Modernization of Japan
Dr. Randall Norris
June 5, 2010
Japan has been shaped and molded with the help of many other cultures. Japan was originally founded on the Tang Dynasty in the year 710 but shortly after developed its own take on traditional Chinese ways (Roskin, 2011), so there is a clear similarity when discussing China and Japan. Not only has the Chinese culture affected Japan, but the countries of America, England, The Netherlands and many other superpowers have also aided in forming the ways Japan functions today. Prior to the late 17th century, Japan had virtually no contact with industrialized countries. They traded strictly with Asian countries like Korea, China and Indonesia. During this time period Japan was ruled by Tokugawa shoguns that had a very strict hand on the citizens of Japan which might explain why they didn’t ship textiles to a broad spectrum of countries. While Japan still has many of the same morals and values as it did 200 years ago, they are continually modernizing every day. Japan is located in a very isolated area. Where England is close to surrounding countries and America is a country of immigrants, Japan is not. Japan is not influenced due to its lack of everyday influences. Japan has possibly more of a handle on what new ideas stream into their society because of the way it has once been open to these new ideas and practices, and then it was closed off to modern civilization. From the very beginning, Japan set out to have one thing without the other and approach encapsulated by the saying ‘Japanese spirit, western things’ (“Special Report”, 2003)). Japan is now ranked one of the wealthiest and most innovative countries in the modern world, so obviously Japans modernization has proved successful. Japan’s technological milestones have aided in many areas and have made life better for many people. The Japanese have a world renowned educational system,...
References: Roskin, M.G. (2011). Countries and Concepts: Politics, Geography, Culture (11th ed.). New York: Longman
Special Report: Japanese spirit, western things-150 years after Commodore Perry. (2003, July). The Economist, 368(8332), 20
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