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Why Did Japan Isolate Itself from Much of the World?

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Olivia Taylor

on 5 March 2015

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Transcript of Why Did Japan Isolate Itself from Much of the World?

European Invasion
In the 16th century, Tokugawa Ieyasu had seen that the Europeans were establishing colonies wherever they had explored. One of the major places this was seen, was the Americas. A voyage lead by Christopher Columbus in 1492 has resulted in colonization and industrial building in the Americas. He did not want this to happen to Japan.
Why did Japan isolate itself from much of the world?
One of the Reasons Japan isolated itself was because of the spread of Christianity. European ships brought over Roman Catholic Missionaries in attempt to convert the citizens of Japan to Christianity
Why did they think this?
After the death of the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Bakufu feared that the Christians, and Christian daimyo would no longer see the Shogun as their leader, and instead, follow their spiritual leaders. Nearly everything foreign was banned(including books)
What are some other reasons Tokugawa Ieyasu did this?
He did not want Japanese citizens exposed to western ideas. He made a decision to only allow foreign ships arriving to go to one port; This port was at Nagasaki Bay
Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu decided to kill off the remaining Christian followers from Japan, and restrict contact with other foreign places, especially Europe.
Japans Location
Japans location played a huge factor on how the isolation was carried out. They are an island, surrounded by water, and their closest neighbor would've been South Korea (west) and Russia (north) their terrain was primarily mountains and trees.
The National Seclusion Policy
The Bakufu passed a sequence of edicts in order to tighten control over the daimyo and the foreigners.
Why did the Bakufu do this?
The Bakufu wanted to remain an authority over the citizens, but also wanted to sustain a consolidated government.
What were some of the main policies?
-Japanese ships are strictly forbidden to travel to foreign countries
-If any Japanese returns from residing there, he must be put to death
-Portuguese ships are banned from Japanese ports. Any ship disobeying this order will be destroyed and its crew and passengers will be put to death.
-No Japanese is permitted to go abroad. Anyone who attempts to do so must be executed.
How did the Isolation work?
How would you feel, if one day, your country decided to isolate itself from the rest of the world?
How many Japanese citizens were converted to Christianity?
Between 1549 and 1587, Francis Xavier's Jesuit Missionaries converted 150,000 Japanese to Christianity. Ieyasu ordered all missionaries to leave. He later executed 26 Franciscan Missionaries.
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Map of Japan, present day
Why were western ideas so threatening to the Shogun?
The western worldview at this time, was a belief that each person had their own rights, and had the choice to follow their own paths; and to question authority and other thing. Obviously, in Japan, you were expected to follow your roles in society, and to respect and honour the Shogun, Samurai, Daimyo.. etc.
Japan-Guide, retrieved December 10th 2014, found at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2128.html
Levin, P; Moline, T; and Redhead, P. (2007). Our Worldviews: Student Edition. Canada. Thompson Nelson. Pages 126-160, retrieved December 5th, 2014.
Google Images, found at https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl retrieved December 11th, 2014.
Do you think these rules were fair?
Nagasaki Bay, Japan, present day
By Olivia
Full transcript