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6. The Reverse Course (1948 - 1952)
About this Lecture
In this module, Christopher discusses a change in policy among the Americans in Japan. Previously driven by democratic ideals, the heating up of the Cold War in the Pacific region (including the outbreak of the Korean War) led the United States to take a more pragmatic approach to Japan - including an effort to build up the Japanese military under the name of the 'Japan Self-Defence Force'. The course concludes by looking at the legacy of the American occupation in Japan today - an issue that is becoming increasingly important in the light of China's recent territorial expansion in the region. Will we see a remilitarised Japan, and how will relations with China develop in the future?
In this course, we explore the relationship between the United States and Japan between the attack on Pearl Harbour to the San Francisco Peace Conference and the end of US occupation of Japan. In six modules, we explore the relationship between the two countries up to 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Pacific War, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the beginnings of the Cold War and US interest in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, and US occupation of Japan, including the writing of the Japanese constitution in 1947 and the 'reverse course', when things started to heat up in Korea and Vietnam.
Christopher grew up in London before heading ‘up north’, as it seemed at the time, to Oxford University. Following an undergraduate degree in History, he was the co-founder of a company producing music for the computer games industry, before being lured back into academia via an MSt in Historical Research and then a DPhil in South Asian history, both at St Antony’s College, Oxford.
In 2004 he had the opportunity to go to Japan for a couple of years on a Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Scholarship, studying the language intensively, working on some comparative South Asia – Japan research, and training and working as a journalist with Tokyo’s Asahi Shimbun.
He returned to the UK at the start of 2007 to take up a post at Edinburgh University, where he now researches and teaches on both South Asia and Japan.
In April 2012 he was privileged to be the recipient of the EUSA Teaching Award for Best Course (Pioneers of Cultural Communication 4MA) and to receive the Runner Up award for Innovative Teaching.
He is one of AHRC/BBC's ten New Generation Thinkers for 2013, with contributions to Radio 3's Nightwaves beginning in June 2013.
Chris can be found on X (formerly Twitter) at @drchrisharding, while he also writes an Asian history newsletter (IlluminAsia.org).
Cite this Lecture
Harding, C. (2018, August 15). The USA and Japan, 1941-52 - The Reverse Course (1948 - 1952) [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-usa-and-japan-1941-52/the-reverse-course-1948-1952
Harding, C. "The USA and Japan, 1941-52 – The Reverse Course (1948 - 1952)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-usa-and-japan-1941-52/the-reverse-course-1948-1952