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Japanese History Courses

Take online Japanese history courses from top universities and institutions on edX today!

Why study Japanese history?

Japan is a current world power and has given us significant cultural contributions over the years. Its first human inhabitants can be traced back over 30,000 years, and it remains a key player in Asia. Its relationship with China and Korea spans back thousands of years but remains complicated in the present.

Although we might think of the bright lights of Tokyo's, multinational companies like Nintendo, or famous dishes such as sushi, Japan has a rich and complex history and culture that requires attention. For job seekers in a global market, understanding nuances in Japanese culture and current events could go a long way to help companies create and maintain relationships with the country.

Under the Muromachi period, Japanese arts like flower arranging, Nō drama, and the tea ceremony took shape. As shogunate rule changed, Japan experienced periods of division and reunification, adopted new religions like Buddhism, and experienced peace and civil war. During the Taisho period, Japan pushed China for political concessions and, during the Showa period, experienced World War II. Today, the country influences much of the world along with its Korean and Chinese neighbors.

Learn about Japan

Students can learn more about this fascinating country from Hokkaido to Okinawa and culture from their homes with the edX platform. Courses are created and delivered by respected institutions from around the world and are free for personal exploration. Whether learners are interested in Japan or one of hundreds of other topics, there are courses to fit that interest.

edX also offers courses with official credit tracks. Participants can choose from single courses, certificates, professional series, and even full degrees. Fees include lifetime access to course material and official certificates students can share with future employers or education institutes.

Courses and certificates about Japan

Students can take Japanese language courses from Wasedax or TsinghuaX. MITx offers Visualizing the Birth of Tokyo and Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity. Students can explore both the culture and language and recent historical events that shaped the country today.

Other courses include Basic Japanese Civil Law from TokyoTech or Waseda's Culture and Law: The East Asian perspective. Architecture enthusiasts can explore Modern Japanese Architecture Part 1: From Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War. 

Literature lovers can take Invitation to The Tale of Genji: The Foundational Elements of Japanese Culture from Waseda. The course explores the 11th-century work about the Heian period imperial court, the city of Kyoto (then, Heiankyo), and the many love affairs of Shining Genji, the main character. Also, Japanese Books: From Manuscript to Print from HarvardX offers a unique look at Buddhist scripts, early literature, and multimedia.

Study the history of Japan with edX

From the prehistoric Jōmon period to the Nara period and Kamakura period to Edo and Meiji period, Japanese art, history, and culture span thousands of years. Japan gave us Zen and Shinto. It built an empire and then built an economic one. edX offers insights into this unique country and offers students opportunities to learn more.