Paths of Modernisation notes by Vibha Maam
Geographical Features of Japan
- Chain of Islands
- Four largest Islands – Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido
- 50% Islands are mountainous and active earthquake zone ( it influenced architecture)
- Population – Japanese, Ainu( minority),Koreans (laborers)
- Food:- rice ,fish, raw fish(Sushi, most popular healthy dish and source of protein)
- Till twelfth century:- emperor had ruled from Kyoto
- By twelfth century:- they overcome by shoguns
- From 1603 to 1867 Tokugawa family (Shogun) ruled
- Shogun divided country into 250 domains, under the rule of lords (daimyo)
- Daimyo ruled their domains from Edo(modern Tokyo)
- Samurai (the warrior) aristocrats, served the shoguns and daimyo
Three changes done by shoguns for future development
- Only samurai could carry arms (swords) √daimyo would lived in their domain with autonomy
- Land surveys identified the land productivity to ensure a stable revenue base
- The most populated city in the world by mid 17th century Edo and other two cities Osaka and Kyoto
- This led to the growth of commercial economy, created financial and credit systems
- People were very fond of reading.
- People were patronage of art ,theater and printing.
- Import items:- silk from China, textile from India, paying in gold and silver
To reduce imports
- Established silk industry in Nishijin (Kyoto) world famous silk
- Creation of stock market in rice to increase use of money
Social and Intellectual changes
Japanese literature ‘Tale of the Genji’ written by Murasaki Shikibu (female writer) led people to question – The essence(inherent) of being Japanese could be found long before the contact with China.
Myths of origin – Islands were created by God and that the emperor was a descendant of the sun goddess.
The Meiji Restoration
- In 1853,Commodore Matthew Perry, (USA) signed a treaty to permit trade and diplomatic relations with Japan.
Ideology of Meiji government
- 1868 , emperor reestablished their power and removed shoguns
- Edo renamed Tokyo (Eastern capital)
- The new policy of government to defend the country from Europeans
- Slogan ‘Fukoku Kyohei‘( rich country, strong army)
- Developed economy and built strong army create a sense of nationhood among the people
- Transformed subjects into ‘citizens’
- Built the ‘Emperor system’ (emperor +bureaucracy + military= exercised power)
- Officials studied European monarchies
- His birthday become national holiday
- Proclamation of law ( edicts) were issued in his name
- 1890 the’ imperial Rescript on Education’ urged people to pursue learning
- 1870 – a new schooling system begin
- 1910 – Universalisation of education √schooling was compulsory for all boys and girls
- Minimal tuition fees
- Curriculum based on western model
- Stress on loyalty and Japanese history √the ministry of education exercised control over the curriculum and teacher training.
- ‘Moral Culture’ added in education
The Measures that created Opposition for Government
- All young man compulsory to serve a period of military service
- Regulated the formation of political groups
- Control over meetings
- Strict censorship
- Bureaucracy and military were put under the emperor.
Meiji reforms ( modernizing of the economy)
- Tax on agriculture
- Japan’s first railway line (1870-72) between Tokyo and port of Yokohama
- Imported textile machinery from Europe foreign technicians and teachers were employed
- Launched modern banking institutions(1872)
- Subsidies and tax benefits given to company like Mitsubishi and sumitomo (shipbuilding)
- Zaibatsu,the large business organisation dominated the economy
- Population increased 35 million (1872) to 55 million (1920)
- The government encouraged migration to reduce population pressure,first to Northern Island Hokkaido (Ainu native) then to Hawaii and Brazil
- They developed industries in these areas.
- In modern factories, most of the workers were women.
- Meiji constitution had restricted franchise
- Created a diet (parliament) with limited power
- Imperial Restoration- Meiji government established political parties
- Elected prime-ministers form cabinets •emperor was the commander of the forces
- Generals and admirals could become minister
- This strengthening of the military
- Higher taxes to fund the armed forces Westernization and Tradition
Different intellectuals had different views on Japan’s external affairs with other countries
- Fukuzawa Yukichi (Meiji Philosophe) :- ‘expel Asia and become part of the west’
- Miyake Setsurei:-‘ to develop oneself to one’s country is to devote oneself to the world’.
- Ueki Emori:- demanding constitutional government, voting rights for women
- Patriarchal household system
- Nuclear family
- New types of domestic goods
- New types of family entertainments
- Cheap housing available
- Japan extended its Empire in China and other parts of Asia and attacked Pearl Harbor (USA).
- Second World War emerged 1939 to 1945
- Formation of patriotic societies and women’s organisations to support the the war
- An influential conference(Symposium) on ‘overcoming modernity’ in 1943.
Morai Saburo (Musician):- Against playing Japanese music on western instruments.
Nishitani Keiji:– defined modern as the unity of three streams of Western thoughts
- Protestant reformation
- Rise of natural sciences
After defeat:- Re-emerging as a Global economic power
- Two super powers:- Allied power ( BRFU) and Axis power( GIJ) indulged in the second world war.
- War ended with the defeat of Japan, dropping nuclear bombs on two cities of Japan, Nagasaki and Hiroshima by the Allied forces.
- Japan was demilitarised
- New constitution introduced
- Article 9,’No war clause’ introduced
- Re-establishment of trade union
- First post war elections held in 1946
Post -war ‘miracle’
- Rapid rebuilding of Japanese economy √first Olympics held in Tokyo 1964
- Shinkansen (bullet trains) started in 1964 environmental degradation due to industrialisation
- Air pollution caused by cadmium and mercury poisoning
- New legal regulations and the world strictest law enacted in Japan.
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