The Effects of the Meiji Restorations

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Because of the Meiji Restoration the Japanese society gained economic, military and political change and lost the chance to gain Religious and social equality. I chose this topic because the Japanese transformation from a backwards country into a modern day economic and military world power interested me because it was all done in 40 years. The Meiji restoration forced western civilizations to respect the new modern Japan. Why the need for change, the Japanese people must have wondered? As the first delegation from Japan who wore the traditional Shogun Samurai dress and shaved pate and long hair tied in a bun and carrying swords unlike their counterparts who wore suits or military uniforms. The west observance of the Japanese must have viewed them as uneducated barbarians. Because of the impression Japan gave the western civilizations it was dealt with little to no respect. The west would show its disrespect in the treaties and trade agreements that favored the western nations. Western assumptions that they had cultural superiority and that the Japanese were not even quasi equal. This made the need for change from centuries of ancient cultures to be seen as more civilized by the west. The Japanese judged that they would not be treated as equals until they not only possessed not only modern technology, education, manufacturing and legal system, but all the superficial aspects of the Western culture. At first the Japanese attempted to change all aspects of their culture by hiring western experts called “Yatoi” the live machine page 308. These teachers were to assist the re-tooling of the military, industry and the education system to turn out good recruits for the military, factory and farm. So how would the Japanese G... ... middle of paper ... ...hristianity could have been one adoption that would had made a very favorable gain to the west. However like women’s rights it had some impact with the Japanese intellectuals but prejudices for it ran deep. By the end of the movement only a quarter of one percent of the population went for Christianity instead the traditional Shinto Religion thrived in the culture. The Meiji Restoration gave the Japanese society gains in economic, military and political change however lost the chance to gain Religious and social equality that other countries already enjoyed. The Restoration put Japan on a path that would lead then to have one of the top militaries, economies and education systems in the world. It would surprise the west by the time the second world war how improved the nation was. The gains experienced by the people of Japan, would soon outweigh what was lost.

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