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Transcript of Japanese Totalitarianism
Imperialism, Militarism, and Nationalism in Japan
Hideki Tōjō was a general of the Imperial Japanese Army, the leader of the Taisei Yokusankai, and the 40th Prime Minister of Japan during most of World War II
Invasion Of China
Sengoku: Lasting from 1467-1568, in this period of time, Japan had powerful samurais controlling old feudal estates. They offered peasants and others protection in return for their loyalty. These warriors were called Daimyo, and they became lords in a new kind of Japanese feudalism. (Daimyo- Great Name) Under this rule there was an emperor, but he had no actual power.
Oda Nobunaga- Originally apart of the Daimyo, he wanted complete control of the entire country, therefore he deafeated his rivals and seized the imperial capital of Kyoto in 1568. His motto was, "Rule the empire by force", so he sought to eliminate his remaining enemies, including rival Daimyo as well as wealthy Buddhist monasteries.
*Toyotomi Hideyoshi- Nobunaga's best general; set out to destroy the Daimyo that remained hostile and by 1590 he controlled most of the country. Invaded Korea in 1592 and began long campaign against Koreans/Chinese.
Japanese had little to no contact with the industrialized world during this previous time of isolation. Beginning in the early 19th century, Westerners tried to convince the Japanese to open their ports to trade; however, Japanese refused repeatedly. In 1853,Commodore Matthew Perry took four ships into what is now Tokyo Harbor, astounding the Japanese with his black wooden ships powered by steam and the ship cannons. The Tokugawa shogun realized he had no choice but to receive Perry and the letter he brought. The letter politely asked the shogun to allow free trade between the US and Japan, even though the letter was delivered with a threat, claiming he would come back with a larger fleet in a year's time to receive Japan's reply. This reply became known as the Treaty of Kanagawa of 1854. This treaty stated that Japan opens two ports at which U.S. ships could take on supplies. Eventually Japan opened numorous ports allowing trade with several treaty ports and extended extraterritorial rights to many foreign nation.
*The Japanese were not happy witht the fact that the shogun had given in to foreigner's demands; they turned to Japan's young emperor, Mutsuhito for help. In 1867, the Tokugawa shogun stepped down, ending military dicatorshis that had lasted since the 12th century.
Mutsuhito took complete control of the government, the first time the emperor had actual control since the 12th century. He chose the name Meiji for his reign, which means "enlightened rule." His reign, which lasted 45 years, is known as the Meiji era.
Realized the best way to counter Western influence was to modernize. He sent diplomats to Europe and North America to study Western ways.
By 1890, the country had several dozen warships and 500,00 well-trained, well-armed soldiers. It had become the strongest military power in Asia. As Japan's sense of power grew, the nation also became more imperialistic. As in Europe, national pride played a large part in Japans imperial plans. The Japanese were determined to show the world that they were a powerful nation.
The Japanese first turned their sights to their neighbor, Korea. In 1876, Japan forced Korea to open 3 ports to Japanese trade. But China also considered Korea to be very valuable. In 1885 both Japan and China pledged that they would not send their armies into Korea.
Surprise surprise, in June 1894 China broke that agreement. Thus the Sino-Japanese War began. In 1895 China and Japan signed a peace Treaty.
Japan's victory over China changed the world's balance of power. Russia and Japan emerged as the major powers. The two countries soon went to war over Manchuria (country Japan recently took foothold of from Sino-Japanese War). In 1903 Japan offered to recognize Russia's rights in Manchuria if the Russians would agree to stay out of Korea. Russia refused. This lead to the Russo-Japanese War.
Keep in mind while watching this video, most American WWII propaganda focused on killing the enemy, while Japans propaganda focused more on dying for the nation.
Hirohito (1901-1989) was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He took over at a time of rising democratic sentiment, but his country soon turned toward ultra-nationalism and militarism. During World War II (1939-45), Japan attacked nearly all of its Asian neighbors, allied itself with Nazi Germany and launched a surprise assault on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. Though Hirohito later portrayed himself as a virtually powerless constitutional monarch, many scholars have come to believe he played an active role in the war effort. After Japan’s surrender in 1945, he became a figurehead with no political power.
Hirohito's Involvement in WWII
In September 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, in which they agreed to assist one another should any of them be attacked by a country not already involved in the war. Japan sent troops to occupy French Indochina that same month, and the United States responded with economic sanctions, including an embargo on oil and steel. A little over a year later, Hirohito consented to the decision of his government to battle the Americans. On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes bombarded the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii, destroying or crippling 18 ships and killing almost 2,500 men. The United States declared war one day later.
By mid-1944, Japan’s military leaders recognized that victory was unlikely, yet the country did not stop fighting until after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the following August. On August 15, 1945, Hirohito made a radio broadcast announcing Japan’s surrender.
In 1933, Hideki was promoted to major general and served as Chief of the Personnel Department within the Army Ministry.
Was fascist, nationalist, and militarist as a general
Led the attack initiating the Second Sino-Japanese War
Prime Minister Life
As the Prime Minister of Japan, he was the one who chose to initiate and pretty much planned the Pearl Harbor attack.
Because of this infamous attack, Japan and the US declared on one another.
“History Rewind: Conquest of China, 1932.” 2014. The History Channel website. Feb 24 2014, 11:54 http://www.history.com/videos/history-rewind-conquest-of-china-1932.
"Hirohito." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
"Tôjô Hideki." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.