Teacher guide Throwing off Asia l: woodblock prints of domestic 'Westernisation' in Japan, 1868-1912

TLF ID M006701

This is a collection of online materials about the rapid transformation of Japan following the Meiji Restoration. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower; two sets of woodblock prints and accompanying historical background; a database of information about 405 woodblock prints from the period; and eight sets of lesson suggestions, presented in both teacher and student views.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This collection of materials, rich in rarely-seen primary sources and detailed secondary sources is essential for Modern History in years 11 and 12, particularly for studies of the Meiji reforms in Japan. It is also valuable for history in year 9, particularly for the elective depth study of Asia and the world.
  • The highlights of this collection are the illustrated essay and the sets of woodblock prints presented as Visual Narratives. Both of these are available as separate resources complete with detailed descriptions of their educational value.
  • In general, the essay offers an example of a detailed analysis of Japanese motivation for  'throwing off Asia' and seeking to become completely Westernised. The Visual Narratives are particularly useful for illustrating and explaining the new emperor-centered nationalism and Japan's accomplishments in industry and technology.
  • The lesson suggestions (see Curriculum in the dropdown menu under Throwing off Asia I) focus on the Meiji period as a whole including domestic modernisation, and on examining sources from the time using the perspective of visual literacy. The suggestions are suitable for mid to senior secondary students. Each suggestion is accompanied by handouts or PowerPoint templates and there is a teachers’ overview.
Year level

9; 10; 11; 12

Other details

  • Author
  • Person: John Dower
  • Description: Author
  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Person: John Dower
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Toyohara Chikanobu
  • Description: Artist
  • Publisher
  • Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
  • URL: http://web.mit.edu/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2008 Visualizing Cultures. Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0.