Pearl Harbor

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Pearl Harbor From the 1600's to the mid 1800's, Japan had been successful in keeping their nation closed off from the rest of world. To ward off "outside influences", Japanese people not allowed to have any contact with the outside world. Japanese ports would not allow any foreign ships to enter. Japan's culture was that of simplicity and independence (Schirokauer 180-183). At this time, an emperor ruled Japan. The Japanese held their emperor in high regard as they had for many years. They thought of their ruler as a descendant from the gods. As far as their particular government at the time, their weak military and political issues were ruled by the shogun, who acted in the name of the emperor. By the late 1800's, Japan's long isolation began to crumble. Commodore Matthew Perry, who led a small group of American warships, entered Japanese ports. The Japanese referred to this small fleet as the "black ships". Perry had come in hopes of negotiating trade with Japan. While some Japanese people were intrigued by western culture, the majority did not want to adopt their ideas or language. The main focus of Japan was to stay isolated. The Japanese were trying to avoid any sort of merger with foreign nations (internet). Perry proceeded to use whatever methods necessary to force Japan to agree with his terms. Eventually, Japan signed trade treaties with France, Great Britain, Holland and Russia. This was a turning point in Japan. Japan's nation had once been a closed window, and now was open to the rest of the world (Schirokauer 180-183). By the end of the 1800's, Japan had come "full circle". They had adopted a constitution and formed a more modern government and military force. These changes brought on a new understanding by the Japanese people. To retain their independence, Japan would have to emerge a stronger nation (Schirokauer 201-201). By becoming the "new" Japan, other issues had to be dealt with. A resource such as oil was very hard to come by in their land. So action would now have to made to seek out this raw material so desperately needed for their military. Japan with its modern changes was becoming more dependent on outside sources to meet their needs. Japan's military became more involved in the government and this led to trouble for their society.

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