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Post-postwar Japan: Its Fall and Rise (NCTA in-person Summer Program)

Installation view of the mural Myth of Tomorrow (明日の神話), 1969, acrylic on concrete slabs, by Taro Okamoto in Shibuya City, Tokyo, Japan (2023). Photo by Danny With Love.


This is an in-person program taking place at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Course Description

Remember when Japan was poised to rule the world at the end of the 1980s (probably not)? Since 1989 the dominant narrative of Japan has been one of decline and increasing irrelevance. There are elements of truth in this story. Japan is a much different place today than it was thirty-five years ago. And yet, Japan has also proved a model for East Asia and other developed nations, economically, politically, demographically, and in terms of grappling with security and environmental challenges.

Course Objectives

To provide teachers with a concise, coherent and accessible discussion of the key aspects and the most surprising developments of post-postwar Japan which permits them to comprehend just how relevant this nation, its people and culture, continue to be. Beyond content, participants will have access to curriculum materials and we will discuss pedagogical strategies for working this knowledge into their courses.

This program will be led by Paul Dunscomb, Professor of East Asian History at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and by Melanie King, Art historian and educator.


This is a three-day program. Attendance of all three sessions is mandatory in order to complete the program:

Thursday, June 13, 2024 – 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Friday, June 14, 2024 – 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Saturday, June 15, 2024 – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, University of Alaska Anchorage.

The program is free. Participants are expected to book their travel and lodging. Partial travel reimbursement might be available (please contact at for additional information).

Preparation and homework

In advance of attending the program, participants will need to complete readings and write a reflection paper. Upon completion of the program, a short reflection paper will be due.

Program benefits for completing the seminar

  • Free books, materials and resources.
  • A stipend for additional classroom resources.
  • UAA Professional Development credit and scholarship*

*UAA Professional Development: Students admitted to the workshop will receive credit through UAA. The course is entitled HIST A590 The Curious Relevance of Japan and is offered on an A-F graded basis. Students who complete HIST A590 will receive 1 credit. The East Asia Resource Center (EARC) sponsors the workshop and offers a scholarship to offset the 1 credit tuition cost, payable upon successful completion of the course


This program is free and open to current, in-service teachers of all grades and subjects. Space is limited to 18 participants and priority will be given to teachers from Alaska. The priority deadline is April 21, 2024. To apply, please follow this link.

This program is sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center at the University of Washington and funded by a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA)