Visualizing Japan : Three Online Mini-Courses by Harvard, MIT, and U Tokyo

Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity

John Dower, Andrew Gordon, Shigeru Miyagawa, Gennifer Weisenfeld

Starts September 3, 2014

A first-time MITx/HarvardX collaboration, VJx opens windows on Japan’s transition into the modern world through the historical visual record. The modules cover:

  • Use of visual records as primary sources for the study of history;
  • Black Ships & Samurai -- Commodore Matthew Perry's 1853-54 expedition to force Japan to open its doors to the outside world;
  • Social Protest in Imperial Japan: The Hibiya Riot of 1905 -- the first major social protest in the age of "imperial democracy" in Japan;
  • Modernity in Interwar Japan: Shiseido & Consumer Culture -- exploring the vast archives of the Shiseido cosmetics company opens a fascinating window on the emergence of consumer culture, modern roles for women, and global cosmopolitanism.

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Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Part 1

Shunya Yoshimi, University of Tokyo

Starts November 4, 2014

Analyzes the history of change and development in postwar Tokyo from different perspectives using archived photographs, films, and TV programs. The modules include, for Part I 

  • Occupation and Americanism;
  • Imperial Gaze and Royal Wedding;
  • The Olympic City;
  • Economic-cultural clash in Shinjuku.

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Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Part 2

Shunya Yoshimi, University of Tokyo

Starts January 6, 2015

Presents the city as a place of visualities. In postwar Tokyo, countless gazes fell upon others: gazes from and upon Americans and the Emperor, gazes going up skyscrapers or rushing aggressively through the cityscape, and gazes twining among classes, genders, and ethnic groups in downtown Tokyo. The modules include, for Part 2: 

  • Technologies for visualizing;
  • Visualizing the Urban Marginal;
  • University Students and Knowledge Industry;
  • Visualizing Tokyo and its Limits.

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