European Imperialism on Japan Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the Europeans were restless in between the intensified economic activity and competition; many industrialists at this time believed that the only way their nations could ensure their economic necessities was the acquisition of overseas territories, and this belief later expanded into Imperialism.
The second motive for Imperialism/Colonialism would be that once Europeans obtained the knowledge of ‘outer beyond’ and gained advanced technology to support their need of travel overseas, many were taking huge interest n exotic places, as a fascinating source to fulfill their hunger for adventures. Hence, their attention turned back onto the ‘misty Orientals’. The Resurrection term Oriental was often used in a cultural stereotype description to express the mystic, ‘foggy atmosphere within the whole of Asia as Europeans saw it in those times.
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In fact, some still feel that way about Asia, as the word oriental Is still widely used In modern society, from publishers to websites. However, even back In the 1 sass, contact between the Orientals and the Occidentals (the West’) were in process. One pure example of this situation would be Japan in the 1 sass. Ever since Portuguese started trading with Japan, many hungry European countries, Including England, France, Spain and Dutch, came asking for ports to open up. The decisions for these treaties were made by the Shogun, the military dictator of Japan’s Iconic warrior class, the samurai.
The Shogun found no problem with having to trade with foreigners, and without dawdles, welcomed them In. However, It wasn’t long till the Chooms European countries (Kick the French out, they’re pirates) (Don’t rust England, they’re liars) pouring down to the ears of the Shogun, It was without question that he was feeling agitated. However, the big problem lay within the Western Missionaries; with them being too successful, hundreds of peasants and even several samurai families were converting Into Christians. When the Christian Rebellion occurred, the Shogun was at the verge of his patience.
After suppressing the Rebellion with the help of the Dutch, the disgusted Shogun, Outgas, ordered something that no other Oriental countries have ever done In previous history. Known as the Seclusion Policy, In 1639, Outgas completely closed down Japan, and even banned for any Japanese who were overseas from coming back to their homeland. Brutal punishments were made to handle the rebel Christians; they were ordered either to recant or to be executed. Now In complete control, the Outgas Shoguns ruled over Japan for over two time of rigid control.
The negative side effect from this became evident when Commodore Perry arrived on the shore of Japan with his powerful, newly advanced troop. For 200 years Japan had no clue whatsoever on the events of the outside oral. They missed out on the Industrial Revolution and the new technologies that gave Europe the capacity to power over the whole globe and once more, they heard nothing about the new-born country, America. America was sick of Japan’s ridiculous attitude towards their sailors; many shipwrecked sailors from the U.
S were seen as devils by the Japanese, and it became an instinctive reaction for them to kill foreign sailors on their territory, or to kick them out after brutally beating them up. Commodore Perry demented that the letter, personally written by ***, was to be .NET to the Emperor himself. The letter was written in a friendly, respectful format; it gave a full explanation on where America was, and asked for a new treaty to be made between Japan and America, including a standard pastoral care for the American sailors.
Perry informed the Shogun that they were coming back after 6 months for Japan to consider over the offer. Despite that the Japanese were quite taken aback by the metal ships-the ‘black ships’ as witnesses would recall-, they were silently scoffing at this request. That is, until the ships, on their departure, turned around and with heir powerful cannon, literally blasted the empty wooden fishing boat nearby. This happened in the very eyes of the Outgas Shogun, several dynamos and peasants. Whatever Perry was intending to do, this event was a scorching slap-in-the-face for Outgas.
After 6 months, Japan was left with no choice when Perry came back. 1854, the famous Treaty of Gangway was signed. This was the cue; within months, European countries, all armed with advancement, demented ports to be re-opened. These unequal treaties provoked the deep national pride of the Japanese citizens, as hey were forcefully being ordered around by the ‘barbarous white devils’. In the sass, Outgas was replaced by powerful samurai families, and after a short civil war, into the early sass- the old Emperor died followed by the new arrival.
Emperor Meijer was the first Emperor in Japan’s history to actually do the governing; in previous years Emperors, though were figureheads of Japan, never laid their fingers on politics, as they were considered too divine. With Emperor Meijer, Japan’s history was about to turn upside down within fifty years. Here we come to the Meijer Era, the deterioration of Japan. The impact Perry and other European countries made on Japan was like breaking through the glass to confront a whole new world. Deep within heart, the Japanese loathed the ‘whites’, but they couldn’t help but to wonder over the ‘toys’ the Europeans brought for them.
Meijer realized that there was no way Japan could defeat Europe in such situation. He was also aware that the westerners were looking down on his nation, mocking at their ‘medieval-news’, even feeling a kind of ‘affection’ for the ‘cute, tiny Japanese’. Fists clenched, Japan came to a conclusion hat they were going to accept and catch up with what they have missed out for two his fellow friends that they were not to be laughed at. Secondly, Japan had already seen the result of China’s arrogance and how Europe completely triumphed over them.
Meijer, seeing this told himself that he had to bow down for his nation’s survival. Meijer took action, as soon as most people started to see the reality that they’d have to accept what was going on, but they all knew it was vital for them to keep the ‘true blood’ as Japanese. Firstly, Meijer disbanded the samurai class because of the medieval knight’ impression they gave to the West. This was supported by using round coins as an official currency of Japan, instead of rice, in which the samurai class used in place for cash.
This happened within a decade. Some of these past samurai became the officer for the new, modern army, some became hugely successful businessman, and some killed themselves drinking, never being able to forget their shiny past. Even from here, Japan showed their careful accuracy; Meijer made sure he made took the best advices from the West, sending scholars and governors to learn and ask for help. Europeans were frankly pleased with this attitude; unlike the ‘cold-hearted’ Chinese, the Japanese were polity offering their hand from them.
Not aware of the true intention of Meijer, the pleased Europeans gladly provided all the needed information. The army was at first adapted by the French; as this meant the new army of Japan would be a conscript army, the was no gap between the classes, whether it was a peasant’s son or a samurai’s. However, the Ana was influenced by England, such as ship building techniques and plans. Other advices such as engineering, industrialism and factories were taken from England as ell. Of course, not everyone was going to follow the footstep of Emperor Meijer.
Having been to be forced for their identity taken away from them, portions of the samurai class were furious. In previous years, little rebellions were made by different clans, but all were helpless in front of the piercing bullets of the West. There was no exception when the last, desperate struggle in protection of Japan’s tradition triggered off in 1877. Satsuma Rebellion, the war between the ‘ancient’ army of samurai and the new conscription army of Meijer. Led by Sago Dictator, the last error of Japan’s olden age, faced a tragedy as he saw his own troop falling before the solders of peasants and merchants’ sons.
Completely lost, Dictator committed the traditional speedup, and that was the end of the samurai. The next step Meijer took was to re-form the government. Hence, the feudal system was destroyed, in place, the German-influenced parliament ‘Diet’ came in. They had the similar characteristics from German’s government, with Upper/Lower houses and had very limited votes. Education and schools were adapted from the French; Japanese school uniforms today derives from the military Meijer uniform decades ace. Architecture came from Italy, an example being the Bank of Japan which was built in 1882.
In historical records, it shows how Westerners were impressed with the surprisingly advanced world Japan turned out to be. Especially with the Western food and clothing. Just like people would show off their new Samsung Galaxy, Europeans were amused to see Japanese businessmen dressed up in smart suits, all loudly asking for the time to show off their fob-watches. The amusement didn’t last forever. When Japan tampered down China and Russia during the two Sino Wars in the sass, the world gazed in awe at the new uprising power.