Thomas, J.E. Modern Japan. London: Longman Singapore Publishers Pte., 1996. Dower, John W. Embracing Defeat, Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: Norton, 1999.
“A Monarch for Modern Japan” Political Development in Modern Japan, ed. Robert E. Ward. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968), 20.>> It is evident that “the imperial institution has been many things at many times at it has undergone changes within these three functional level; for although a single imperial lineage was able to perpetuate itself in Japan, the relationship between the dynasty, the government and the people of Japan has changed frequently in the course of events.”<<2 Ibid>> Since 1868, Japan was “faced first with the crisis of national identity, the... ... middle of paper ... ...f the Meiji period two ubiquitous images gradually emerged as symbols of ‘civilization’: the monarch and the locomotive; … for modernity there were to be no two more powerful symbols for a long time to come.”<<32 Ibid, 101>> As we can see, the emperor has been central to the efforts of the Meiji rulers to legitimize their government and preempt reactionary feelings on the part of the Japanese population with a state-sponsored nationalistic ideology. Although rarely explaining in rational terms the reason for revering the imperial establishment, they were nevertheless correct in assuming that the emperor would prove to be a means at unifying the country. Select Bibliography Conroy, Hilary, and Sndra T. W. Davis, eds.
This was the Boshin War. (1868-69) Tokugawa shogunate was defeated and Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito) became the new leader of Japan. Meiji Restoration began at 1868 and ended by Emperor’s death in 1912. The new government tried to reform Japan through the rule of Meiji which means “enlightened rule” and they tried to reform Japan and tried to make it strong as the western countries. Emperor has announced his goals and aims of Meiji Restoration through Charter Oath: By this oath, we set up as our aim the establishment of the national wealth on a broad basis and the framing of a constitution and laws.
There were several statements that claimed that there were a number of significant and contributing factors which had led to the modernization of Japan. This essay will also be discussing how the Japanese become had become modern and an industrialized nation and what were the responses toward the modernized Japan. Firstly, this essay will discuss what is Japan made of and then moving on to the period before the Meiji era because it was believed that the prior era before the Meiji era was a contributing factor of the modernization of Japan. According to Janet E. Hunter (1989), Japan was made up of islands that lies in an arch off the mainland of Northeast Asia and the four major islands were Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu . Before the Meiji era of Japan, Hunter (1989) had noted that over the last twelve hundred years Japan was ruled under an imperial house that was stated to be a descendent of the Yamato clan, who had long pre-existed controlled over the central of Japa... ... middle of paper ... ... Japanese modernization .
In fully comprehending this, one must look at the Meiji restoration through the framework of Japanese historiography and acknowledge the limits of western influence and realise that it was not the sole power in Japan’s transition into a modern nation state. Westernization only spurred transformation in Japan, the greatest change being that it forced Japan out of its feudal past and on to the global stage to adopt an identity as a modern nation state. This led to economic improvements and legal reforms which dismantled old class divisions. However, Japan’s own internal forces and idiosyncrasies of its entrenched household registration system maintained ongoing prejudices and discriminative practices that still remain in contemporary Japan.
In conclusion, the Meiji Restoration was significant in the modernisation of Japan because it exposed Japan to the Western culture, and brought momentous social, political and economic changes to Japan. Historian John Whitney Hall described the Meiji Restoration as “Japan's transition to modernity” and “proved to be one of the pivotal events in Japanese history.” Westernisation and the changes brought by the Meiji Restoration provided the framework for the modern Japan.
“Tradition and Culture.” Japan International Network. http://jin.jcic.or.jp/kidseb/japan/d.html (8 Dec. 2003). Yanaga, Chitoshi. Japanese People and Politics. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1956.
This is seen through the Meiji Restoration impacts as they took in Western influences and became unified through government changes along with building a sense of Nationalism. Among the most important changes that resulted in these traumatic revolutions include the reestablishment of government and political adjustments. The change from a decentralized political system during the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate to a highly centralized, bureaucratic government established by the em... ... middle of paper ... ...s straight from the Stamp Act imposed during the American Revolution in protest against the taxation for merchandising. During the French Revolution, Sources of Japanese Tradition, volume II, compiled by Ryusaku Tsunoda, Wm. Theodore de Bary and Donald Keene (N.Y.:Columbia University Press, 1958) p. 137.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Tokugawa system that had successfully reigned over Japan for over two hundred years was beginning to feel the internal and external pressures of a modern world; ultimately calling for a renewal of the world order (Yonaoshi) (Wilson, 59). That calling came when a series of black ships led by Commodore Perry landed off the port of Uraga on July 8, 1853. After over two centuries of seclusion, Japan was being pried open by Western forces, who though were in search of setting up trading posts in Japan, indirectly served as the catalyst that set off the series of events that helped Japan transcend its fixed and permanent system, into the modern era that was characterized by rapid political, economic, social and cultural change (Wilson, 52-53). Though it seems that it was the Western influence that set off this revolutionary change, a more scrutinizing look into Japanese society at the time reveals that Japan was in fact on the brink of supplanting the fixed, hierarchical Tokugawa order for one that was better suited for its fast evolving, capitalistic society. As historian David Lu states, “Our people began to discover [modern civilization’s] utility and gradually and yet actively moved towards its acceptance.