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The Modernization Of Japan Essay

915 words - 4 pages

Prior to the modernization of Japan, the samurai were one of the most respected social classes. The different clans of Japan were constantly fighting for control of the island; therefore the samurai were heavily depended upon for protection and warfare. This period of unceasing warfare did not last forever, eventually one clan was able to secure power over Japan and bring about reforms to bring Japan up to par with the Western World. The modernization of Japan brought about the necessary changes to keep the island culture relevant, but because the samurai were not keen to adapt they were soon irrelevant in the rapidly changing Japanese culture.
Japan’s modernization began with the ...view middle of the document...

For the next twenty years, in the 1870s and 1880s, the top priority remained internal reform aimed at changing Japan's social and economic institutions along the lines of the model provided by the powerful Western nations. Some of these reforms include in abolishment of the feudal system and the adoption of many Western organizations. These included the legal system and constitutional governments of the Western world. On July 30, 1912 the Meiji emperor died and his son, Emperor Taisho, assumed control. Emperor Taisho suffered from neurological problems and was forced to stay out of the view of the public; by 1919 Crown Prince Hirohito took control of Japan (The Meiji Restoration and Modernization, Military." Emperor Meiji).
There were a few small samurai outbreaks in protest to the modernization of Japan; the majority of these were insignificant, Japan's domestic revolution continued at a remarkable rate and was largely supported by the common people. The Satsuma Rebellion was the foremost challenge to the national government. Saigō Takamori was one of the senior Satsuma leaders in the Meiji government who had supported the reforms in the beginning. In 1874, Saigō established a private military/ academic institute to employ and train citizens of Kagoshima. Soon 132 other schools were established all over the province. The “training” provided was not purely academic, although the Chinese classics were taught, all students were required to take part in weapons training and instruction in tactics. The traditions of the samurai, including the code of bushido, were emphasized. The institutions became the training grounds for civilians trained in the art of warfare, and the code of the samurai. They were supported by the governor of Satsuma, who appointed alienated...

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