Summary: Western Colonization Of Japan

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Japan was one of the few countries in Asia to avoid colonization. More importantly, it was the only country in Asia to challenge the Western countries at the height of Western colonization of Asia. Japan stood out among the rest of the Asian countries, and it became an important example of achieving modernization without the direct involvement of a foreign power. There were two significant arguments that explain Japan’s rise to power. The first argument suggested the Tokugawa Bakufu already established the foundation for which modern Japan could flourish, while the second argument suggested that the Meiji’s leadership became the necessary boost for which Japan could flourish. Japan’s transformation from a feudal society to a global powerhouse…show more content…
The Meiji understood that Japan was not nearly as powerful economically or militarily as the Western countries. The Meiji did something different from other colonized countries by learning from the history of colonized countries. An important thing to note was that other Asian countries did not learn from their history. Not all Asian countries were colonized at the same time. Vietnam was an example of a country that endured colonization at a later time in than most Asian countries like China. Vietnam acted as a specific counterpoint that affirms the actions of the Meiji. Vietnam had potential to learn from countries that had already been colonized before it, yet it did not respond in the same way as Japan. In response to European powers, many Japanese leaders and scholars left Japan to learn from the West. They adopted new strategies, which to led vast improvements in their scientific, philosophical, and military research. The Meiji adopted political influences from Britain and Germany. It learned military strategies from France and Russia, and it ultimately decided to grow its military grew from a defense military to an expansionary military. This provided Japan with a powerful military that could both defend the country and invade other countries. The Meiji also maximized the efficiency of its limited resources to fuel homegrown industries. Many of its largest industries, including Mitsubishi and Samsung,…show more content…
Japan has a wealth of history that distinguishes it from other countries. There are a lot of components that led Japan to its advancement during the height colonization in Asia. The Tokugawa and Meiji are the most critical components for Japan’s advancement, but there is a complex history that ultimately leads to the formation of both the Tokugawa and Meiji. Japan offers a strong balance of self-determination and inevitability. Looking at Japan’s advancement from different perspective can provide a different answer to this question, and both answers are just as reasonable as the other. From one perspective, the Tokugawa pushed away foreign influence long enough until the Meiji could fully take advantage of it. From another perspective, the Meiji determined the fate of Japan through their decisions to travel abroad and reform the infrastructure of the entire country. Regardless of the chosen answer, there is strong data and arguments that can be made for both positions. Japan is a useful example for the class, because Japan’s success was dependent on many factors, and we have the freedom to choose our answer and how we frame this
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