Paired Texts > Japan's Quest for Empire
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
A retelling of the classic tales of Prometheus and Pandora's Box, which explores the themes of power and tyranny, disobedience, the cost of progress, and the human condition.Pair “Japan’s Quest for Empire” with “The Story of Prometheus and Pandora’s Box” to continue the discussion on how power and progress can corrupt. Prometheus brought fire and civilization to humans, but the gods punished them with harsh retribution. Pandora was given a box as a gift, but inside of it were all sorts of terrible things. Japan industrialized quickly, but when it joined a war with industrial nations like Germany and the U.S. it suffered harsh retributions. What happened when Japan opened the “Pandora’s box” of nationalism or industrialization? Is there a price of progress?
The is article summarizes the biography of the Roman general Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE), including: his early life, his rise to power, his contribution to the Roman Empire, and his assassination by a group of his fellow politicians on the ides of March (March 15th), 44 B.C.Pair “The Life of Julius Caesar” with “Japan’s Quest for Empire” and ask students to compare the way the Roman Empire is described with Japan’s. Ask students to discuss how history treats these empires differently, or if they share common themes. Why might this be?
In this informational text, "Life of a Slave on a Southern Plantation" the author recounts the United States' sad history of enslaving black people in the South.Pair “Japan’s Quest for Empire” with “Life of a Slave on a Southern Plantation” and ask students to explore how countries have gone to extreme means to achieve wealth. What are the lasting effects of the economic growth that the United States and Japan aggressively pursued, and the ways they went about pursuing it?
"The House Fall Apart" is an informational text compares the fall of the Roman Empire to the destruction of a house with neglectful owners.Pair “The House Falls Apart” with “Japan’s Quest for Empire” and ask students to discuss the common themes of greed in corruption in the case of both empires collapsing. Ask them to focus on how a need for wealthy territory is involved in both texts.
In "Napoleon Bonaparte: Revolutionary or Tyrant?" the passage recounts the life and legacy of the infamous French dictator and emperor.Pair “Japan’s Quest for Empire” with “Napoleon Bonaparte: Revolutionary or Tyrant?” and ask students to compare the two texts. How does Japan’s desire for an empire resemble or differ from that of France (or more specifically, Napoleon’s desire for an empire)? What were the effects of these attempts at imperialism? How does history reflect or frame these empires—positively, negatively, differently, etc.?