during the Tokugawa period, this presentation encourages students to think critically about the complex forces of cultural philosophy, tradition and militarism underlying Japan's political and national identity in the decades that followed.

  • Format: CD-ROM
  • Series: Japanese History PowerPoint Series
  • Publication Date: 20/02/2012
  • Publisher: Knowledge Books and Software
  • Subject: History
  • Audience: Secondary
  • Curriculum: Australian