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Mentone Girls' Grammar School | Kerferd Library

Japan under the Shôguns: Politics & Power

Year 8 History: Middle Ages and early exploration | Japan under the Shoguns (c.794 – 1867)

Source: The last attack of the Kusunoki at Shijonawate by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1847. (Rijksmuseum, 2020)

Level 1 resource"The third shôgun, Tokugawa Iemitsu,... enforced isolation from much of the rest of the world in the seventeenth century, believing that influences from abroad (meaning trade, Christianity, and guns) could shift the balance that existed between the shôgun and the feudal lords. He was proven right two centuries later, when change came in the form of Perry's ships." (Asia for Educators, Columbia University, 2009)

Referencing Notice Don't forget to cite and reference your sources. For help see the Junior School or Senior School referencing guides, and / or CiteMaker.
Resource Key

When accessing content use the numbers below to guide you:


Brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)


Provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.

Level 3 resourceLEVEL

Lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)

General Capabilities

Replace the following with the Victorian Curriculum General Capabilities from teacher's documentation on Rubicon Atlas.

Enduring Understandings

Students will form some understanding of Japanese history and culture. They will come to understand the implications of contact between cultures and the threat caused to non-European cultures of European imperialism.

Essential Questions
  • What was Japanese society like before and during the reign of the shoguns?
  • What led to the rise of the Shoguns?
  • How did Japan change under the rule of the shoguns?

Japan under the Shoguns | Politics & Power: Keywords

Level 1Keywords
Click on the terms to access a simple definition from The JLearn online dictionary provides a simple definition in English as well as the word in Kanji and Kana. You can also listen to how the word is pronounced.

Bakufu 幕府, Daimyō 大名, Kuge 公家, Bushi [Samurai] 武士, Sakoku 鎖国, Shôgun 将軍, teiou / Tennō 帝王 [Emperor]

Japan under the Shoguns | Politics & Power: Introduction

Level 1The weakness of the Tokugawa shogunate before the Western demand for trade, and the disruption this trade brought, eventually led to the downfall of the Shogunate and the creation of a new centralised government with the emperor as its symbolic head." (Asia for Educators, Columbia University, 2009)

Japan under the Shoguns | Politics & Power: Articles

Level 1Article

Level 2

Japan under the Shoguns | Politics & Power: eBooks

Level 1 resourceTo view the eBooks off campus follow the link. If prompted, sign in with your School mConnect user name and password.

Level 2 resource

Japan under the Shoguns | Politics & Power: Videos

Level 1 resourceFilm and videoUsing YouTube on campus help and instructionsTo view this video on campus remember to first login to your school Google account using your mConnect username and password. Click here for more help on using YouTube on campus.


When using this video don't forget to cite and reference your sources. For more information and help see the Kerferd Library referencing guide and / or CiteMaker.
In text reference / citation: National Geographic (2018) or (National Geographic, 2018)
Bibliography / Reference list: National Geographic (2018). Samurai Sword - Linked, [eVideo]. Retrieved from

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