May 14, 2014
Japan: The Effects of Mimetic Imperialism
The old government of Tokugawa Japan was becoming unsuccessful in trying to stay together. After multiple changes in the way the government ran, Japan found a style that worked well for their country, imperialism. The rise of Japan as a global power in the late 1800s was the result of the use of imperialism, which had many different causes and led to consequences that in turn shaped not only Japan, but also China, Korea, and the islands of the South Pacific. Civil wars, economic disputes, and World War emerged from Japan’s use of imperialism. Japanese imperialism has molded the Pacific region into what it is today.
During the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the shogunate was removed from power and the emperor took control. Japan’s new government started to adopt policies of imperialism. Imperialism is, “the policy of extending the rule of authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.” (“imperialism” 1). From the 1870s through them 1940s, Japan held colonies in Korea and tried taking over China was well. The idea to adopt the policy came after Japan started to learn from the West and started to industrialize. After gaining more power through reforms and industrializing, Japan started to look outwards towards other countries to influence in order to gain more power. One of these nations was the Korean peninsula, which was not as strong or advanced as Japan.
Meiji Japan’s interest in Korea began with the Sino-Japanese War that occurred in 1894 and lasted through 1895. The textbook states that as a result of the increased prices in rice, “Japanese fishery companies...
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...he Chinese knew that they could not fight the Japanese until they worked together, however Chiang did not stop fighting the communists. According to Ebrey, “In 1936 troops that had been driven out of Manchuria by the Japanese were ordered by Chaing to blockade the Communists in Yan’an. When Chiang came to Xi’an, they kidnapped him and refused to release him until he agreed to form a united front with the communists against Japan.” (Ebrey, 450). Now working together, Chiang started to defend China against Japan. However, the Japanese forces still could not be stopped and on December 1937, Japan, “went on a rampage, massacring somewhere between 40,000 and 300,000 civilians and fugitive soldiers, raping perhaps 20,000 women, and laying the city waste.” (Ebrey, 450) Japan absolutely destroys the city of Nanking and this period becomes known as the Rape of Nanking.