Why do I want to study the social and cultural history of modern Japan?
The reason I want to study Japan is that it has never been the focus of any history class I have taken in the past. “World History” classes in high school were clearly Eurocentric and yielded minimal time to the study of East Asian cultures and even less so to Japan. Even MMW(Making of the Modern World), a five-quarter history writing sequence at Eleanor Roosevelt College at UC San Diego, had very little content about Japan. Therefore, I thought taking HIEA 115 would be a great way to learn more about a country I know so little about.
Although I don’t know much about Japan I have enjoyed a lot of Japanese media ever since I was young. Animated movies like Spirited Way and other movies from Studio Ghibli to series like Dragon Ball Z and Naruto were a big part of my childhood and many others around me.
I also recently started watching the YouTube channel Paolo from Tokyo, which explores parts of modern Japanese culture. Even though most of the channel is dedicated to tourism, there are videos dedicated to Japanese home and work culture which I found very interesting.
My goal from this class is to learn more about modern Japanese culture and contextualize modern Japanese society by learning about the history of Japan.