The Two Island Empires: Anglo-Japanese Encounters 1600-2000 (HIH1606)

15 credits

This course examines the turbulent history of relations – political, cultural and economic – between ‘two island empires’: Britain and Japan. It covers the period from the faltering contacts of the early seventeenth-century through to the present day. It focuses on a number of key episodes, or encounters, examining the testimony of the sailors, scholars, diplomats and others whose lives were affected by them, within the broader historical frameworks of the growth of British imperialism in the Far East, and the profound changes within the Japanese state. Using selected historical accounts and primary sources, this course provides a window onto landmark events in the Anglo-Japanese relationship, and explores how these were understood by contemporaries and participants alike.