If you peruse our collection of Free Online History Courses, you’ll find plenty of enriching history courses from top-notch universities, all presented in a fairly conventional style. And certainly nothing like the short history lesson you’ll find above. Created by American musician and video blogger Bill Wurtz, this “History of Japan” walks idiosyncratically through 40,000 years of history in 9 minutes, covering the rise of technology and religion, the influence of China on Japan’s language and brand of buddhism, the rise of the samurai, the country’s vexed relationship with the West, the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and more. Released in February, the video has already clocked more than 17 million views on YouTube–pretty good considering that Wurtz created the video as “a prototype to see if I could do a long video in the first place.” In a recent Q & A, Wurtz suggested that he may well try to revive another project he’s been working on–a History of the United States. Stay tuned for that.
You can read a script for the History of Japan video here.
Note: The Great Courses is now offering a 30-Day Free Trial, giving you access to a video library of great courses. If you’re not familiar with them, The Great Courses travels across the US, recording great professors lecturing on topics that will appeal to any lifelong learner. If you’re interested in streaming their courses online–whenever you want and however much you want–get details on their a 30-Day Free Trial here.