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Western Influence On Japan Essay

1080 words - 4 pages

Western Influence on Japan

Japan, as a nation, is a continually changing society. Ever since
western nations became involved with Japan, its changes over recent times
have increased at a substantial rate. Japan now faces cultural, economical
and social differences as a result of the western involvement. The
involvement was initiated by the Japanese themselves, beginning during the
Meiji Period1 through current times. As time increases, Japan is slowly
becoming more 'westernized' because of western involvement. Western
involvement is greatly affecting Japan.

Western involvement began in Japan during the late 1800's. The Meiji
dynasty helped to carry it through, seeing the importance of western ideas.
"Learn all you can from the Europeans and Americans"2 was what Emperor
Meiji was saying to the Japanese in 1867. During this period, Japan agreed
to change it's hereditary authority and class barriers between its people.3
Japan also opened their ports during this period4 and sold fuel to other
countries such as the Us.5 The Japanese language took a major turn, too,
with the addition of borrowed words from all over the world.6 Japan
borrowed the American education system of elementary, middle school and
universities during this time.7 A new western style army and universal
military conscription program were soon set up by General Yamagata Autamo
as well.8 The Meiji period was an important part of Japan's changing
western ways. After World War II, Japan changed forever. With the Atomic
bomb physically destroying their cities, and their defeat destroying their
imperialistic mentalities, Japan was deeply wounded. Japan lost the
respect of the world during the war and few people felt sorry for them.
However, they were soon willing to accept the concepts and ideas from
abroad.9 The Us helped Japan and showed them many new things to help them
get on their feet again. We explained to them about the electric telegraph
and soon after we even connected them with California's telegraphs.10 Many
Japanese women started to wear western dresses or even sweaters and
slacks.11 Japan changed politically as well. Japan became divided up into
47 profectures, which are similar to American states. Japan has carried
over America's democratic ideas of social freedom, economic independence,
and democratic liberties and privileges Japan's government soon began the
executive, legislative, and judicial branches seen in America seen after
the war.13 These changes all became possible soon after the war with great
financial aid from the Us.14 Japan's progress in America's modernization
program was so fast, we had to begin recognizing Japan as a world power.15

After Japan's modernization program, Japanese life began to change
less dramatically, but never stopped. Within recent times, many western-
style appliances and such can be found in Japanese homes.16 The Japanese
schools, based on America's,...

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