Traditionally the word revolution has always been viewed in a historical context, in that it defines revolution as a movement, often violent, to overthrow an old regime and effect complete change in the fundamental institutions of society. According to Andrew Gordon in his book “A Modern history of Japan,” the Meiji Restoration did take place through a process that differed from the European Revolutions of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. In Europe, members of newly powerful classes, especially the urban bourgeoisie, challenged and sometimes overturned the privileges of aristocrats. However, in Japan it was the members of the elite of the old regime, the samurai, who led the attack on the Tokugawa. Historians describe it as a “revolution from above” or an “aristocratic revolution.
The Meiji Era of Japanese history was a significant period of time that saw the shifting of Japan into a Western-oriented nation. In order to maintain pace with surrounding countries and their development, the Japanese consolidated their approach in order to compete and benefit from other nations. Beginning in 1868, this long-term event initially intended to shift Imperial rule to Japan. Beginning in 1868 and although there had been an emperor prior to the Meiji restoration period, this era strengthened the political system under the Emperor of Japan. The Japanese mainly relied on imported ideals during restoration in order emulate Western nations who, in the Japanese eyes were advanced and powerful.
The beginning of the Meiji Era and the road to Japan modernization, all began when Emperor Mutsuhito chose the name “Meiji” meaning “enlightened ruler” for his reign. This era emerged with the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868 and was a period of historic social, political and economic changes leading to Japan’s conversion from a medieval nation to a modern and western nation, that we know of today (Tsutsui, 152). Preceding the 1868 Restoration, Japan was ruled by feudal lords, with a feudal agrarian society and a weak military. At the end of the Meiji Era with the death of the Emperor in 1912, Japan was a well-advanced nation with a constitutional monarchy, a democratically elected parliament, a strong modern military, a thriving economy
In 1867, two powerful anti-Tokugawa clans, the Choshu and Satsuma, combined forces to cause the fall of the shogunate. The following year, the Meiji Restoration was announced, under which the 14-year-old Emperor Meiji would rule in his own name. Japan was therefore launched into the modern world after 250 years of peace and isolation under the Tokugawa shoguns, leading them to open up to Western trade and influence once again under the new
Also, a government was called bakufu, going along with the military leader. The society was very torn by the warfare, some people had seeked solace. The personal loyalty in Japan was the Japanese cultural tradition over many centuries. During the 794 and 1185, it was the best time of art in Japan. In Heian, there were great Japanese nobles created.
When building their country, it is no surprise that Japan looked to their neighbors, China, to model their country. During The Great Reform of 645, Japan began forming their imperial nation. From government to economy to philosophy, Japan created a nation based off the Tang Dynasty. Japan boldly adopted legal codes, confucian policies, and even the risky land distribution system. In particular, Japan in the beginning of its rule enacted certain systems to rid their nation of the clansmen who controlled different districts.
The Samurai Did you know that 10 percent of japan was samurai. First, samurai were used to protect their country. Second, The samurai changed over time because the samurai evolved with their weapons. Third, The samurai had an impact on society by originally protecting Medieval Japan but the led to its downfall. The samurai were important for the development of Medieval Japan because of these reasons.
“To guard against external influence, they also worked to close off Japanese society from Westernizing influences, particularly Christianity. When the Tokugawa shogunate grew increasingly weak by the mid-19th century, two powerful clans joined forces in early 1868 to seize power as part of an “imperial restoration” named for Emperor Meiji.” This restoration was the beginning of the end of feudalism, or the way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour, in Japan. The Tokugawa regime acted to exclude missionaries because of suspicion of foreign intervention and colonialism. Eventually, they issued a complete ban on Christianity in Japan. Near the beginning, there were an estimated 300,000 Christians in Japan.
They were first recognized as “an economic, political, and military competitor in Asia” when they defeated Russia in 1904-1905. Strayer states that “[s]ome Poles, Finns, and Jews viewed the Russian defeat as an opening for their own liberation from the Russian Empire.” Their liberation generated respect for the Japanese from an international standpoint. The Egyptian nationalist Mustafa Kamil also spoke for many when he declared: “We are amazed by Japan because it is the first Eastern government to utilize Western civilization to resist the shield of European Imperialism in Asia.” Japan also has a strong economy, as “[they] became a major exporter of textiles and was able to produce its own munitions and industrial goods as well.” Furthermore, geographically, Japan is also noticeably smaller than its significant larger adjacent country, China. As a result, that might be one reason why Japan was less desirable to the European colonizers. This desire caused two advantages for Japan: firstly, it was most likely easier for the Japanese government to control to a smaller piece of land than what the Chinese government could do with their larger country.
In order to entirely grasp their situation, it is essential to know the their background information. Referring far back in to the Tokugawa era, the government banned Japan to mingle with exterior influences, as it was afraid of the spread of Christianity. However, due to the arrival and enforcement of American Comrade Perry in 1853, Japan had to open its country after almost 200 years. Although the Japanese government was reluctant of the emigration since the 1868, just after 10 years, the emigration was encouraged due to the inactive economy and increase in the unemployment rate. While in the beginning, United States and Canada were willing to accept many Japanese immigrants, they soon started to restrict and finally the migration companies had to find new destinations.