Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and assess the most significant themes in Asian history, focusing on culture, politics, and religion.
  • Evaluate the role of the individual in the history of Asia, particular in China and Japan.


Political, social and economic development of China and Japan. Emphasis on impact of Western culture and problems of political and economic modernization.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Comprehend the cultural heritage of China and Japan, including:
    1. Philosophies of Confucius, Lao Tze.
    2. Origin of Shintoism.
    3. Impact of the foreign religions of Buddhism and Christianity.
    4. Contrast in social structure between China and Japan.
    5. Examine political systems of ancient China and Japan.
    6. Samurai code of Japan.
  2. Discuss the significance of the Western involvement in China and Japan.
  3. Evaluate the role of Japan and China in World War II.
  4. Analyze the events leading up to the communist control of Beijing.
  5. Assess the United States' current foreign policy in Eastern Asia.
  6. Interpret current developments in the Far East, and the importance of these developments to the United States.
  7. Use primary and secondary sources to analyze historical events in Asia and in the context of world history.

Course Content

  1. Ancient China
    1. Family and ancestor worship
    2. Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism
    3. The dynasties
      1. Zhou
      2. Ch'in
      3. Han
      4. Yuan
      5. Ming
  2. China in the 19th century
    1. Intervention in China
    2. The Manchu (Ching) dynasty
    3. The Opium Wars
    4. Traders and missionaries
    5. Early American interests
    6. The Taiping Rebellion and Anti-Western sentiment
    7. Reform, reaction, and the Boxer Rebellion
    8. The fall of the Manchu
  3. Modern China
    1. The Guomindang and World War I
    2. Sun Yat-Sen and the failure of democracy
    3. Mao Zedong and the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party
    4. Manchukuo and the Japanese invasion
    5. World War II
    6. Civil War
    7. The People's Republic versus the Republic of China
    8. The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution
    9. The death of Mao and the Gang of Four
    10. Reform and Tianenamen Square
    11. China in the 21st century
  4. Ancient Japan
    1. The Yamato and Nara periods
    2. Shinto
    3. The rise of the Heian and the beginning of the samurai
    4. Buddhism and the power of Mt. Hiei
  5. Feudal Japan
    1. Kamakura Japan and the rise of the Shogunate
    2. The power of the Tokugawa
    3. The blossoming of bureaucracy
    4. Relations with the Dutch and Chinese
    5. The opening of Japan and the collapse of isolation
    6. The end of dual government/fall of the Shogunate
    7. The Meiji Restoration and Westernization
    8. The first constitution
  6. Modern Japan
    1. The Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War
    2. The Japanese position in Korea
    3. World War I and Versailles
    4. Open Door Policy
    5. The failure of party government in Japan
    6. The invasion of China and World War II
      1. Japanese offensives
      2. Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War
      3. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the end of the war
    7. Occupation and demilitarization
    8. The new constitution
    9. Economic rehabilitation and dominance
    10. Japan in the 21st century

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus, no special facilities or equipment is needed.
2. When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Written examinations, including a final examination
Research paper(s)
Oral presentations and/or class participation
Text reviews and/or analysis

Method(s) of Instruction

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Schirokauer, Conrad, and Donald Clark. Modern East Asia: A Brief History. 2012.

Textbooks and sources represent the current research in this area.

Primary Sources: China
• Ban Zhao Pan Chao. Lessons for A Woman: The Views of A Female Confucian. c. 80 CE.
• Père du Halde. The Chinese Educational System. c. 1575 CE.
• Yan Phou Lee. When I Went to School in China. 1880.
• Emperor Kuang Hsu. Abolition of the Examination System. 1898.
• The Reception of the First English Ambassador to China, 1792.
• Qian Long Ch'ien-lung. Letter to George III. 1793.
• Commissioner Lin Cixu [Lin Tse-hsu]. Letter to Queen Victoria. 1839.
• The People of Canton. Against the English. 1842.
• Mao Zedong (1893-1976). In Commemoration of the 28th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China. June 30, 1949 (excerpts).
• Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Quotations of Chairman Mao. (excerpts).
American Views on the Situation In China. Statement by General Marshall, January 7, 1947.
Statement of the Central Committee of The Chinese Communist Party. February 1, 1947.
• Dean Acheson. United States Position on China. August 1949.
The Common Program of The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. 1949.

Primary Sources: Japan
• Nintoku Tenno. The Wealth of the Emperor. from the Nihongi.
Birth and Upbringing of Prince Shotoku.
• Prince Shotoku. The Seventeen Article Constitution from the Nihongi. 604.
• Emperor Kotoku. Taika Reform Edicts. 645.
• Honda Toshiaki. A Secret Plan for Government.
• Tsunetomo Yamamoto. The War of the Samurai. (excerpt).
• Commodore Matthew Perry. When We Landed in Japan. 1854.
• Townsend Harris. The President's Letter.
• Francis Ottiwell Adams. The Schools of Japan.
• Natsume Soseki (1867-1916). Kokoro. Translated by Edwin McClellan.
• Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904). Writings on Japan.
• Kume Kunitake. Records of My Visits to America and Europe. 1871-1873.
• Sir Edwin Arnold. A Japanese Dinner Party. 1890.
• Alice M. Bacon. How Japanese Ladies Go Shopping. 1890.
• Franklin D. Roosevelt. Day Which Will Live in Infamy Speech.
US Declaration of War on Japan. Dec. 8, 1941.
Japanese Surrender Documents of World War II. Sept. 12, 1945.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading:
    1. 30-40 pages of reading per week from the assigned text
    2. Supplementary readings from monographs, journal articles, or other historically relevant sources
  2. Writing:
    1. Written assignments/essays which allow students to demonstrate proficiency in the course Student Learning Outcomes
    2. Assignments will include analysis of primary documents comparing the development of Chinese and Japanese social and military culture