Lu Wang

The Autobiography of Fukuzawa Yukichi

Fukuzawa Yukichi is the most famous intellectual and educator of Japan’s Meiji period. This autobiography, composed near the end of his life, reflects on his experiences growing up under Tokugawa rule and participating in the social and political reforms following the Meiji restoration in 1868.

Memoirs like this one can be valuable sources for historians trying to understand how and why things change in past eras. What do you think Fukuzawa’s autobiography reveals about how and why Japan was changing in the late Tokugawa and early Meiji periods? Support your argument with specific examples from the text.

Specifications and format

· Length: 1000-1500 words

· Provide a “works cited” with citations for each source that is used in the essay (as well as any other text or source that was used to prepare the argument). You do not need to put this on a separate page (save paper and put it on the last page of the text). There is also no need for a title page.

· Citation format: All citations should use footnotes that follow the format established by the Chicago Manual of Style. You will find the quick guide for this here: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

Tips and Hints

· This is an argumentative paper that should make a historical argument. This argument should be what drives the paper (and determines its organization).

· The main conclusion should be expressed in a clear thesis statement in the introductory paragraph.

· Make sure to combine claims with evidence: each claim should be supported with observations (or quotes) from the source; no observation (or quote) should remain without explanation or commentary.

· The guideline for quotes is: paraphrase if you can, quote if you must (for example, when the tone of the source is your focus). Quotes must be integrated logically and grammatically: never leave a quote without commentary; sentences with quotes must still make sense and be grammatically correct.

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