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The Japanese Empire: From Politics to Baseball


Evening Course

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0333C
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Japanese Meiji Jingu Baseball Tournament, 2021 (Photo: Edo-mura no toku zo/wikimedia)

Though it lasted for only 50 years, the Japanese empire forever changed the geopolitical balance in Asia and left a complex legacy that endures to this day. Historian Justin M. Jacobs takes you on a thematic tour of five fascinating topics in the history of the Japanese empire: politics, tourism, baseball, zoos, and video games. He provides a nuanced overview based on the latest scholarship and shares copious slides.

Jacobs, a professor of history at American University, is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures.

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In Japan, baseball is popularly associated with “sayonara home runs” and the “samurai spirit.” Jacobs analyzes the evolution of baseball in Japan and the ways in which the Japanese exported baseball to their colonies in Asia, with a focus on Taiwan. He explains how the history of Japanese baseball provides a lens on the political and cultural history of the Japanese empire.

Additional Sessions of Japanese Empire Series

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