LLI: In the Beginning: 1853 to 1941

From 1639 to 1853, the Japanese expelled most foreigners and allowed only specially licensed ships from Holland and China to trade cargo. In 1853, Commodore Perry of the US Navy arrived in Tokyo Harbor and opened Japan to the West. When he arrived, Japan was essentially ignorant of existing western technology. With British aid the Japanese built a powerful navy. Japan and Russia went to war over issues including the state of Sakhalin Island. Only England thought the Japanese could win. In a short decisive battle, the Russian fleet was defeated in a very lopsided manner. That action identified the Japanese as a possible future world power. From that time until 1941, American relations with Japan could be characterized as a roller coaster that would become World War II in the Pacific. We will examine how that catastrophe came to be.

Convener: Richard J. Dowen is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the NIU Department of Finance. He has a strong interest in American and military history. He has convened many Lifelong Learning Institute sessions on these and other topics.

The Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI), established in 2000, is a member-directed group of individuals primarily age 50 plus who enjoy learning in informal, flexible, non-competitive groups and like connecting with peers who share their interests. No grades, no tests – just Learning for the Fun of It.

Dial-In Information

When you register for one of our courses, you’ll be given a Zoom meeting ID and password to get into a session along with a link to meet on your computer and a phone number if you chose to call in to the class.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Virtual Event
Event Type

Community Events

Target Audience

Faculty and Staff, Alumni, General Public






$47.50 for the entire Fall 2021 term

Center for P-20 Engagement, Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development
Contact Email or Phone


Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity

You're not going yet!

This event requires registration.