Essay Sample on Japan History

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1811 Words
Date:  2022-11-25


In the nineteenth century, Japan ruling was feudal order, weak, and incompetent to control its domains, and unable to defend itself from the outside world especially the western world. To move from this situation, Japan had to modernize through the restoration of its rule to an emperor called Meiji in which was a profound revolution. In the Meiji restoration the leaders studied social, political, and economic institutions of the western countries and adopted them and as a result, administrative power was compacted in a national government, and the role of merchants began to be respected. The adoption of the new technologies from Western powers caused an expansion of industrial diversification together with compulsory public education intended to teach skills required for the running of the new nation and productivity, and the national military was established. As time course, Japan experienced social and economic change where industries such as light export such as textiles started to expand leading to available raw materials needed abroad. Cities grew, and most workers were relocated from farming to factories jobs and in offices.

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The leaders of Japan started to pursue economic growth and modernization and went on to address the unequal status of Japan in the international order. By 1894, Japan succeeded in reviewing the unequal status to gain its legal parity with western countries and started a war in which it started winning various wars against some of the major western powers. Japan continued with their quest of expanding its territory and gaining power over Western countries which as a result attracted more strong countries with stronger opposition.

In the desire of challenging the status quo, Japan passed that same desire to Taisho Demography that came next after the death of Meiji in 1912. In this regime, there was much uncertainty concerning the future of Japan where those who were loyal to Meiji and resist modernization were mostly weak. Some embraced change and others were advocating for the early tradition of Japanese and were against military reforms and changes in education. The desire for representative democracy and openness took hold in this regime despite political instability. The culture of western countries started to enter Japan with the introduction of the mass-audience magazine and literary societies. The country experienced a rise of mass movements which wanted political change, and inside the country, they were experiencing low wages, and wartime inflation and workers started strikes demanding for an increase in wages. The country experienced political uprising, cultural experimentation and social unrest came to a halt in 1923. The Imperial Army of Japan started to detain and arrest some of the political activists whom they believe are responsible for the political tension in the country and the relationship that existed between the army and the emperor began to fade followed by more violence and repression.

As a result of Japanese aggression, western countries and the United States has to respond with the containment and unyielding force policy. The United States triggered by the economic ambitions of Japan decided to restrain them by attempting to appease them by recognizing Japanese interests while tempting them to take on their activities within the outline of the Open Door policy. The United States imposed restrictions on strategic resources and goods on Japan and froze Japanese financial assets which after it triggered the Pearl Harbor attack. The argument goes, Japan rises towards militarism which was unjustifiable lead to an end to bilateral relationship in terms of the economy that later prompted the start of the Pacific War.

Strength of Analysis

The rapid industrialization of Japan back to the period 1868 to 1890 when the adoption of western practices took place, together with its technologies during the ruling of Emperor Meiji. Western education was made compulsory for the advantage of the new systems being introduced that eradicated the feudal privileges replacing them with merchants. Industries expanded farther in 1890 to 1930 through a change in social and economic settings, and competition of power rose as the oligarchy that earlier shared the notion of national purpose with its members was being replaced by aggregate interest groups. Japan started to expand its production and exported textiles and started shipbuilding. Japan leaders started to restructure the status quo of Japan resulting in the establishment and expansion of militarism. In 1894, gained its legal parity with western powers after succeeding in unequal treaties and they started a war and gained Taiwan in 1895, and 1905 won a war against Russia. It expanded its empire occupying Korea in 1910.

Under the Taisho Democracy, western culture has entered deeply into Japan cities like Tokyo as there was the presence of a culture of western countries in the cafes and young people wore western clothing. In this regime there was the presence of political liberalism, labor unions strikes started, and advocation of political change prevailed, the presence of political injustices and treaty negotiations with widespread political protests in 1918. Strikes in 1918 were estimated at 417 a rise from 108 of 1914. Women were restricted from joining politics by an article in the Police Security Act, and it was experiencing low wages, and wartime inflation like the rest of the world followed by political uprising and social unrest saw on 1923. Violence increased inside the country with a large number of people being killed.

