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Explore the social developments of Japan

XSeries Program in
Visualizing Japan
VJx

What you will learn

  • Methodologies to "visualize" Japanese history between the 1850s and 1930s
  • An understanding of Westernization, social protest, modernity in Japanese history through digital imagery
  • Strategies for learning — and teaching — history through visual sources
  • Noteworthy factors which promoted the development and change of Tokyo in the postwar period, such as the U.S. occupation and Tokyo Olympic Games
  • The dynamic exchange of gazes in postwar Tokyo from different perspectives

This 3-course XSeries examines the modern history of Japan, from the 1850s to 1930s, as well as that of postwar Tokyo through the rich historical visual records.

The first course, “Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity,” considers methodologies historians use to “visualize” the past and look into some historical events such as Commodore Perry’s 1853-54 expedition to Japan and Tokyo’s 1905 Hibiya Riot. It also examines modernity, as seen in the archives of the major Japanese cosmetics company, Shiseido.

The second and third courses, Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Parts 1 & 2, focus on the changes and developments of Tokyo after World War II, as well as the gazes exchanged in postwar Tokyo, as a place of visualities.

This XSeries gives a great overview of Japan’s transition into the modern world and the transformation of postwar Tokyo.

Expert instruction
3 high-quality courses
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
5 months
4 - 6 hours per week
$147
USD
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. VJx's Visualizing Japan XSeries Program

  2. 3–5 hours per week, for 6 weeks
    A MITx/HarvardX collaboration, this course explores Japan’s transition into the modern world through the historical visual record.
  3. 5–6 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    Analyze the history of change and development in postwar Tokyo from different perspectives using archived photographs, films, and TV programs.

  4. 5–6 hours per week, for 6 weeks
    Identify the geopolitics historically involved in the practice of “visualizing postwar Tokyo.”

Meet your instructors

from HarvardX, MITx, UTokyoX (VJx)
Shunya Yoshimi
Professor of Sociology, Cultural Studies, and Media Studies
The University of Tokyo
John W. Dower
Professor Emeritus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Andrew Gordon
The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History
Harvard University
Shigeru Miyagawa
Professor of Linguistics and Kochi-Majiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gennifer Weisenfeld
Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Duke University

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