Japan: A Modern Day Nation

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Japan is an excellent example of a modern nation. “By identifying the modern as a cluster of related principles rather than as merely a period, we are able to trace its occurrence in different periods in different national or cultural settings” (Goto-Jones, 7). The idea of what is culture and what is modern can be subjective. Time and setting are merely measurements showcasing a particular in relation to everything else. Although Goto-Jones is critical of what it means to be “modern,” reasons supporting his opinion on whether Japan is modern or not can be given by looking at some of the changes Japan has made; observations of the dynamic and stagnant in Japan’s past and present. By comparing and contrasting through history the government, technology/knowledge, tradition and culture of Japan, it is to be seen as why Japan is a prime example of a modern nation within the 21st century. These characters, joined together old and new, will present a rendition for the modernity and culture of Japan. Japan’s government has been ever-changing during the periods of variable great renditions that occurred in the past two centuries. As part of Japan’s modern identity, the governments of its history of been the result of continuous change to come. A big push in the continuing change came about when Commodore Perry arrived in 1853, bringing about western influence. The Tokugawa bakufu ruled Japan from about 1600 to 1868 (Goto-Jones, 24). This government involved a hierarchy which included a social ranking from high to low; the samurai, farmers, artisans, and merchants (Goto-Jones, 30). This was the last feudal Japanese Government. When Emperor Komei died in 1867, his son Emperor Meiji, took the throne. Following his take to throne sparked the... ... middle of paper ... ... growth. Japan has been continuously adapting its identity to adjust to a changing world. Japans modernization may have been influenced from the west, but it has grasped its own unique take. Japan created their own standard of modern. Through this, they have establish an identity. Goto-Jones, C. (2009). Modern japan. New York, NT: Oxford University Press Inc. Craig, A. (2009). Civilization and Enlightenment: The early thought of Fukuzawa yukichi . (1st ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Kang, H. (2005). Under the black umbrella: Voices from colonial Korea, 1910-1945. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. McCormack, G. (2001). The emptiness of japanese affluence (japan in the modern world). Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe Inc. Bary , C. (2006). Sources of japanese tradition, abridged: Part 2. (vol. 2 ed.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

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