Skip to main content

Tokugawa Japan: Multiple Voices, Multiple Views

Tokugawa Japan Summer Institute



In this residential summer institute held at the University of Washington in Seattle, teachers of grades 3-8 learned about Tokugawa Japan. The Tokugawa period is known as the 200 years of peace in Japan between 1603 and 1868, when shoguns ruled, foreigners were banned, cities and arts flourished and economic change undermined social hierarchies.

Teachers engaged with material designed to inspire students to:

•    practice close reading of complex text and visual materials,
•    cite text evidence to support a conclusion or opinion,
•    apply facts from non-fiction text to compose creative narratives,
•    create their own presentations.

Participants in this seminar built an understanding of the lives and multiple perspectives of the people of Tokugawa Japan through primary sources such as visual artworks, poetry, journals, board games, official documents, and stories. Through these primary sources, they imagined journeying along the route of the historic Tokaido road, learned about the roots of manga, and much more.

Seminar Details

July 13-17
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
University of Washington in Seattle


Veteran K-12 educators Patricia Burleson, Oralee Kramer and Mary Barber Roberts.


View this collection on Goodreads.


Aside from the registration and boarding fees, this seminar was offered free of charge thanks to the Freeman Foundation NCTA grant to the East Asia Resource Center. Seminar benefits include:

  • 35 free Washington State clock hours, Montana OPI renewal units, or a certificate of completion
  • Course materials, including the books listed above
  • $100 for the purchase of additional teaching materials
  • A 2015-16 subscription to Education about Asia
  • Refreshments and lunches
  • Dormitory housing, meals, and travel stipend for a limited number of out-of-town participants


The above benefits were available to educators who attended all class sessions and completed all of the assignments. Participating teachers were asked to do out-of-class preparation, including readings and viewing online resources, and to complete a culminating assignment during the seminar week for use in their own classrooms.


The seminar was open to educators in grades 3-8, including classroom teachers and specialists, who planned to apply the content in their classrooms. Substitutes were not eligible to apply. Applications were evaluated on potential classroom impact, which applicants a chance to discuss in their goals essay.