In this analysis, there was a false sense of security inside Japan, it was looking to expand its territory outside, but inside it, citizens face many challenges that proved Japan no different as it is expanding outside but contracting inside. Regardless of its aggression Japanese were restrained by several factors. In the process of expanding its economy and territory base, it experienced strong opposition from the United States, and its failure to have a section on ethnic equality implanted into the covenant of the League of Nations was an abuse that was compounded in 1924 when U.S striped all Japanese from immigration. Japan engrossed insults from abroad concerning the availability of public frustration with the governance of political leaders and the background of economic misery. Again, the military units at a time became impatient with the political leader's fail to transform any of their military triumphs into political gains. Which resulted to 1931 action of the military where they used a local incitement as a pretext to place Japanese territory in Manchuria beneath military control, the troops attacked French Indochina in 1940 forming dummy governments to direct areas to be taken over by the Japanese army. Japanese has a growing usurpation of Western privileges and their ambitions on the outside world led to the neglect of the rights of the local people residing in Japan.

From history, the United States and Western Countries had done a lot in restricting the aggression of Japan to gain economic growth and military power. There is evidence that shows the U.S restricting Japan from expanding economically, and the restriction later results to wars. The economic relationship between the United States prompted the Pacific War as various works identify the United States using financial and trade sanctions in the 1930s in responding to increasing military advances in Japan. In 1941 U.S froze Japan`s United States dollar holdings primarily triggered the attack that Japan launched on Navy Pacific Fleet that belonged to the U.S alter that year. Also in 1941, the U.S imposed restrictions on the export of strategic goods and resources to Japan that led to the Pearl Harbour attack by Japan. Analysis it keenly, U.S restrictions was necessary, and the resultant war was inevitable as Japan brutally occupied China and Southern Asia. The argument is that United States restrictions were protective measures to halt farther Japanese aggression. The War came to an end later as a result of Japan`s unjustifiable rise in militarism.

The analysis outlined are criticized through an argument that, the interpretations are shortsighted and misleading as Japan moves towards war and militarism was itself ignited by the commencement of problematic and long-standing bilateral economic relationship between Japan and the United States. The relationship worsened economic, social, and political turmoil in Japan that was forced to modernize swiftly. Due to the relationship Japan was uncomfortable with depending on U.S financial and trade capital, and in opposition to common interpretations that Japan militarism triggered U.S sanctions leading to Pearl Harbor attacks. Japan early social, political, and economic unrest was inspired by its succeeding lopsided dependence on U.S economic relationship resulted to the establishment of militarism which in turn led to America`s termination of the economic link leading to war.


The scenarios discussed above when observed keenly summarize the transition of Japan from one economic system to another which is socialism to capitalism. But Japan should be regarded as a socialist, not the capitalist country as its transition was a mere affiliation of western capitalism during the period of cold war. In its earlier history, Japan banners as a member of the free world were democracy and liberalism. However, the capitalism of Japan is just an illusion as when we review the Japanese essence we see its right color is socialism, not capitalism; it is just pretending to be a capitalist. The evidence here emanates from how Japan transition became a problem to it, citizens after it adopted the western culture and wanted to change its status quo by expanding territory. The Japanese government has never ruled strictly under the law as the officials have discretionary powers and freedom from public scrutiny. The semi-legal ways in which Japan is ruled had insightful economic consequences as in the Postwar Japan had surplus skilled hands and enough land. In seeking for capital after the war, Japan did not borrow a lot from foreign lenders, but the bureaucrats used their unquestioned and vague powers to squeeze and entice capital from their ruined country leading to poor Japanese mode known as ethnic-economics. Banks got a mandate to buy and hold stocks from real estate and stock as capital reserves, and illegal trades were taking place inside the country.

Japanese problems started back in the 1920s when its leaders were supporting the idea of economic liberalism and in attempting to integrate the country`s economy into a world order which is liberal. The frustrations started during the 1930s when the western economies which were under depression placed barriers in Japanese trade in an attempt to protect their markets. The argument is justified by Japan aggression of Manchuria in 1931 that rendered Japan deadlock due to a shortage of raw materials, world division into economic blocks and a rapidly expanding population.

Lastly, the history of expansionism in Japan highlights its desire to create an expanded region ruled by Japan. The desire of Japanese territorial expansion is the cause of Pacific War during the world war two, and the insistence of Japan to retain its Chinese territory created a real tension between Japan and the United States as the U.S wanted Japan to relinquish this territory.

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