T4941 – Pacific Powers: The Cultural History and Diversity of Japan and Hawaii (Preview)

Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Tokyo, Honolulu
Faculty: Louise Edwards-Simpson and D’Ann Urbaniak Lesch
01/04/2018 – 01/25/2018

Travel to Japan and Hawaii to explore the complicated story of cultural exchange and conflict, economic ties and competition, as well as war and peace between the Pacific powers of the United States and Japan from the 1850s to the 21st century.

Academic Overview
This course will travel to Japan for two weeks and to Hawaii for a third, to visit important historical and cultural sites as we aim to understand the partnership, conflict and mutual fascination that developed between the nations of Japan and the United States, starting in 1853 with the opening of Tokyo harbor, extending to the turn-of-the 20th-century period of rapid modernization and Japanese emigration to Hawaii, through the World War II era and on into the present day. In addition to our site visits, we will meet with local academics and share classroom experiences with Japanese college students in the cities of Yokohama and Tokyo, and we will read creative and historical works by Japanese, U.S. and Japanese-American authors as we seek insight into the complex connections between these two nations.

Program Fee
Cost: $7145-$7445
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed.  Comprehensive Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms (triple rooms in Hawaii), continental breakfast daily in Japan only, six lunches and three dinners (subject to change).


No prerequisites are required.

Required Readings

  • Peter Duus and Kenji Hasegawa, Rediscovering America: Japanese Perspectives on the American Century
  • Julie Otsuka, Buddha in the Attic
  • Patsy Sumie Saiki, Ganbare! An Example of Japanese Spirit
  • A Japanese Manga book of your own choosing
  • Packet of additional readings provided, excerpts from Ron Takaki,
  • Strangers from a Different Shore: Asian Immigration to the US and Oral histories: Hiroshima Eyewitness Testimonies with A-Bomb Survivors

Pretravel Paper (5 pages) 100 points:  20%
Journal entries (5 total, 1-2 pages each) 75 points total: 15%
Japan Synthesis Paper (5 pages) 100 points:  20%
Participation (actively take part in all site visits, class discussions, attendance) 100 points: 20%
Final Synthesis Paper (7 pages) 125 points: 25%
Total 500 points (100%)

Program Directors

Louise Edwards-Simpson, Ph.D., St. Catherine University (651) 690.6033, email: lredwards@stkate.edu

D’.Ann Urbaniak Lesch, St. Catherine University (651) 690.6922, email: dulesch@stkate.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Historian Louise Edwards-Simpson has taught at St. Kate’s since 2003. With a BA from Macalester and PhD from the University of Minnesota, she teaches US social history with a focus on everyday people’s stories.  She’s an oral historian with research interests in poverty, women’s history, higher education and Catholic Sisters.

D’Ann Urbaniak Lesch has been at St. Kate’s since 2004. With a BA from Drake University in English and Sociology, concentration in Cultural Studies, and a M. ED from the University of Minnesota, she is the Director of the Center for Community Work and Learning. The Center’s community-based work through student employment and service-learning allows students to deepen their learning while engaging with the broader community. Before coming to St. Kate’s, D’Ann worked with immigrant families on St. Paul’s West Side. Prior to that, D’Ann lived in Hitachi, Japan for 2 years, teaching English through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. 


Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2017.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2017

For more information on course content, contact Louise Edwards-Simpson
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.