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Teacher guide Yokohama boomtown: foreigners in treaty-port Japan, 1859-72 - essay by John Dower

TLF ID M007077

This is a richly illustrated historical essay about the consequences of the opening of Japan to the West and how the Japanese viewed foreigners at treaty ports such as Yokohama. Linked to various sections of the essay and making up the collection of online materials are: a companion set of materials entitled 'Black ships and samurai', the text of the Harris Treaty of 1858, and 27 prints that illustrate and support ideas put forward in the essay.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This collection provides a wealth of primary and secondary source material valuable for years 11 and 12 modern history and for years 8 and 9 history. It is particularly suitable for the year 9 elective depth study of Asia and the world. The first chapter of the essay may also be of use for the year 8 elective depth study of Shogunate Japan.
  • The illustrated essay by John Dower, Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shows how a historian can use an online essay format to put forward ideas and support them with rich visual evidence. Dower discusses five major themes: chaos; commerce; boomtown; interactions; and internationalism.
  • The collection as a whole gives a Japanese view of the period and of Yokohama by focusing on the local repercussions of the opening up of Japan to the West and examining what the Japanese people understood of the world of the foreigners in the treaty ports and in their home countries.
Year level

8; 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:
  • Person: John Dower
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Yoshitora Yoshitora
  • Description: Artist
  • Publisher
  • Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2008 Visualizing Cultures. Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0.