Back to all Asian Modules

Asian Unit 2

Korea and China – Under the Shadow of “Dai Nippon Teikoku”

Author: Dr. Laura Lacasa Yost

College: Kirkwood Community College; Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Discipline: Cultural Studies

Module Title: “Korea and China: Under the Shadow of Dai Nippon Teikoku”

Narrative Description of the Module: This content module compares and contrasts Imperial Japan’s actions in Korea and Manchuria/China. Emphasis is placed on the period 1905-1945.

Educational Objectives of the Module
Students will:
  1. Explain Japan’s key motivators for pursuing colonialism in Asia (Korea, Manchuria/China)
  2. Compare & contrast ideas of “formal” and “informal” empire
  3. Provide a chronology highlighting the expansion of Japanese influence in Asia (Korea, Manchuria/China) since 1868 – as it relates to provided content
  4. Highlight some of Japan’s concrete achievements (political, economic, social) when operating in colonized areas (Korea, Manchuria,/China)
  5. Provide examples of native reactions to Japanese infiltration (Korea, Manchuria/China)
Detailed outline of main themes (with accompanying content notes) to be included in the Lectures/Discussions Used to Implement the Module
  1. (1868) Meiji Restoration
    1. Japan’s dramatic overhaul
      1. Military development & promotion
      2. Economic development & promotion
    2. Relations with Korea
      1. (1876) Treaty of Ganghwa
      2. (1873) Korean Crisis
    3. Japanese confidence & desire for international expansion
      1. “Datsu-A Ron”
  2. Japanese Influence over Korea
    1. (1894) Sino-Japanese War
      1. Treaty of Shimonoseki
      2. Triple Intervention
      3. Japan’s lessons
    2. (1904) Russo-Japanese War
      1. (1905) Battle of Tsushima Straits
      2. (1905) Treaty of Portsmouth
    3. (1905) Japanese colonial policy
      1. Korea as Protectorate
      2. (1910) Annexation of Korea
        1. “Core” colonial holding
        2. Formosa/Taiwan
        3. Pescadores
        4. Liaodong Peninsula
      3. Role as colonizer
        1. (1905-1911) Righteous Army
        2. (1919) March 1st Movement
        3. (Post-1931) Issues of integration
          1. Issues of migration
          2. Issues of investment & development
            1. Infrastructure
            2. Agriculture
            3. Industry
            4. Trading partner
          3. Issues of political control
  3. Japanese Influence over China
    1. (1644-1911) Decline of Imperial China
      1. (1839, 1856) Opium Wars
      2. (1894) Sino-Japanese War
      3. Spheres of Influence
      4. (1900) Boxer Rebellion
      5. (1905) Russo-Japanese War
    2. (1914) First World War
      1. Chinese Labor Corps
      2. Twenty-One Demands
    3. Chinese Unification?
      1. (1926-1928) Northern Expedition
      2. (1928) Nanking established
    4. (1931) Manchurian Incident
      1. Role as colonizer
        1. (1932) “Puppet state” of Manchukuo
      2. Role as colonizer
        1. Issues of investment & development
        2. Infrastructure
        3. Industry
        4. Trading Partner
      3. Challenges to rule
        1. (1932) Lytton Report
        2. Guerrilla warfare
    5. Outbreak of World War II
      1. (1937)
      2. (1937) Nanking Massacre
  4. Japanese Efforts at Unity
    1. Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

Listing of Audio-Visuals Used to Implement the Module (provide electronic links to sites where they can be accessed)

  1. Primary classroom content presentation via PowerPoint
    1. PowerPoint_IIa
    2. Nanking
    3. Horror in the East The Japanese at War 1931-1945
    4. Datsu-a-ron (Good-Bye Asia)
    5. (1941) Diet Address, Yosuke Matsuoka
    6. (1938) “Declaration of a New Order in East Asia,” Prince Konoe Fumimaro
    7. WWII Images
    8. Wartime Media Analysis
    9. The Greatest Civilizing Force in Eastern Asia
    10. Primary Source Analysis of The Greatest Civilizing Force
    11. China as Japan's Gaichi_Part1
    12. China as Japan's Gaichi_Part2
  2. (BBC Documentary) Horror in the East Part 2, Death Before Surrender:
  3. (This online source provides access to Part 1; our school has uploaded both Parts for students in class to view through the password-protect TALON LMS used by Kirkwood.)
  • (Documentary) Nanking:
    1. (This online source provides access to Part 1; our school has uploaded both Parts for students in class to view through the password-protect TALON LMS used by Kirkwood.)

    Student Readings (links to sites where readings can be accessed electronically or by purchase)

    1. (1885) Datsu-a Ron/“Good-Bye Asia”: (English translation: pages 15-20) OR
    2. (English translation: pages 351-353)
    3. (1941) Yosuke Matsuoka “Greater East Asia” speech:
    4. Required textbook chapter readings:
    Writing/Field/Experiential Assignments Used to Implement the Module
    1. Primary Document: “Datsu-a Ron”, Yukichi
    2. Primary Document: “Declaration of a New Order in East Asia,” Konoe
    3. Primary Document: Speech before 76th Session of the Diet, Matsuoka
    4. Primary Document: “The Greatest Civilizing Force in Eastern Asia,” Rea
    5. Primary Sources: Russo-Japanese War propaganda pieces (images and assignment presented via PPT)
    6. Primary Sources: Japanese World War II propaganda pieces (images and assignment presented via PPT)
    1. Documentary: (Modern Japan) Horror in the East Part 2, Death Before Surrender
    2. Documentary: (Modern China) Nanking
    Student Evaluation/Testing Regarding the Module
    Written work will be evaluated on a 50-point scale/assessment via a writing rubric (see attached).

    Resources (Bibliography) Used to Develop-Implement the Module (where feasible provide links to where resources can be accessed electronically)

    Written sources were requested via Kirkwood’s Interlibrary Loan service (

    1. Akita, The Japanese Colonial Legacy in Korea
    2. Beasley, Japanese Imperialism
    3. Duus, Japanese Informal Empire in China, 1895-1937
    4. Duus, The Abacus and the Sword
    5. Duus, The Japanese Wartime Empire
    6. Henry, Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule & Politics
    7. Kang, Under the Black Umbrella
    8. Kayaoglu, Legal Imperialism
    9. Kratoska, Asian Labor in the Wartime Japanese Empire
    10. Kuroishi, Constructing the Colonized Land
    11. Matsusaka, The Making of Japanese Manchuria
    12. Moore, Constructing East Asia
    13. Myers, The Japanese Colonial Empire
    14. Paine, The Wars for Asia
    15. Park, Building a Heaven on Earth
    16. Uchida, Brokers of Empire
    17. Young, Japan’s Total Empire