Best Living Japan Seminars – Living & Learning in Japan

Join us for one class or all three of our Sip & Learn; Japanese History 101 taught by Ms. Kathleen Krauth (bio below). Living and traveling in Japan is fantastic, but having a deeper understanding of the history of Japan will allow you to understand so much more. There is what one “should know” and what one “needs to know.” Then there is that knowledge which enhances one’s daily experiences and interactions. These independent sessions on Japanese history will focus on that knowledge of Japan deemed essential in making everyday experiences understandable, and therefore, life in Japan more enjoyable and meaningful.

The Sip & Learn: Japanese History 101 course (3 classes) is 12,,000 JPY for all three,  or 5,000 JPY per session + 10% JP consumption tax and includes wine, beer or non-alcoholic beverage and class print materials.  Best Living Japan offers cooking, lifestyle, and crafting classes every day. Click here for 2019 Winter/Spring Best Living Japan courses.

2022 Winter/Spring

Sip & Learn – Japanese History 101

Japanese History Class Tokyo, Best Living Japan

SUN. February 6


Basics of Geography, Religions, and Early History

This session will introduce the geographic features that have affected Japanese history and culture—past and present—as well as current political geography. In addition, at the end of this session, participants will be able to articulate the basic beliefs of Shinto and Buddhism, identify religious iconography, and understand the most important early historical developments in Japan. 

Japanese History Class Tokyo, Best Living Japan

SUN. March 6



Order and Change: The Tokugawa Period

This session will introduce the founding of the Tokugawa bakufu in Edo and Edo’s (Tokyo) emergence as the capital of Japan. At the end of this session, participants will be able to describe the measures designed to impose order and the repercussions of those measures especially those repercussions reflected in popular culture, specifically ukiyo-e, poetry, and theater. 

Japanese History Class Tokyo, Best Living Japan

SUN. April 17



Meiji Japan: Making of the Modern Nation State

This session will introduce the most important developments of Meiji Japan (1868-1912) and the making of modern Japan. At the end of this session, participants will be able to identify the most significant political and economic achievements, describe the social repercussions of rapid modernization, and consider the long lasting consequences of the “Meiji Miracle.”

Japanese History Class Tokyo, Best Living Japan

SUN. April 24th



Modern Japan: 20thCentury and the Never-Ending Postwar

This session will introduce the major developments of the Showa (1926-1989) and Heisei (1990-2019) Eras. At the end of this session, participants will be able to understand the importance and legacies of the War and Allied Occupation, discuss the continuing struggles surrounding Japanese identity, and identify the most important issues facing Japan today, especially the unique Japanese demographic crisis.


2022 Winter/Spring – Japanese History 101

Teacher Introduction

Ms. Kathleen Krauth is a high school History Teacher at The American School in Japan(ASIJ), located in Tokyo, where she has taught since 2000. At ASIJ, she teaches a variety of classes, including a senior honors seminar on Japanese history, which focuses on the relationship between the state and the individual in modern Japanese history through units on Okinawa, Yasukuni Shrine, Hiroshima, Fukushima, and the Olympics. Kathleen is the winner of the 2013 US-Japan Foundation Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award. Kathleen is also co-author of the curriculum publication, Japan 1945-1989: Recreating a Modern Nation and has written curriculum for several modules on Japan of MIT’s Visualizing Cultures project. Prior to moving to Tokyo to teach at ASIJ, Kathy was a member of the staff of Teaching East Asia at the University of Colorado and has continued to teach teachers about Japan in the summers. She holds a master’s in Japanese History from Indiana University. 

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