under the rule of the of the Tokugawa family. From warriors to rulers, these shogun led Japan
with a controlling hand during the Edo period from 1600 to 1868. Seeking to preserve Japanese
ideals and limit outside influence, the shogun government restricted movement in and out of
Japan. Despite this isolation, agricultural innovations and the development of merchant products
brought about the growth of new cities, the constructions of roads, and an increase in population.
Sequestered from the West, Japan flourished under the Tokugawa reign. Yet their rallying call to
“Revere the Emperor” became a harbinger of doom as the lure of the outside world could not be
The Edo period was established after a power struggle which resulted in the Battle of
Sekigahara. Tokugawa emerged as the acknowledged victor, ushering in the reign of the
shogunate. The period was marked by strong rulers whose unique contributions carried Japan
forward. Oda Nobunaga laid the groundwork for the country’s unification by establishing strict
rules with an adherence to a caste system with a hierarchy led by the samurai, followed by
peasants, artisans, and merchants. In an attempt to limit western ideals and preserve Japanese
traditions, Christianity was banned. Under the new bakufu, Nobunaga sought peace and treated
former rivals with respect as long as they were loyal to his regime; those who disobeyed felt his
hand of justice. In a letter to an insurgent, Nobunaga admonishes him for “issuing instructions in
secret”, being “steeped in avarice” and showing “no concern either for ethics or for your own
reputation.” (de Bary, 443-44...
... middle of paper ...
isolation. The group I feel most aligned with are the samurai, specifically those such as Sakuma
Shōzan. These men sought not to undo the shogunate but were looking to expand their
knowledge through exposure to the West. “Eastern ethics and Western science” would have
allowed the perfect blend of old and new, yet adherence to the past was their undoing. No culture
can stand alone and the lure of the outside world could not be denied.
“The Cambridge Companion to Modern Japanese Culture.” Cambridge University Press. Web. 23 Feb. 2011.
De, Bary William Theodore, Carol Gluck, and Arthur E. Tiedemann. Sources of Japanese Tradition. New York: Columbia UP, 2006. Print.
Huffman, James L. Modern Japan: a History in Documents. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Tokugawa Era in Japan, also known as the Edo Period, took place after the Era of Warring States, which in Japanese is called the Sengoku Jidai. Events that occurred during this era were essential to the start of the Tokugawa Shogunate¹. The Sengoku Jidai started in the 1500s with the Ashikaga Shogunate, when General Ashikaga Takauji crushed a samurai rebellion. The current emperor at the time, Go-Daigo, "—a man of 30 determined to put an end to cloister rule..." (Swann 147) refused to make him shogun.... [tags: Edo Period, Era Warring States, Japanese History]
1114 words (3.2 pages)
- Today, whenever Japanese history is mentioned in the media, people think of the romanticized stories of ninjas, Japanese mercenaries who carried out covert operations, and samurai, warriors that were part of the hereditary military caste in feudal Japan, but these versions have been skewed, just as many other historic characters have. History is full of brilliant past adventures and relevance that Hollywood takes at face value. Once people find out that the famous ninja did not actually wear black pajamas and that samurai were not as honorable as portrayed, one may become curious as to what really happened back then.... [tags: samurai, ninjas]
1995 words (5.7 pages)
- Throughout many centuries, art has portrayed an exceedingly dominant role in Japanese culture. These forms of artwork varied from everything from pottery to clay figurines. Overall, the majority of Japanese art was and still is considered to be of high importance in Japanese history. However, the most intriguing and unique form of art was the Isho-ningyo and Iki-ningyo dolls, otherwise known as the "fashion doll" and the “living doll”. Both the Isho-ningyo and the Iki-ningyo were merely two of the plentiful assortment of dolls created by the famous Japanese artisan, Goyo Hirata, as items of “luxurious indulgence.” The Kintaro doll of Isho-ningyo type or Iko-ningyo type illustrates t... [tags: Art History, Japan]
1026 words (2.9 pages)
- Summer is the time for renewal and a chance to start over. Summer is the time when Japanese go all out in their festivals. You’ll see fireworks and beautifully colored paper mache floats. When you think of summer in Japan, you might imagine all the young girls wearing a yukata, or a summer kimono. You will see masses of people eating shaved ice-cream in the hot, humid weather. Not only are there winter and spring festivals, but there are summer festivals as well. Some festivals that occur during this season are: Sendai Tanabata Matsuri, O-bon, Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival, Nebuta Festival and the Dai-Chochin Matsuri.... [tags: japanese festivals, yamakasa]
935 words (2.7 pages)
- Poetry had a very large role in narrative prose of the Heian period. During the Heian period poetry was a way that people showed their worth or status. Men and women would write poems to one another in order to attract the other and win their love. Poetry was mixed in with prose to add to the stories and display the overwhelming value of poetry in Japanese society. With the shift from poetry to prose, long tales and stories were able to be passed down in Japan helping to shape the Japanese culture.... [tags: Japanese Literature, Culture]
1110 words (3.2 pages)
- ... Courtly elegance is appreciated and adds an attention to detail to Japanese culture. Both Buddhism and Shintoism infuse culture with a focus on and admiration of nature. The distinct changes in seasons influence a flow of life which celebrates and adapts to each change. This shifting can still be seen in Japanese culture as the menus, decorations, and to some extent, the patterns of daily life follow the changes in seasons. (Storlopare,) The arts are cultivated and calligraphy, poetry, music, and customs are practiced and refined.... [tags: cultural heritage and ancestry]
1592 words (4.5 pages)
- Literature, whether oral or written, reflects the society in which it is produced. The history of literature in Japan, in particular of poetry is quite extensive. If we begin with Manyoushuu, compiled in 770, until the present day, the history of waka is over one thousand two hundred years long. Such a vast collection of literature enables us to take a look Japanese history through its poetry and prose. The development of waka and the changes it underwent over time are not solely the reflection of an art form, but also of its authors.... [tags: Japan, waka, poetry, japanese poetry, kikou]
997 words (2.8 pages)
- Haiku: Voice of the Cicada Poetry doesn’t always require numerous sentences and paragraphs to portray true meaning or feeling; sometimes, only a few sentences are what is truly necessary to express the emotional state or spirit of the poet. One type of poetry that uses the less is more is the Japanese Haiku. In writing a proper or traditional Haiku, word choice and placement are key, due to its three underlying rules. Of which are; firstly, the Haiku must only be three lines; secondly, the Haiku as a whole must consist of seventeen syllables; thirdly, of the seventeen syllables, the first five syllables are in the first sentence, the next seven syllables in the second sentence, and the last... [tags: Poetry, Japanese]
914 words (2.6 pages)
- A popular ancient Japanese saying states that “The sword is the soul of the warrior.” (Buchanan 120) The warrior in the proverb pertains to the samurai of feudal Japan and the sword refers to their most prominent weapon, the Katana. An ancient blade made through a complicated forging process, the Katana is truly a work of art. Also known as the Japanese long sword or the samurai sword, the Katana is a curved, single-edged blade with ridges along its exterior. It is primarily used as a weapon to cut down or slash its foes (Robinson 28).... [tags: Art, Sword, Samurai]
1191 words (3.4 pages)
- The Japanese Kimono The kimono has had a long history in Japanese culture and has adapted throughout the many periods according to the state of their society at the time. The word kimono simply translates to 'a thing worn' and is generally a long straight-lined gown with liberal sleeves which often double as pockets. Often more informal kimono will sport shorter sleeves and although the majority are made for summer conditions, come wintertime and they will be thickly padded.... [tags: Papers]
864 words (2.5 pages)