The establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate marked a turning point in Japanese history, bringing peace to a country that had experienced centuries of civil and international warfare. The Japanese economy flourished at first, but later periods were marked by successive crises and attempts at reform by samurai rulers who saw an increasing gap between their ideal vision of Japanese society and the emergent social realities around them. This course will examine the political, economic, social and cultural life of the Tokugawa period. We will consider the development of popular education, the structure and dynamics of the Tokugawa economy, and the ways gender and social status shaped the daily lives of individuals. All required readings will be in English, but there will also be opportunities for students with appropriate levels of linguistic ability to take advantage of available primary and secondary sources in Japanese and classical Chinese.