How Meiji Restoration Changed Japan

1279 Words6 Pages
Ilviya Ravandi
Susan Palmer
Research Paper
14th April 2015
How Meiji Era changed Japan (Outline)
Intro: (Write general info about Japan)Japan (日本Nihon or Nippon, or formally 日本国 Nihon/Nippon-koku) is located on an island that lies on the Pacific Sea and Sea of Japan, China, North and South Korea’s and Russia being its neighbors. 98% of Japan lies on its 4 main islands: Hokkaido, Kyushu, Honshu and Shikoku. Its capital is Tokyo, formerly called Edo.(6) Japan rapidly modernized in a few decades, while it took centuries in the West.(1)
Thesis: When you think of Japan, you probably imagine the Akihabara and Shinjuku districts: skyscrapers, countless banners, and crowds of people, but what did it take to make Japan the way it is today?
I.Topic:
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Topic: Tokugawa’s shogunates started to lose authority.
A. At first, Shoguns resisted, but later gave up, instead of starting a possible civil war
B. Tokugawa’s followers fought for his system, causing an 18 month civil war
C. Japan had a lot of problems: foreigners, debts, financial chaos, commoners rebelling, rivalries between lords, and more.
D. Meiji restoration began in January 3, 1868, Satsuma’s capture of palace grounds being the reason.
E. Council of princes replaced shoguns, though they were temporary.
F. It was also demanded that shogun’s and daimyo’s lands should be given to the emperor.
G. Daimyo had to give their land to emperors in 1870, creating prefectures.
H. In the late 19th century, Confucianism, Shinto and worship of emperors was brought back.
I. Before westernization, Japan’s army was weak, the new army was based on the Prussian one and the navy on the British.
IV. Topic: Japanese didn’t love the idea of foreigners barging in at first
A. Foreigners threatened Japanese with guns for uncooperation, Satsuma domain being an example.
B. Commoners started riots and uprisings, demanding ‘foreign devils’ to be gone.
C. The most harmful protesters were shishi, Kawakami Gensai, Nakamura Hanjiro, Okada Izo and Tanaka Shinbei being some of the prominent
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Since they inflicted terror, they were called “early terrorists”. They didn’t care about the public’s safety when they revolted.
G. “How can any red-blooded person bear to see our great Japan, which has remained independent and unconquered for three thousand years suddenly enslaved by other powers?” Yoshida Shoin, shishi
H. Inevitably, most modern technology was western so they had to learn from them. Some young people went to the west to study.
V. Topic: Some people glorify Meiji as the time of change, but it had its bright side and the dark side.
A. People from towns migrated to cities, there were new means of transportation and Japan prospered, yet, workers lived in poverty and it was crowded and filthy.
B. Burakumin (meaning village people)would be humiliated and treated harshly. Coal miners were treated especially cruelly, having cold-hearted bosses and countless explosions would happen in the mines because of their bosses greed.
C. While commoners suffered, higher-class people could steadily enjoy a carefree life.
D. Suicides became more common because of these issues
E. Middle-class women were more restricted and were told to stay at home and soon after, in 1890, women were not allowed in politics
F. Poverty rose with farmers when Matsuoka Masayoshi decreased currency and raised

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